Read ✓ Selected Short Stories of John O'Hara By John O'Hara – Reliableradio.co.uk
O Hara is hailed as one of the masters of the short story and, okay, he paints a good picture But when all you are is a sketch artist, there s only so much I can admire and only so many sketches I can take at a sitting I think maybe if I were a New York native, and if I were reading his stories the way they were meant to be read, every week or month in a magazine, then I might have had a different reaction.The main thing here is that there s no character development They re all vignettes The O Hara is hailed as one of the masters of the short story and, okay, he paints a good picture But when all you are is a sketch artist, there s only so much I can admire and only so many sketches I can take at a sitting I think maybe if I were a New York native, and if I were reading his stories the way they were meant to be read, every week or month in a magazine, then I might have had a different reaction.The main thing here is that there s no character development They re all vignettes There s rarely a surprise or a moral It s just a sketch Masterfully done, with a fine eye for detail and an even finer eye for dialog, but most stories are less than ten pages and they don t go anywhere I can picture him sitting in a cafe or a church or a courthouse Something catches his eye He jots a few notes, goes back to his hotel of course I picture him living in a hotel and bangs out another for Harpers or the New Yorker I really did want to like him better, but I ve given up Though the introduction to this book credits O Hara with having written stories that capture the speech of the characters and remain fresh though written quite some time ago, my feeling as I plodded my way through was that I d read enough of his stories many years ago and shouldn t have bothered to bring this collection home I just couldn t rid myself of the thought that perhaps at least for the time being I d read enough fiction and should branch out a little. Spent junior high foxrun foxtrot got the trots NAMING your absolutely zero special mcmansion are you serious Some things never change God, I do hope In that era PA steel was shutting down 50% or better population left Worth a mention to the kiddies at the time Nah The entire PA population still fits in a Spent junior high high school years as a western PA transplant between 1972 1981 O hara s observations about PA western PA wow A very very small elite elite wannabees oh yeah foxrun foxtrot got the trots NAMING your absolutely zero special mcmansion are you serious Some things never change God, I do hope In that era PA steel was shutting down 50% or better population left Worth a mention to the kiddies at the time Nah The entire PA population still fits in a single 814 area code west of State College I think so Above filling in the back story O Hara world view John O Hara wrote short stories In his lifetime he had over 200 of them published in The New Yorker, those short filler stories sandwiched between lengthier articles This collection of 13 is a wonderful example of his gift.O Hara wrote about what he knew small town life, WWII, and the invisible social caste of the US He is a master of recording dialogue, and creating swift stories that end dramatically And once I saw Dorothy Parker had written a blurb for him on the cover, I was hooked. 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 Stories Included The Decision Everything Satisfactory The Moccasins Doctor And Mrs Parsons Pardner A Phase Of Life Walter T Carriman Now We Know Too Young Summer S Day The King Of The Desert Bread Alone Graven Image The Next To Last Dance Of The Season Where S The Game Mrs Whitman Price S 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 Women S Households Over The River And Through The Wood I Could Have Had A Yacht A Respectable Place. glad to see that john o hara is now getting the respect he deserves again seems like penguin is reprinting some of his work it d be especially good to see the gibbsville stories in one big volume back in print or even the library of america giving o hara the full treatment his work is canonical american stylee with maughamian endings. This year s beach reading The style took me a few stories before I really got into it, but he s one of those short story writers the sum of whose stories add up greater than the parts Plus I m on a learn about Philly history kick. I didn t read them all all of the short stories The ones I read, well one I read was somewhat ironic Another one was confusing I think there may have been implicit drug use, possibly prostitution mafia relations perhaps Nothing too exciting. Mostly plot driven stories The characters didn t draw me in. John O Hara is a worthy read His short fiction far outpaces his novels, but he is funny and weird and I really like him.