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Selected Short Stories

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  156 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
“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 aut
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 11th 2003 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 1956)
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Ellis L.
Nov 12, 2012 Ellis L. rated it liked it
Shelves: literature, gave-up
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
May 12, 2013 Barfoo rated it really liked it
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
Thing Two
Feb 11, 2013 Thing Two rated it really liked it
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.

Apr 13, 2009 Jim rated it it was ok
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.
Bob Peru
Sep 17, 2013 Bob Peru rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 04, 2011 Renae added it
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.
Aug 30, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
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.
May 31, 2008 Niki rated it really liked it
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.
Gary Lee
Mar 17, 2008 Gary Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
O'Hara is an underappreciated, and oft-overlooked, part of great American literature.
Monty J Heying
Mostly plot-driven stories. The characters didn't draw me in.
Jan 21, 2009 Eric rated it liked it
I have the hardcover
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John Henry O'Hara was an American writer born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He initially became known for his short stories and later became a best-selling novelist whose works include Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8. He was particularly known for an uncannily accurate ear for dialogue. O'Hara was a keen observer of social status and class differences, and wrote frequently about the social ...more
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