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Library JournalO’Hara is famous almost as much for the writers he influenced as for his own writing (Updike, in particular, championed him). Here the author of BUtterfield 8 sees his first and perhaps greatest novel reprinted for a new audience: a story of one man’s spiraling path towards self-destruction, played out over three days during Christmas. Charles McGrath (writer at large, New York Times Magazine) in his introduction calls O’Hara “more Hemingwayesque than Hemingway,” and a writer who paved the way for “such great American story writers as Salinger, Cheever, Updike, and Carver.” All of those authors’ familiar themes are here: alcoholism, adultery, a paranoid attention to status, the seamy underbelly of American small towns and suburbs, the desperate misery of the upper middle class.
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