Re: RARA-AVIS: Tough Guy Writers of the Thirties, by David Madden 1968

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 03 Sep 2006

--- Michael Robison <> wrote:
> Matthew Bruccoli has a well-written piece on author
> John O'Hara's Appointment in Samarra. He notes that
> the hardboiled nature of O'Hara's novel lies more in
> the unsentimental delivery than in the personality of
> the characters, and that O'Hara's greatest
> significance lies in his ability to reproduce life as
> it was. Appointment in Samarra came out in 1934, the
> same year as Hammett's last novel, The Thin Man, and
> James Cain's landmark noir The Postman Always Rings
> twice, and Bruccoli points out the striking
> similarities, the "uninvolved viewpoint, economical
> style, accurate speech, dirty words, frank sex."
> Bruccoli identifies the influence of Sinclair Lewis
> and F. Scott Fitzgerald on O'Hara's style in the
> novel. He points to Edmund Wilson's observation in
> "Boys in the Back Room" that social snobbery is
> O'Hara's main theme. Bruccoli concludes: "there are
> more elegant stylists, more profound thinkers, more
> sensitive spirits. There is no working writer who
> matches O'Hara's importance as a social historian."

Hi miker,

Thanks for the interesting (and detailed) overview of Madden's collection of essays. As an aside, Bruccoli was a fan of Ed Lacy. More to the point, I believe O'Hara has fallen out of favor in The Academy though in his day, he was widely read if not overpublished. I've enjoyed several of his novels, including _Samarra_ and _From the Terrace_. I didn't realize that O'Hara's first book coincided with Cain's _Postman_.

Ed Lynskey

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Sep 2006 EDT