Benjamin Cheever's claim to our attention appears to be his illustrious father, the American novelist and short-story writer, John Cheever. There can be no other imaginable reason for publishing his tedious first novel, The Plagiarist about, of course, a writer with a famous father, who is trying to become his own man.
Cheever served his apprenticeship at the Reader's Digest (his central character works at a thinly veiled parody of the Digest called the American Reader) and he also edited his father's letters. It is perhaps understandable, although not inevitable, that Cheever junior has had such difficulty finding his own voice after such inauspicious training grounds. However, one hopes that, in his next novel, he will delve deeper and with sympathy into himself, to find more than just the disconsolate son of a famous man.