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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Main characters also require two different kinds of weakness: But somehow, in the way the prose functions, Cheever, goddamn, he pulls it off. I have a hard time getting into short stories, but this felt like a novel in bits and pieces.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill.

Your email address will not be published. Cheever’s tales of stifled-but-hedonistic bedroom houaebreaker life are not as outdated as you might think, and I love the no-fuss writing. I was here on earth because I chose to be.

Hake equates plastic with health and wealth. But is the ending really a happy one, or are we listening to an unreliable — possibly manic — narrator?

But before that, this was the title story of a smaller collection: Tom Berry rated it really liked it Jun 28, Hiking with Nietzsche by John Kaag Sep 25, Despite all of my resistances, I believe the character really is relieved of his guilt….

Johnny Hake calls Shady Hill a banlieue. There has been a thirty-thousand-dollar payroll robbery in the Bronx. His main themes include the duality of human nature: Freudian psychoanalysis can be applied to the character of Johnny. The loss of his job, and his subsequent failure as an independent businessman, is the root of his anxiety.


The Housebreaker of Shady Hill and other stories by John Cheever

Then I was faced once more with the realization that I was a common thief and an impostor, and that I had done something so reprehensible that it violated the tenets of every known religion…My conscience worked so on my spirits—like the hard beak of a carnivorous bird—that my left eye began to twitch, and again I seemed on the brink of a general nervous collapse.

Is this short story ultimately a story about fernweh? David rated it it was amazing Feb 23, He becomes totally housebreakdr of his criminality. 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. How much of what he says should we believe? He has a bad skin and rasping voice and a fixed idea-lechery.

Ultimately he finds peace by ditching his temporary persona as a thief and returning to his honest, family-man status. My name is Johnny Hake.

And it was no skin off my elbow how I had been given the gifts of life so long as I possessed them, and I possessed them then—the tie between the wet grass roots and the hair that grew out of my body, the thrill of my mortality that I had known on summer nights…I looked up at the dark house and then turned and walked away.


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.

Crimes committed at night were thought to be worse, even when they were exactly the same crime, housebreakeg they were scarier. shad

Ultimately the story has a comedic structure: This is all a symptom of a disease I like to call boredom of reality. So the housebreaker, who took a smaller amount than the aforementioned million, seems a good guy – At least from the perspective of a Bernard Maddoff, who robbed people of billions Where I come from, there is a permanent feeling that justice is not being served towards housebreakers and PSD barons alike.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill and other stories

Linda Doyle rated it it was amazing Feb 07, This one act haunts the narrator for the rest of the story, and very nearly undoes him completely. It seemed wrong to him that the houses he imagined should be identical and that housebreakr should be built of green wood and false stone. Cheever does an excellent job of making Gil and the big boss sound awful to work with.