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Publisher's Summary

Here is the preface to 12 magnificent stories, originally part of The John Cheever Audio Collection, in which John Cheever celebrates - with unequaled grace and tenderness - the deepest feelings we have.

As Cheever writes in his preface, "These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat."

Listen to more classic short stories in The John Cheever Audio Collection.
©1978 John Cheever (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

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brilliant story & narrations

O City of Broken Dreams was first published in The New Yorker in 1948, and alter as a part of The Collected Stories of John Cheever which won the Pulitzer Prize. I listened to the audio version of this story alone. The only other story by Cheever that I have read is The Enormous Radio, and while I loved both, I was surprised by how different they were.

In this story we meet a young couple who are traveling by train from Chicago to New York. He has written part of a play featuring a local woman and a New York producer has asked them to come to the city. This couple is naive, simple and guileless. They believe that they are destined for fame and fortune. The title of the story is indicative of how things will go. But the best part is that despite that fact, the story is interesting until the last word. The last paragraph is fantastic. The couple is hurrying back home, but the narrator (who has been with them at every point) stays behind, and so can only speculate as to where they actually disembark from the train!

I loved Blythe Danner as the narrators. She disappeared into the shadows and just told a wonderful story. I never stopped to think about her in other roles. I never questioned why she used certain inflections. Just wonderful.

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