Read The Swimmer by John Cheever Online


Neddy Merrill decides to swim home from a friend's pool party, traveling from fashionable swimming pool to swimming pool on a perfect mid-summer's day. But as night falls and the season changes, Neddy sinks from optimistic bliss to utter despair....

Title : The Swimmer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780517125878
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 16 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Swimmer Reviews

  • James
    2019-05-27 11:54

    Book Review3 of 5 stars to The Swimmer, a short story written in 1964 by John Cheever. Why on Earth would a man want to swim from one end of a county to the other? There would have to be something wrong with him to even want to accomplish something like that! Yet, Neddy Merrill, a character in John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer”, wanted to do it, which obviously shows that there was something wrong with him. Neddy planned on jumping from pool to pool as though he was really swimming in the Lucinda. He also wished that he could do his marathon without his trunks on. Neddy was crazy and needed help. However, one has to have some admiration for the man because he achieved his goal of swimming the county. One also has to feel sympathy for a man who no longer has his job, money, wife, and daughters. Neddy Merrill may have his faults, but he also has several reputable qualities. From the beginning of the work, Neddy Merrill had been drinking and crashing parties at several neighbor’s homes. Every time that he reached a new house he jumped in their pool, swam laps, drank, and had short conversations. Neddy encounters several interesting people and was always in a rush to leave. When he finally finished half of the river, he had arrived on the doorstep of the Hallorans, who were an extremely rich, elderly couple that basked in nakedness. Neddy got his wish from before when he wanted to make his swim without his trunks. However, the couple then expressed their sorrow for Neddy’s misfortunes (losing the house and his children). Neddy, however, had no idea what was going on and he got up and left. Similarly, Neddy goes on to stop at his ex-mistress’s home. He knew that she would give him a drink and comfort. When he arrived, he suddenly could not remember whether he and the woman broke off their affair a day before, a month before, or even a year before. He did not appear to know what was going on around him or maybe he was living in the past. Nevertheless, he was having delusions again. However, near the end, he was so weak that he was forced to go against his beliefs. He had lost his strength and was slowly dying. Yet, he made it to his house where he found himself in another shock and state of confusion. The door was locked, his family was gone, and the house was empty. He had no clue what was going on; Neddy was delusional, yet again. Besides all of the evidence that made Neddy look crazy, there was the route that led him to those actions. It seemed as though while Neddy was trying swim the entire county on the Lucinda River, he was really trying to recapture his wife Lucinda. His quest really was not to swim in all the pools, but to win back his wife. Deep inside him, he was a lonely, confused, and scared man who probably knew that he had lost his money, wife, and family. He did not want to accept that and so he did anything he could to retrieve his lost belongings. Neddy did swim the whole county, but when he got home, he hadn’t reclaimed his family and money. He was still the same old guy, but now he had swum the county. There appeared to be no change in him. Or, does he now realize his surroundings? Is he know longer crazy? I wonder...About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  • Diane
    2019-06-07 13:50

    Amazing short story! "The Swimmer" is less than 10 pages, but it is incredibly powerful. The description of Neddy's attempt to swim home after a bout of heavy drinking was beautifully surreal. Highly recommended.Favorite Quotes"He was not a practical joker nor was he a fool but he was determinedly original and had a vague and modest idea of himself as a legendary figure.""Was his memory failing or had he so disciplined it in the repression of unpleasant facts that he had damaged his sense of the truth?"

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-06-14 14:39

    This is a very short but definitely worthwhile story with a lot more imagination than meets the eye at first. I initially thought there was nothing special about it but once you've read it, you'll never forget it.

