Patti Abbott mentioned John Cheever’s wicked novel, Falconer, a few weeks ago. It had been decades since I read it so I dug it out of basement bins and reread it. John Cheever made his reputation by writing some of the best short stories ever written. But, occasionally, Cheever turned to writing sophisticated novels. Falconer draws on Cheever’s own experience at teaching in a prison. There are some obvious Crime & Punishment parallels yet Cheever manages to engage the reader in a life that remains tethered to evens in childhood. Cheever remains the best sociologist of dysfunctional middle-class families in America. Yet his story in Falconer swims in Black Humor and cerebral writing. If you find you enjoyed Falconer, I’d further recommend Cheever’s underrated novel, Bullet Park which is even edgier.