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Selected Short Stories of John O'Hara Paperback – Mar 11 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (March 11 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081296697X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812966978
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,324,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“Mr. O’Hara’s eyes and ears have been spared nothing.” —Dorothy Parker

From the Back Cover

“Mr. O’Hara’s eyes and ears have been spared nothing.” —Dorothy Parker

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Format: Paperback
John O'Hara is one of the leading twentieth century American writers of manners and morals. In SELECTED SHORT STORIES OF JOHN O'HARA the author gives a good sampling of his skills in this art. One example is "Walter T. Carriman" in which O'Hara describes the life of a man who lived most of his life in Philadelphia. There are thirty-one other short stories in this collection such as "Too Young" and "Graven Image." A short biography is also included in addition to an introduction by Louis Begley.
It is important to appreciate O'Hara's upbringing as an Irish-Catholic outsider in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The similarities with John P. Marquand's experiences as a poor cousin living with wealthier relatives in Massachusetts are striking. Marquand is best remembered for his books about upper class New Englanders while O'Hara's strength is writing about middle and upper class people in Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, New York City and Long Island.
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Format: Paperback
John O'Hara was a prodigious writer of short stories. In THE NEW YORKER and other magazines he had more than four hundred stories published. In addition eleven volumes of his short stories were issued during his lifetime.
O'Hara never attended college because of the untimely death of his father but he remained forever interested in the minutia associated with university life. One story which reflected his obsession with the latter subject was "Graven Image."
Some of my other personal favorites in this volume are "Too Young" and "The Next-To-Last Dance of the Season." Another story entitled "The Doctor's Son" is very autobiographical and is influenced by O'Hara's experiences during the influenza epidemic at the end of World War I.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 20 2003
Format: Paperback
These are absolute gems, and whenever I see someone reading John Cheever or Raymond Carver I tell them to put those overrated hacks away and to check out John O'Hara.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Jeweler Who Did Not Flinch Oct. 16 2006
By Billyjack D'Urberville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Included in this collection is the best single 5 pages, perhaps, in century 20 American fiction, a short-short story called "Graven Image." It is worth the price of the book, and anyone coming to O'Hara is advised to begin his encounter here.

O'Hara was much maligned and misunderstood in his lifetime, and remains so. Irish but Protestant, chain-smoking, rancourous but wise, it is now becoming clear what a giant he was. Everybody mocked O'Hara, mistaking his oft-tawdry subject matter for himself, a process at times he seemed to mischieviously collaborate in. Everywhere, that is, except on paper. They are all long dead now so it no longer matters, only the paper survives. He was perhaps equal to any century 20 American short fiction writer, a very high compliment when Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Cheever, Capote, Updike, Carolyn Gordon et al are in the running.

Well, fellow Americans, stand up for this determined upsetter of convention. Read him and weep. While a lot of his coevals ran off to Paris, Africa or wherever, O'Hara stayed at home and minutely recorded a massive and awful transformation of his beloved nation -- chiefly chronicling the breakdown in the institution of marriage and the spread of Gilded Age pretense into ordinary folks everywhere, with spreading affluence and free time galore. It is painful stuff for each and every one of us too, delivered without comment or overt moralizing. Son of a small town doctor, he wielded a cold pen the way his pa used a scalpel. No wonder everybody hated him -- but the result is a body of work meticulously recording the massive social changes in the USA with the precision of glacier-cut striations on granite.

"There it is now gentleman, you can take your hats off now," John Peale Bishop said upon the death of Scott Fitzgerald. The comment is more appropriate to O'Hara, who as time passes will certainly cement his place firmly on the short list of major century 20 American writers.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Great Short Story Writer Aug. 31 2003
By Peter Kenney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
John O'Hara is one of the leading twentieth century American writers of manners and morals. In SELECTED SHORT STORIES OF JOHN O'HARA the author gives a good sampling of his skills in this art. One example is "Walter T. Carriman" in which O'Hara describes the life of a man who lived most of his life in Philadelphia. There are thirty-one other short stories in this collection such as "Too Young" and "Graven Image." A short biography is also included in addition to an introduction by Louis Begley.
It is important to appreciate O'Hara's upbringing as an Irish-Catholic outsider in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The similarities with John P. Marquand's experiences as a poor cousin living with wealthier relatives in Massachusetts are striking. Marquand is best remembered for his books about upper class New Englanders while O'Hara's strength is writing about middle and upper class people in Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, New York City and Long Island.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Prodigious Writer of Short Stories Sept. 1 2003
By Rosemary Brunschwyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
John O'Hara was a prodigious writer of short stories. In THE NEW YORKER and other magazines he had more than four hundred stories published. In addition eleven volumes of his short stories were issued during his lifetime.
O'Hara never attended college because of the untimely death of his father but he remained forever interested in the minutia associated with university life. One story which reflected his obsession with the latter subject was "Graven Image."
Some of my other personal favorites in this volume are "Too Young" and "The Next-To-Last Dance of the Season." Another story entitled "The Doctor's Son" is very autobiographical and is influenced by O'Hara's experiences during the influenza epidemic at the end of World War I.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't get through it - very tedious March 27 2014
By yin yang goddess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tedious. I wanted to like it - but I couldn't STOP putting it down...I just couldn't get through it and I'm an avid reader.
14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Neglected Master of the Short Story May 20 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
These are absolute gems, and whenever I see someone reading John Cheever or Raymond Carver I tell them to put those overrated hacks away and to check out John O'Hara.


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