In so many words

From the Terrace John o Hara

A couple generations ago, John O’Hara was a best-selling novelist with hits like Appointment in Samarra, Ten North Frederick, and Butterfield 8 to his credit. Today, O’Hara is best known for his short fiction mostly published in The New Yorker. From the Terrace is rarely mentioned in critical studies of O’Hara, but I think this 900 page whale of a novel contains some of John O’Hara’s best writing. Its story applies to today’s preoccupation with everything economic. O’Hara tracks the rise of Alfred Easton, a banking tycoon. O’Hara takes Easton into the Washington, D. C. corridors of power as money and politics blend into a mix of deal-making and duplicity. If you want an insider’s view of finance and power, From the Terrace takes you there.

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