is a 1955 short story
by John Cheever
published in The Stories of John Cheever,
though it may have been published previously. The story is about a businessman
, called Blake, who is accosted on a train, at gunpoint
, by his former secretary. The woman is mentally ill
, and is particularly upset with how Blake left her after a one-night stand and then fired her. The story is noteworthy because its focus is primarily on Blake's perception of those around him, from which stems an anti-social history. Though the woman's mental state is somewhat deteriorated, Cheever communicates that her perception of reality is more advanced than Blake's.
Film, TV and theatrical adaptations
The story has been adapted for the theatre and has appeared in this form on the radio. It was also adapted into a 1960 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents
starring Zachary Scott
and Phyllis Thaxter.
A 1979 television adaptation aired on PBS as 3 by Cheever: The 5:48, with Laurence Luckinbill and Mary Beth Hurt in the lead roles.
Awards and nominations
- Winner - Benjamin Franklin magazine award