Dive deep into John Cheever’s The Housebreaker of Shady Hill with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion. A friend of mine suggested I read ‘The Housebreaker of Shady Hill’, and at the time I was resisting this writer’s work, for reasons that fail me. Cheever’s short story Housebreaker of Shady. Hill. The characters in these stories–upper-middle class suburbanites–live in a.

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His marriage has caused a rift between him and his mother, for example, and now, while he is living in Shady Hill, he is cut off from her. Refresh and try again. We have saying that goes something like this – The uncaught thief is an honest trader…or perhaps broker, peddler, etc.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill by John Cheever – Slap Happy Larry

But things are not as clear cut as we may be tempted to decide, thinking that – Once a thief always a thief or – What else we need to know in order to classify him as a villain? He wants to go back to the garden of childhood. Hake thus feels regret for leaving behind the very things which have allowed him to push forward in his life. It was a delusion for Hake to think that shqdy money would somehow solve his financial problems, a fact highlighted by the farrago of feelings concerning death, his mother, and the pastoral that occurred previous to his theft.

No trivia or quizzes yet. When he expressees these desires, he day-dreams of an imaginary and timeless paradise. Set in a similar time and place, this is the story of a man who gets fired from a secure job in the city, but his reaction is somewhat different.


I looked at the paper. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Hardcoverpages.

After all, it was rather easily dispelled soon after he got his job yill. How much of what he says should we believe? His main themes include the duality of human nature: A wonderful housebresker of stories about life in the ‘s suburbia. But before that, this was the title story of a smaller collection: Cheever’s tales of stifled-but-hedonistic bedroom community life are not as outdated as you might think, and I love the no-fuss writing. In this way they are freed after a short stint in prison and they go to Dubai, French Riviera and the like to spend the money they stole from the rest of us.

This is the 22nd story in the Vintage Cheever collection.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill and other stories by John Cheever

To regain the love of his mother, he would have to change his lifestyle, something which he refuses to do, although retaining that lifestyle is also the source of much of his guilt.

May 19, Benjy rated it it was amazing. I have a hard time getting into short stories, but this felt like a novel in bits and pieces. Again, hiill later stuff is more visceral, this collection of short stories seemed superficial in comparison to “Falconer.

Furthermore, his dream of the plastic-wrapped bread takes the form of an advertisement. Hence, he utilizes his skills at dissembling to solve a problem that began with dissembling. Throughout the story the protagonist, Johnny Hake, desires to return to the days of his youth, and specifically to his vacations in the countryside, when he was carefree and innocent.

The empty pit in his stomach which is hard to figure out, he realizes his friends are rich, and he knows this because they seem to be in a state of constant leisure, traveling, enjoying life, where Hake is confused by his own place in the world, and his job seems like a cheap sports coat that could be the lining to a better coat.


Bucknam let shaxy into the bedroom. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Only read — actually listened — to one story from this collection on Selected Shorts podcast.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. She had sweetened much of my life, and to watch her seemed to freshen the wellsprings of some clear energy in me that made the room and the pictures on the wall and the moon that I could see outside the window all vivid and cheerful.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill.

Ultimately the story has a comedic structure: He finally eviscerates his wife and children in Yates like fashion, which reminds us all just how out of touch and self centered he really is. She sent me through college, arranged for me to spend my vacations housebrezker pleasant landscapes, and fired my ambitions, such as they are, but she bitterly opposed my marriage, and our relations had been strained ever since…I wanted to do it all over again in some emotional Arcadia, and have us both behave differently, so that I could think of her at three in the morning without guilt, and so that she would be spared loneliness and neglect in her old age.

Kevin Tracy rated it liked it Jan 03, There have been various riffs on this line from Cheever: