AND OTHER STORIES by John O'Hara

AND OTHER STORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In these latest O'Hara stories, not only are all men islands of self-contumely and/or indulgence, but the women are monstrous continents, capable of cooling any hot wind of pursuit to impotence. In O'Hara's world of old-family towns where the two sides of the track occasionally collide, the ladies nurse their own barren conditions, look for solutions in frenetic experimentation. A restless woman, attacking the self-containment of husband and lover, tries Lesbianism as a catharsis. In "The Strong Man," a fifty-year-old sex-stunted widow, belatedly unfurls in sunny California after a deep freeze in Connecticut. In the longest tale, really a short novel, "A Few Trips and Some Poetry," love and sex with a fiercely self-determining, sexually enterprising women, turn out to be just that. There are no perfect unions with the exception of the fine ripe pair, Gunboat Jenkins and Marge, who collaborate in tandem. The times when heart may speak to heart are always out of joint. There are, however, peak moments of awareness -- a glimpse of the unloved, solitary yet indispensable man as viewed by the replaceable, "successful" one; the disillusion of daughters with their fathers; the cracked facade of love. Again the miraculously impeccable dialogue inching toward deadly revelation; the middle-aged blahs elevated to a bleak acceptance. With another curmudgeonly introduction by O'Hara designed to keep critics at bay or from baying back, these stories are indigenous and irresistible for the following.
Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1968
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1968




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