The Plagiarist

The Plagiarist

by Benjamin Cheever

View All Available Formats & Editions

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wit and pathos, so finely meshed they become inseparable, buoy the main events in this achingly funny first novel from the editor of his father's The Letters of John Cheever. Arthur Prentice, the only child of famous writer Icarus Prentice, wants more than anything to establish his own identity. Working in a dead-end job at his local newspaper in a New York City suburb, trapped in a marriage to a woman who never fails to remind him how badly he's doing (when he suggests that they make love one morning, she says, ``All right, but make it quick and don't be surprised if I throw up''), Arthur has just about abandoned hope when the American Reader offers him a job on its Manhattan copy desk. Soon enough, he has advanced to associate editor, earning a salary far beyond his wildest dreams, and in the process he has even become somewhat more attractive to his wife. So, what could be bad? Management at the American Reader , a ``reprint magazine'' and a wonderful satiric target, wants to get Arthur's father to write for them. Easier said than done, of course, since Icarus views the magazine as a bad joke. But with his personal success in jeopardy, Arthur realizes that he must do something , and therein lies the rest of this solidly written tale. Despite a marital resolution that may disappoint some readers, this is a touching, entertaining debut. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Arthur Prentice stands in his father's literary shadow. Arthur lacks a positive female influence. His wife won't sleep with him. His son is unhappy. His fantasies involve murdering women he loves. He leaves his job at a local newspaper to join the staff of The American Reader --a conservative reprint magazine. He skyrockets to a prominent position, but not necessarily as a result of his literary efforts. The sudden death of his father unlocks the door to Arthur's future. His problems evaporate when Arthur asserts himself for the first time. If this is parody, it is witty and razor sharp. Cheever's language is precise and provocative. His characters are eccentric in the extreme. They, and not the ``ordinary'' characters, are the winners.-- Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Connecticut at Torrington Lib.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
1st Collier Books ed
Product dimensions:
5.83(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.99(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >