John Cheever is very good at his craft. His main characters as well as his supporting characters are very well developed; he is an expert at description and dialogue; he knows the way the human minds works in all its logical and illogical glory. That being said, while I appreciate all of Cheever’s talents, I did not care for Falconer, my first Cheever novel.
Falconer simply did not interest me. Yes, all of the above qualities existed, but they weren’t enough to make me care about the main character or his plight. And if I don’t care about the story, no matter how talented the craft of the author, I simply cannot give it a stellar review.
If you want to study the work of a man who knows what he’s doing in regards to the art of writing, Falconer is for you. If you want to read about the plight of a man who is battling addiction and loneliness while incarcerated, Falconer is for you. But, this is not a page-turner, and it would be unfair of me to lead you to believe as such.
I also believe I should be up front and tell you that there is a great deal of homosexual behavior described between the prisoners in this novel. That may be important to you, it may not, but it’s there nonetheless.