The Splendid Things We Planned Would you rather be forgotten by history or remembered for your faults? That is the question raised by a memoir in which the author's drug-addicted… The Splendid Things We Planned Would you rather be forgotten by history or remembered for your faults? That is the question raised by a memoir in which the author's drug-addicted… 2014-03-03 Memoir W. W. Norton & Company
Book Review

The Splendid Things We Planned (2014)

THE SPLENDID THINGS WE PLANNED Blake Bailey
THE SPLENDID THINGS WE PLANNED Blake Bailey
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Mar 03, 2014; Writer: Blake Bailey; Genre: Memoir; Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Would you rather be forgotten by history or remembered for your faults? That is the question raised by a memoir in which the author's drug-addicted brother plays a large part. Bailey wrote a much-lauded biography of John Cheever, and Splendid Things is vibrantly evocative and car-crash engrossing — often literally so, given the amount of vehicular damage featured here. But it is hard not to feel queasy at the airing of such dirty laundry. Certainly this reviewer would be happier leaving no mark at all than be recalled in such a fashion. B

Originally posted Feb 19, 2014 Published in issue #1300 Feb 28, 2014 Order article reprints