MY FAVOURITE AUTHORS
JOHN O'HARA - SOMERSET MAUGHAN
A thousand years ago when I was very sick I re-read all of John O'Hara books that were at my disposal.
I find John a very good author and easy to read while at the same time he gives us many glimpses into the past and how his characters function as human beings.
Some of his books have been turned into films and those that I have seen are indeed worth the watching.
The major characters of Ten North Frederick and the story contained therein will give those of you not familiar with his novels a good start to becoming, like me, an ardent fan.
This brilliant novel takes its place as the finest achievement of John O'Hara's middle years, comparable in quality with 'Appointment in Samarra' the masterpiece of his youth. John O'Hara exposes the spring of action which, behind the appearance of respectability of the leading citizens of Gibbsville, conceals the reality of their private lives. Joseph Chaplin and his wife Edith play the major parts in this vivid, outspoken novel, and it is their intimate 'under-cover' relations with each other and with other members of the community with which it is principally concerned. As such, 'Ten North Frederick' can be regarded as a remarkable literary performance as well as an immensely readable and entertaining novel.
Here, in magnificently rich detail, John O'Hara unfolds the life story of one man, Alfred Eaton, who can be regarded as an archetypal "hero" of our time. Like A Rage to Live and Ten North Frederick this is one of John O'Hara's major works - an immensely varied and powerfully sustained novel conceived on the grandest scale and executed with characteristic mastery. page down page down
MORE J O'HARA NOVELSp
A Rage to Live
Hope of Heaven
The Selected Novels - Vol. I, Vol. II and Vol. III are to me an encyclopaedia of a time man shall probably never live to see again.
Pick up any one of the novels listed below and I can guarantee you won't put it down in a hurry. Better still take it out into your back garden with a long cool drink of your choosing and soon you will find yourself transported into the story along with the delightful characters you will read of.
From Vol. III I can highly recommend "The Razors Edge" though any one of his novelettes in all of his 'Selected Novels' are gems.
The following is an extract from the Preface of 'Selected Novels Vol.111' by Somerset Maughan -
"The Razor's Edge had been in my mind for for many years but the idea for it would never have come to me but for an accident. In the very early 'twenties I happened to be in Chicago and one evening I met at dinner a young man whose name, if I ever knew, I have long forgotten, who somehow or other attracted my attention. He was fairly tall, slender, not particularly good-looking, but with a pleasant face. He had an ingenuous charm and engaging manners, but what chiefly struck me in him was his air of candour. There was something touching about it. I could not but think he must have a singular sweetness of disposition. He was obviously a general favorite and I ascribed this, perhaps fancifully, to the goodness that he seemed to exhale as a rose its perfume. I have met plenty of young Americans with good manners, a frank expression and good-nature, and I don't know why the recollection of this one should have lingered with me. I don't suppose I exchanged a dozen sentences with him and I never saw him again. It was from what I saw of him and what I divined that in the course of years the character of Larry formed itself in my mind, and, as happens in such cases, incidents, fugitive notions, predicaments clustered round this wraith of my imagination to render him more real to me".
Somerset Maughan wrote 'The Razors Edge' in the first person, but in this one he boldly used his own name and made himself one of the characters that took part in the action. His reasons for doing so are quite intriguing as is the complete story and I feel sure you will agree with me should you choose to read this particular novel.
MORE SOMERSET STORIES
Here and There
(Collection of Short Stories)
(Four Short Stories with Film Scripts)
A Writer's Notebook
Of Human Bondage
Rose C Taylor