""John Cheever is one of the few living American novelists," wrote John Gardner in 1977, "who might qualify as true artists. His work ranges from competent to awesome on all the grounds I would count: formal and technical mastery; educated intelligence; what I call 'artistic sincerity,' ... and last, validity, or what Tolstoy called, without apology, the artist's correct moral relation to his material." Here, for the first time in a single volume, are Cheever's complete novels, ranging from the ebullient family saga The Wapshot Chronicle (1957) and its sequel The Wapshot Scandal (1964) to the late triumph of Falconer (1977), an unsparing account of prison life that is also a searching meditation on the mysteries of erotic love." "In The Wapshot Chronicle, a novel more than fifteen years in the making, Cheever drew heavily on his New England background to create an uproarious canvas of a venerable Massachusetts family in decline. The craft that he honed in his masterful stories is here used to create unforgettable comic portraits: the irrepressible sea captain Leander, whose terse jottings in his journal outline a hilariously idiosyncratic philosophy; the spinster cousin Honora, who tyrannizes the family through her control of its foundering finances; the prodigal son Moses and his sensitive younger brother, Coverly. The Wapshot Scandal continues their story by moving beyond the archetypal Yankee village of St. Botolphs and taking its characters abroad and into the planned communities of postwar America, quietly teetering on the brink of nuclear Armageddon. Like its predecessor, it is an expansive, tender story of human folly whose characters are drawn with compassion and affectionate humor." "The taut satire Bullet Park (1969), with its scathing indictment of suburbia, shows Cheever taking his novelistic gifts in a new, darker direction. But it scarcely could have prepared readers for the stunning achievement of Falconer, a prison novel unlike anything in Cheever's fiction. "Without any previous indication of such powers," observed Elizabeth Hardwick, Cheever "has created a large cast from the underside of society, created guards and routines, obscene dialogues and mumbled, self-serving prison monologues, all with great imaginative force." At the novel's center is Ezekiel Farragut, a college professor and drug addict serving time for murdering his brother. Within the dehumanizing confinement of the prison, he falls in love with a hustler named Jody; their "radiant and aching" affair is explored with remarkable frankness and honesty. Falconer was hailed by critics and became a bestseller, and it has endured as one of Cheever's essential works. Oh What a Paradise It Seems (1982), the novella with which the volume concludes, is a tale of a May-December relationship that also sounds an elegiac note of protest against the degradation of the environment."--BOOK JACKET.