Selected Short Stories of John OHara by John OHara“John O’Hara’s fiction,” wrote Lionel Trilling, “is preeminent for its social verisimilitude.” Made famous by his bestselling novels, including BUtterfield 8 and Appointment in Samarra, O’Hara (1905–1970) also wrote some of the finest short fiction of the twentieth century.
First published by the Modern Library in 1956, Selected Short Stories of John O’Hara displays the author’s skills as a keen social observer, a refreshingly frank storyteller, and a writer with a brilliant ear for dialogue. “The stories in this volume,” writes Louis Begley in his new Introduction, “show the wide range of [O’Hara’s] interests and an ability to treat with a virtuoso’s ease characters and situations from any place on America’s geographic and social spectrum.”
The decision -- Everything satisfactory -- The moccasins -- Doctor and Mrs. Parsons -- Pardner -- A phase of life -- Walter T. Carriman -- Now we know -- Too young -- Summers day -- The king of the desert -- Bread alone -- Graven image -- The next-to-last dance of the season -- Wheres the game? -- Mrs. Whitman -- Prices always open -- The cold house -- Are we leaving tomorrow? -- No mistakes -- The ideal man -- Do you like it here? -- The doctors son -- Hotel kid -- The public career of Mr. Seymour Harrisburg -- In the morning sun -- War aims -- Secret meeting -- Other womens households -- Over the river and through the wood -- I could have had a yacht -- A respectable place.
John O'Hara - Hand Me Down Man
He was a gifted and sensitive writer, with talents quite different from those of his more highly regarded contemporaries: Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald. His strength and his limitation was that he was stubbornly earthbound. There are no similes in his work, no flights of lyricism or fancy writing, no hints of a deeper meaning beyond the moment. Things are vibrant and valuable for their own sake, and he described them—the make of a car, the cut of a suit, the song on the radio, the brand of cigarette, the sound of a broken tire chain on a snowy morning—with a scrupulousness that bordered on devotion. His father was a successful and respected physician there, and the family belonged to the country-club, horse-riding gentry.
It was a law that had been imposed on some who took pleasure in drinking by some who did not. And when the law was an instant failure, it was not admitted to be a failure by those who had imposed it. They fought to retain the law in spite of its immediate failure and its proliferating corruption, and they fought as hard as they would have for a law that had been an immediate success. They gained no recruits to their own way; they had only deserters, who were not brave deserters but furtive ones; there was no honest mutiny but only grumbling and small disobediences. And we grew up listening to the grumbling, watching the small disobediences; laughing along when the grumbling was intentionally funny, imitating the small disobediences in other ways besides the customs of drinking.
Writing with equal insight about New York City, Hollywood, and the small-town Pennsylvania world where he grew up, John O'Hara cultivated an unsentimental .
fiction is a lie that tells the truth meaning
Library Tour Redux: In the Fireplace #1!
Little John is a feckless and indifferent altar boy by , and by things already something of a train wreck:. Brother Eugene is born. But when the ethical questions start morphing into fire-and-brimstone matters of public morality, that chronology becomes even stranger. But the book is far more accurately captured in the hurried, circular thoughts of its main character Julian English in a typical passage:. He stood up. Yes, I do. He needed money, and he needed it soon, but not five thousand dollars.