Books: Crabgrass in Eden

THE WORLD OF APPLES byJOHN CHEEVER 174 pages. Alfred A. Knopf. $5.95.

Timeless as a myth, the Cheever hero steps off his Grand Central commuter train into his enchanting white New England village. Outdoors in winter, smoke curls from chimneys. Indoors, candlelight will cast a glow over the faces of his children, while lending a golden patina to the dining-room table he has acquired from his own or somebody else's Boston ancestors.

All this, a Cheever hero well knows, is what the American Dream is all about. And yet Something is Wrong, and that...

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