"Oh, those suburban Sunday nights. Those Sunday-night blues!"
While John Cheever wrote some acclaimed novels, especially the two Wapshot books, his reputation rests on his generally excellent short stories. Like Updike, Yates, and John O'Hara, Cheever mapped out the emotional territory of usually white, upper-middle class men and women living in the suburbs, quietly watching their lives slip away, drinking too much, and having sad affairs. "Mad Men" definitely draws from this rich vein of American lit. With characters traveling to Rome, vacationing in the Hamptons, and having maids, his stories do have a whiff of East coast patrician privilege, but it's a minor complaint. "The Swimmer" remains one of his best and one of the best short stories of the 20th century.