  • Mohsin Maqbool
    2019-06-12 11:07

    The Swimmer is probably John Cheever's most famous short story."The Swimmer" is a short story that has been written by John Cheever. Mr. Cheever was an American novelist and short story writer, sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs" or "the Ovid of Ossining."Instead of driving home or even walking home, Neddy Merrill decides to swim home from a friend's pool party, travelling from fashionable swimming pool to swimming pool on a perfect mid-summer's day. Why does he do so? Because making his way home by an uncommon route gavehim the feeling that he was a pilgrim, an explorer, a man with a destiny.He imagines these swimming pools to be the Lucinda River. Why does he call it the "Lucinda"? Because he names it after his wife, thus honoring her in his own special way.Man swims underwater in pool."He was a slender man— he seemed to have the especial slenderness of youth— and while he was far from young he had slid down his banister that morning and given the bronze backside of Aphrodite on the hall table a smack, as he jogged toward the smell of coffee in his dining room. He might have been compared to a summer’s day, particularly the last hours of one, and while he lacked a tennis racket or a sail bag the impression was definitely one of youth, sport, and clement weather. He had been swimming and now he was breathing deeply, stertorously as if he could gulp into his lungs the components of that moment, the heat of the sun, the intenseness of his plea sure. It all flow into his chest. His own house stood in Bullet Park, eight miles to the south, where his four beautiful daughters would have had their lunch and might be playing tennis. Then it occurred to him that by taking a dogleg to the southwest he could reach his home by water."The swimmer builds an image in his mind of his goal.He starts off from the green pool of the Westerhazy's, followed by the Grahams, the Hammers, the Lears, the Howlands, and the Crosscups. "He would cross Ditmar Street to the Bunkers and come, after a short portage, to the Levys, the Welchers, and the public pool in Lancaster. Then there were the Hallorans, the Sachses, the Biswangers, Shirley Adams, the Gilmartins, and the Clydes."Here is what Mr. Cheever writes about the Hallorans who in a way are a bit different from all the other couples. "He called hullo, hullo, to warn the Hallorans of his approach, to palliate his invasion of their privacy. The Hallorans, for reasons that had never been explained to him, did not wear bathing suits. No explanations were in order, really. Their nakedness was a detail in their uncompromising zeal for reform and he stepped politely out of his trunks before he went through the opening in the hedge."Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer (dir. Frank Perry, 1968).Neddy gatecrashes into the Biswanger's home where they are having a party right next to their swimming pool. Here the protagonist will receive a couple of big jolts. Then there is Shirley Adams who holds a special significance in Neddy's life. "The next pool on his list, the last but two, belonged to his old mistress, Shirley Adams. If he had suffered any injuries at the Biswangers’ they would be cured here. Love— sexual roughhouse in fact— was the supreme elixir, the pain killer, the brightly-colored pill that would put the spring back into his step, the joy of life in his heart. They had had an affair last week, last month, last year. He couldn’t remember. It was he who had broken it off, his was the upper hand, and he stepped through the gate of the wall that surrounded her pool with nothing so considered as self-confidence. It seemed in a way to be his pool, as the lover, particularly the illicit lover, enjoys the possessions of his mistress with an authority unknown to holy matrimony." The ending has a touch of surrealism to it. Maybe that is how Mr. Cheever likes to add flavour to his stories. Some readers might love the way the short story ends, while others might be put off. However, no one will find the story to be boring as it is a page-turner.Burt Lancaster as The Swimmer holds a pair of beautiful shapely legs in his hands.The story was originally published in The New Yorker on July 18, 1964 and made into a fabulous film in 1968 with Burt Lancaster as "The Swimmer" called Neddy Merrill.DVD plus Blu Ray combo poster of The Swimmer.I AM writing the review for John Cheever's "Expelled" here as I could not find it separately as a short story.“Expelled” is John Cheever’s second short story that I have read; the first being “The Swimmer”. And the more I read him, the more I like him. If he wrote this brilliantly at the age of 18, I wonder how he wrote a few years later. By the way, “Expelled” was his debut as a short story writer for the New Republic in the fall of 1930.“The Governor will tell us what a magnificent country we have. He will tell us to beware of the Red menace. He will want to tell us that the goddam foreigners should have gone home a hell of a long time ago. That they should have stayed in their own goddam countries if they didn't like ours. He will not dare say this though.” I am sure Mr Cheever is writing from experience. Reading this reminds me of the time when I was studying and working in the US during the first half of the Eighties. Sometimes while working in the graveyard shift in stores like 7-Eleven and Schepp’s, I too would encounter xenophobic rednecks who in retaliation when I caught them stealing would say, “Go back to your country!” This would hurt as if I had been shot with a poisonous arrow.John Cheever makes it to the cover of Time.“If they have a mayor the speech will be longer. He will tell us that our country is beautiful and young and strong. That the War is over, but that if there is another war we must fight. He will tell us that war is a masculine trait that has brought present civilization to its fine condition. Then he will leave us and help stout women place lilacs on graves. He will tell them the same thing.”“War” here alludes to the Second World War which lasted from 1914-1918 and was mostly fought in trenches. War no more remains a “masculine trait” as women are included in the armed forces of many countries now. Some countries also allow transgender in their armed forces, including Israel. I never knew that “war is a masculine trait that has brought present civilization to its fine condition”. If that is the case, then there should be no peace on earth as war alone would bring its inhabitants “to its fine condition”. So this is how mayors and all those holding posts in high places brainwashed the mind of the youth and women those days. Mr. Cheever couldn’t be led astray. Being cheesed off in this way was exactly what led to his leaving school.John Cheever's library with some of his personal belongings and plants.“One Memorial Day they could not get a Governor or a mayor. There was a colonel in the same village who had been to war and who had a chest thick with medals. They asked him to speak. Of course he said he would like to speak.”“He spoke as quickly as he could. He said war was bad. He said that there would never be another war. That he himself should stop it if he could. "He swore. He looked at the young faces. They were all very clean. The boys' knees were crossed and their soft pants hung loosely. He thought of the empty desks and began to whimper.”“It took the school several weeks to get over all this. Nobody said anything, but the colonel was never asked again. If they could not get a governor or a mayor they could get someone besides a colonel. They made sure of that.”How ironic! The one person who had experienced war first-hand and knew all about death and destruction was never invited to give a speech again. The one person who knew how much misery war brought to families was never invited to give a speech again.Writing about his English Literature teacher Margaret Courtwright, he writes, “She came from the West a long time ago. She taught school for so long that people ceased to consider her age. After having seen twenty-seven performances of "Hamlet" and after having taught it for sixteen years, she became a sort of immortal. Her interpretation was the one accepted on college-board papers. That helped everyone a great deal. No one had to get a new interpretation.”Teachers should improvise their teaching methods otherwise their teaching becomes boring and stagnant while the students stop using their intellect and start depending on rote learning. One female student looks bored while another sleeps in class. Mr. Cheever’s logic and power of observation is amazing. While talking about a history teacher called Laura Driscoll, he writes: “In history one's intellect is used for mechanical speculation on a probable century or background. One’s memory is applied to a list of dead dates and names. When one begins to apply one's intellect to the mental scope of the period, to the emotional development of its inhabitants, one becomes dangerous. Laura Driscoll was terribly dangerous. That's why Laura was never a good history teacher.”He continues describing Miss Driscoll: “She was not the first history teacher I had ever had. She is not the last I will have. But she is the only teacher I have ever had who could feel history with an emotional vibrance — or, if the person was too oblique, with a poetic understanding. She was five feet four inches tall, brown-haired, and bent-legged from horseback riding. All the boys thought Laura Driscoll was a swell teacher.”“Laura didn't think much of America. Laura made this obvious and the faculty heard about it. The faculty all thought America was beautiful. They didn't like people to disagree.”Most Americans still don’t like people to disagree with their viewpoint. You feel enslaved in such a world.“No one ever saw Laura Driscoll again. By the way everyone talked, no one wanted to. That was all late in February. By March the school was quiet again. The new history teacher taught dates. Everyone carefully forgot about Laura Driscoll.” Tut-tut!John Cheever stands on the platform of a railway station.While giving his reasons for leaving school, Mr. Cheever writes: “But in a little while the spring went. I was left outside and there was no spring. I did not want to go in again. I would not have gone in again for anything. I was sorry, but I was not sorry over the fact that I had gone out. I was sorry that the outside and the inside could not have been open to one another. I was sorry that there were roofs on the classrooms and trousers on the legs of the instructors to insulate their contacts. I was not sorry that I had left school. I was sorry that I left for the reasons that I did.”Reading this reminded me of Muriel Spark’s Miss Jean Brodie who often took her girls outside the school to teach. Maybe the classroom wasn’t a good enough place to teach youths. Maybe its walls felt too suffocating. I am sure when Mr. Cheever writes “there were roofs on the classrooms and trousers on the legs of the instructors to insulate their contacts,” he means the atmosphere was too stifling and the teachers mostly depended on rote teaching to make their students into perfect robots for college. If you did the opposite like Laura Driscoll (or Miss Jean Brodie) you were bound to be fired from school.“If I had left because I had to go to work or because I was sick it would not have been so bad. Leaving because you are angry and frustrated is different. It is not a good thing to do. It is bad for everyone.”Mistakes are...Explaining about the college-preparatory system, Mr Cheever writes, “Of course it was not the fault of the school. The headmaster and faculty were doing what they were supposed to do. It was just a preparatory school trying to please the colleges. A school that was doing everything the colleges asked it to do. It was not the fault of the school at all. It was the fault of the system—the non-educational system, the college-preparatory system. That was what made the school so useless.”I will conclude my review in the words of John Cheever as I can’t improve on his words. I am sure your wise and discerning mind will agree 100 per cent with what he writes. “Our country is the best country in the world. We are swimming in prosperity and our President is the best president in the world. We have larger apples and better cotton and faster and more beautiful machines. This makes us the greatest country in the world. Unemployment is a myth. Dissatisfaction is a fable. In preparatory school America is beautiful. It is the gem of the ocean and it is too bad. It is bad because people believe it all. Because they become indifferent. Because they marry and reproduce and vote and they know nothing. Because the tempered newspaper keeps its eyes ceilingwards and does not see the dirty floor. Because all they know is the tempered newspaper.”The story is highly recommended. Read and enjoy and energize your grey cells.'The best President in the world' tells his audience, "I am a bit loose in the head. People call me Nutty."

  • Thomas
    2019-05-21 12:02

    I agree with the central message of this short story, I just found its delivery boring. Yes, perpetual suburbia and unfulfilling wealth and meaningless pleasantries can take a toll on one's health. John Cheever portrays the dullness of Neddy Merrill's life as he swims throughout the story. But, by doing so with no change of pace, Cheever makes his own story dull, delivering a solid piece of symbolism and a lackluster work of writing. Another story that satisfies the mind but fails to reach the heart.

  • Vivian
    2019-06-10 14:54

    A twisted little tale of heartache.Powerful, as all good short stories should be, this is a wonderful ride from the halcyon days of endless summer through autumn and winter. I can taste the gin and tonic on my lips, so perfect a summer drink that fades from glory in the crispness of chillier days.In many ways this reminded me of The Great Gatsby.

  • Vit Babenco
    2019-06-12 13:06

    John Cheever is an unarguable master of short stories and an incomparable singer of suburbs. The Swimmer is probably his best, my favourable and one of the best ever.In order to write a review I reread it today for the fourth time.It all began one fine summer day:“It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying, ‘I drank too much last night.’ You might have heard it whispered by the parishioners leaving church, heard it from the lips of the priest himself, struggling with his cassock in the vestiarium, heard it from the golf links and the tennis courts, heard it from the wildlife preserve where the leader of the Audubon group was suffering from a terrible hangover.”And it is a valiant hero:“He might have been compared to a summer’s day, particularly the last hours of one, and while he lacked a tennis racket or a sail bag the impression was definitely one of youth, sport, and clement weather.”Just for fun of it, he decides to take a journey, using the pools of neighbourhood, swimming home. But something in this seemingly joyful trip goes awry…“Going out onto the dark lawn he smelled chrysanthemums or marigolds – some stubborn autumnal fragrance – on the night air, strong as gas. Looking overhead he saw that the stars had come out, but why should he seem to see Andromeda, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia? What had become of the constellations of midsummer? He began to cry.”How many persons in this world after embarking on the pleasurable journey of their life in the end, looking back, can see nothing but the emptiness of the wasted away years?

  • Caroline
    2019-05-25 11:51

    ***NO SPOILERS***“The Swimmer” is one big symbol from start to finish, but that’s not happy news for analytical readers. Cheever was aiming for mystique and great depth, but the story isn’t compelling enough to inspire much analysis and discussion, and protagonist Neddy (a man, who, on a whim, decides to “swim across the county” rather than walk or drive the four miles home from a friend’s pool party) is a one-dimensional bore. The story could sustain interest if it were obvious from the start that there’s something extremely fantastical about the entire goings-on or even some kind of urgency to create suspense. For a long while, the reader might very well assume Neddy is just an oddball or drunk. It isn’t until the last few sentences that “The Swimmer”’s surrealism is fully realized, and what’s really unfortunate is that although the power is in this ending, it’s more of a “huh?” than a “whoa!”The story’s only strength is Cheever’s writing. His style is clear and straightforward, and he nicely set each scene. The swimming pool metaphor also is original, and it’s easy to envision each yard and pool Neddy swims across, although Cheever described these settings (and any people nearby) sparingly. This no doubt was purposeful as he wanted the focus to be on each pool. Final verdict: a limp short story entirely worth skipping.

  • Suni
    2019-05-23 14:48

    Un racconto degno della sua fama.In una pigra domenica d'estate un uomo è in piscina a casa di amici e a un certo punto gli viene un'idea: percorrere la manciata di chilometri che lo separano da casa sua nuotando in tutte le piscine che si trovano lungo il percorso.Quello che all'inizio sembra il resoconto di una stramberia poco alla volta diventa qualcos'altro, il tempo si dilata e il realismo cede il passo al surrealismo. Come accade nei sogni, in particolare in quelli che alla fine diventano incubi.

  • Hannah
    2019-05-28 09:40

    Cheever wrote and published the Swimmer when alcohol had started to take over his life, which led to the destruction of many personal and professional relationships. He was barely functioning, was suicidal, made drunken scenes in public. Eventually, he checked himself into rehab and stayed sober through AA. I really enjoyed this short story and the eloquence and humor with which Cheever described the characters. At the beginning I, of course, trusted neddy, the narrator with his description of his neighbors and suburbia. It was only at the end of Neddy's visit at the Biswanger's that I realized he must be an unreliable narrator, and that his social standing, as well as his life, have possibly changed. The behavior of Mrs Biswanger and the bartender emphasize this. at the end of his visit, Neddy overhears Mrs Biswanger discuss someone else's financial ruin and laughs it off as her being rude and a gossip. The reader, however, starts to ponder whether she might be talking about Neddy. This suspicion is strengthened when Neddy arrives at his ex-mistress' house and she tells him that she won't lend him anymore money. Neddy's physical strength is fading and he eventually makes it to his own house. He finds the door locked and the house dark and fallen into disrepair, yet he still seems confused. It is only when he looks through the windows and sees his house empty that he realizes that his life must have changed for the worse. By this time the reader has fully grasped the sad truth of Neddy's life and drawn possible parallels to Cheever's life and alcoholism.

  • A. Dawes
    2019-05-31 10:45

    A superb story in the abstract or surreal world. A man 'swims' home from a friend's pool party, by hopping into suburban pools and doing laps on the way home. His superficial surface identity of happiness is gradually washed away. Fabulous.

  • Bill
    2019-05-18 11:02

    A pretty good little short audio. I have heard of Cheever before, but never thought to read (listen) any of his stuff until I ran across this one on sale. Glad I picked it up. The premise was very good and the story was well executed.Ned is not running away from his problems. He’s swimming. In and out of the water, over hedges, thru cocktail parties, across the freeway and into the approaching storm. He just wants to get back to his family. One swimming pool at a time.3.5 Stars. I would be interested to read a longer work from this author.

  • Annelies
    2019-06-08 11:39

    Ever since I read Roger Deakin's 'Waterlog' I wanted to read 'the swimmer' as Deakin mentions it as a great inspiration for his Waterlog. Waterlog is sublime, what I missed in Cheever's 'the swimmer'. This is not to say that I find 'the swimmer' one of Cheevers better stories. Cheever has the New York high-society and them of the surrounding areas often as subject. This is also here the case. It's rather a discripture of swimming trough their pools than swimming in nature's rivers that is the subject here. As for the rating I cannot make out a 3 or a 4 star. As seen from Cheevers point of writing I rather give it a 4.

  • piperitapitta
    2019-06-03 11:55

    Stile LiberoGli altri due racconti sono belli, anche se sono sicura che sia necessario immergersi più a lungo fra le parole di John Cheever per riuscire a indovinarne il mood e a ottenere soddisfazione piena dalla sua cifra stilistica.Ma Il nuotatore.Non so come si possa descrivere in Letteratura, né come sia stato girato nel 1968 il film con Burt Lancaster, ma quello che rende questo racconto un gioiello, al di là della nitidezza con cui rappresenta lo spaccato borghese che racconta - che è quello della provincia yatesiana fatta di villette a schiera e piscine poste l'una accanto all'altra con una precisione geometrica degna della migliore scuola di Lego - e con il quale mette a nudo non solo l'uomo, ma anche l'ambiente sociale, quello che è il vero valore aggiunto, dicevo, è lo stile: Cheever è riuscito a realizzare un lungo e unico piano sequenza fatto di parole che accompagna il lettore durante tutto il racconto.Ecco, non so se questo fosse stato già fatto da qualcun altro, o se Cheever stesso l'avesse già provato o l'abbia mai più replicato, e non so nemmeno se esistano altri esempi e altri autori che l'abbiano realizzato, so solo che questo è prodigioso, davvero: leggerlo per vederlo, e poi cercare il film.E poi, magari, rileggerlo e procurarsi altri racconti, che non siamo quelli (deludenti) che avevano già letto io (Il rumore della pioggia a Roma - che poi lo sanno tutti che a Roma piove una settimana all'anno).Richard Yates, John Cheever, Andre Dubus (senza dimenticare Allan Gurganus): questo filo invisibile, di amicizia, rispetto e devozione, di scrittura creativa e arte del racconto, che lega gli uni agli altri, che racconta l'America e le sue ipocrisie e le sue contraddizioni fatte di debolezze e sogniamericani disattesi, mi sta portando inesorabilmente, io che ancora non senza una punta di snobismo dichiaro di non averlo ancora mai letto (se si fa eccezione per un unico racconto in cui mi sono trovata a comparare il pre e il post editing di Gordon Lish), diritta fra le braccia di Raymond Carver.A parlare d'amore, forse, oppure solo di Letteratura.

  • StevenGodin
    2019-05-31 15:00

    There are short stories and there are very short stories, a story that only seems to last a matter of a few minutes. How can a story really be covered in next to no time?, well, in short story master John Cheever's hands it's possible, a chilling view of one man in suburbia. Pure gold in under 20 pages.

  • Yasaman
    2019-05-28 13:47

    Life is a damned, long swimming route set and invented by yourself in order to give yourself a purpose, a destiny, an ambition, a sense of pride, and/or a thousand other reasonable desires embodying achievement. Depending on what you've expected out of your fancy little invention - called your life - you're affected by your experience. And here's the nasty little (huge?) truth about it: no matter what you've expected from it, you're doomed to be disappointed, and worse, ridiculed, mocked, betrayed by others and by yourself for it. Even worse: you can't stop. You don't know why, but you cannot stop. It's a justification of effort, really. No matter how satisfied you are - or you pretend to be, or you seem to be - with your life, there is always that little cold splash of something that hauls you out of your drunken satisfactions, even if only for a second, and everything is utterly and endlessly sad then. This is what The Swimmer is about: it's ultimately about the melancholy, exhausting, and harsh truth hidden behind grand swimming pools and beautiful suburban houses with parties and waiters, serving you drinks.

  • Eryn☘
    2019-06-10 09:55

    This had some great imagery and quotes! Otherwise, the story was pretty bland, unfortunately. Read for class.

  • Veronica
    2019-05-30 10:41

    "Was his memory failing or had he so disciplined it in the repression of unpleasant facts that he had damaged his sense of the truth?"

  • Jules ♈ ☾Bookvergent☽
    2019-05-20 15:43

    okay this was....fine I guess. To be contemporary. It's not my type of book to read ... well it's actually not a book. It's one of the many stories inside one giant book.It is a very peculiar way to tell a story. It's about a man who loves swimming and only remembers the goodness that happened in his life. You never know what is exactly going on or the point of the plot until you get to the very end. And then you have to go back and read everything all over again to get the reason why that end happened. And that's what I didn't like. It should've been a little more clearer. Besides, the story wasn't THAT is not my type of "book" to read but I won't deny that the book was perfectly narrated and it was a pretty clever story.will I read the other short stories of this author? nope.

  • Megan Lounder
    2019-05-20 12:56

    I had to read this short story for a college class I am taking. Blew me away! It depicts a man who basically lives his life like a dream, he uses swimming as his escape to uphold the dream he lived in, but is eventually awakened by reality. I absolutely love this story because it is so real and a reflection of how many people live their lives today.

  • Bonnie Bess
    2019-06-14 14:52

    I did a paper on this story in college. It was my first journey away from the concrete sequential world of my childhood and into the world of the abstract. Blew my mind wide open. I was never fit for decent society thereafter.

  • Christian, Kelanth, Scala
    2019-06-15 15:42

    Ho preso questo racconto praticamente ad occhi chiusi, in offerta a novantanove centesimi, senza sapere del contenuto, della lunghezza, attirato irrimediabilmente dalla copertina e dal titolo. Non ho neanche letto la trama, potevo trovarmi davanti alla biografia di Ian Thorpe o ad un saggio sul nuoto. Ma facendo così tante vasche ogni settimana, non potevo non esserne catturato, da subito.Quando l'ho "aperto" sull'ereader, ed ho visto che era un racconto di venticinque pagine ne sono rimasto sorpreso: "cosa potrà mai raccontare un autore, di un nuotatore, in venticinque pagine? Si fa quasi prima a leggere il racconto che a fare una vasca". Mi sbagliavo, ma ci avrei messo poco a scoprirlo."Il nuotatore", di John Cheever, una piccola storia epica, a metà strada tra illusione e realtà; uno dei racconti più noti dello scrittore americano, da cui è stato tratto (come ho scoperto dopo) anche “Un uomo a nudo”, film di Frank Perry girato nel 1968 con protagonista Burt Lancaster. Che a questo punto dovrò assolutamente recuperarmi.Neddy Merrill, in un pomeriggio d'estate, trovandosi in una festa presso la piscina di alcuni amici, decide di ritornare a casa a nuoto, ovvero attraversando tutte le piscine pubbliche e private della contea, come se queste formassero una sorta di fiume sotterraneo, a cui da un nome: “Lucinda”. Sembra divertente, ma questo “viaggio” si trasformerà per il protagonista in una sorta di odissea, un'esplorazione, un pellegrinaggio verso un finale da cui Neddy non potrà sottrarsi, ma si troverà estraniato e straniero nel suo stesso mondo, né vivo né morto, confuso da quella che sembra quasi un'amnesia o forse, un rifiuto al declino, alla sconfitta. Allo svanire del sogno americano.Paragonato ad un grande scrittore russo come Cechov, Cheever ha sicuramente come minimo comun denominatore con lo scrittore russo, la forma di scrittura e la capacità di rivelare l'anima e le profondità dei personaggi. Sembra che gli eventi che si susseguono in questa storia non fanno veramente parte della realtà, ma più che altro alla sfera del preconscio, o anche del sogno ad occhi aperti, e sembra sempre che il protagonista si muova quasi privo da qualsiasi volontà cosciente o razionale. Come le linee boe da demarcazione dei confini di quelle stesse piscine in cui si va a nuotare.Qualsiasi riferimento in più alla storia raccontata, può portare alla rivelazione di quello che Ned dovrà affrontare in queste venticinque pagine e non voglio assolutamente rovinare questa chicca di bravura e di scrittura e dunque lascio che il lettore affronti la lettura da solo, come una nuotata in piscina. Vi sorprenderà di sicuro.

  • Pamela J
    2019-05-23 14:41

    In reading over the reviews of Cheever's "The Swimmer" and hearing students' initial responses, I am reminded of how little we read as a country and how poorly we understand our body of literature. So many creative writing programs and bloggers attest to our desire to write and tell our unique story. If you want to write, you must read.Cheever's short narrative offers a satirical view of suburban, bourgeois living and its hollowness. Timely then. Relevant today. It is a cheeky story in how it deceives its readers as being plot-driven: a man decides to 'swim' his way home. A pilgrim he calls himself on a kind of odyssey through space and time. Therein lies the play and mockery of its tone. Cheever adopts a collective, almost Faulknerian, narrator who hints at Neddy's hollow hubris. Feeling lost and very tired, do Neddy's feelings not mirror the bourgeois anomie of a white suburban American Dream?

  • Emanuela
    2019-06-11 16:55

    Mentre leggevo questo racconto mi sono tornate in mente le immagini del film Un uomo a nudo che vidi quando ero ragazza e che mi angosciò parecchio. A metà circa, quando mi è tornata memoria di Burt Lancaster che percorreva a staffetta tutte le piscine della contea, ho perso un po' di interesse e non ho ritrovato la stessa situazione emotiva che mi aveva dato vederlo in bianco e nero in TV; certi passaggi sono un po' affrettati soprattutto per la poca cura dello sconcerto del protagonista che non riesce a capire cosa gli sta succedendo. La pellicola, invece, li aveva espressi molto bene.Vale la pena di leggerlo, forse prima di vedere il film.

  • Parth Jawale
    2019-05-23 16:39

    The Swimmer is now one of my favourite short stories alongside "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by J.D Salinger and "Why Don't You Dance?" by Raymond Carver. I absolutely cherished reading his novel Bullet Park, which was surprising because suburban Weltschmerz wasn't something I thought I'd want to spend a lot of time with. Clearly, that premise was flawed considering that I spent days reading Raymond Carver a month later. The Swimmer is deceptively simple, and has left me feeling oddly woebegone. I shall not write any more about it. Is the American Dream alive? Is it, at all?

  • Elaine
    2019-06-13 10:48

    Wow this was certainly not what I expected. If someone had told me that in only a few short pages so much could occur I would have been sceptical but Cheever's short story is brilliant and heartbreaking. Ned decides to swim home from a friend's party through the pools of friends and acquaintances in the county but this will be the swim of his life. And nothing is what it seems and much has changed for Ned. Thank you to my GR friend A. Dawes for the recommendation. I'm glad I read this.

  • tomwrote
    2019-06-09 14:54

    I saw the movie based on this when I was a teenager and remember loving it's peculiar atmosphere, though I couldn't remember the story. This short story retains that bright sunshine spookiness and certainly rewards being tracked down. The writing is powerful, controlled and evocative. The imagery is builds in emotional power and the story is moving, thought provoking and wistful.

  • Alan
    2019-06-12 14:08

    Summer ReadingWhile reading this fairly short story of Neddy, I was initially confused by his actions to try to swim back home through all the swimming pools in his county. It was Neddy's energetic and young attitude that made him commit to this task, but his drinking and continuous action made Neddy lose track of time and what was going on around him. This was an interesting read about how sense of time and what goes on around a person can be blocked by an action or a motive. I really recommend this read for all ages!! It was interesting to follow Neddy and his goal to swim across the whole county while reading this book.

  • Papatya ŞENOL
    2019-06-10 13:48

    Amerika'nın Çehov'u diyorlar Cheever'a; biraz iddialı buldum bu yargıyı; ama tek derlemeyle karar vermek de anlamsız. "yüzücü"deki öyküler 29 bunalımı sonrası aileleri yansıtıyor. çatışma ve bağlılığı, sadakat ve şüpheyi, yağmuru ve kasveti, tren vagonlarını ve kadehlerce cini. bazı öyküleri diğerlerinden çok daha etkili. özellikle "yüzücü" katmanlı yapısıyla yaratıcı yazarlık derslerinde mutlaka okutulması gereken bir öykü. tomris uyar'ın çevirisine ise diyecek söz yok. amerikan öyküsü seven ve insanın iç yüzüyle karşılaşmaktan zevk alacaklara tavsiye ederim.

  • Jessica Hagen
    2019-06-16 09:53

    I'm still conflicted on my feelings towards this, because I'm not sure if I dislike Cheever's writing or if it's just the character who frustrates me. For the sake of argument, I think it is just the character, because I did enjoy how this short story was organized. But, I'm not sure how effectively Cheever is getting his message/the point of the short story across, as after my first read my response was: "What just happened?" After looking into it more and reading others' commentaries on it, some of the themes became more clear and I had a better understanding and could appreciate it a bit more, but my conflicted feelings still remain.