Ten North Frederick eBook ✓ Ten North PDF/EPUB or


Ten North Frederick This is the story of a family of the 'best' people living in Gibbsville Pa Three generations of the Chapin family are portrayed with intimacy and uncompromising clarity Many other people at all levels of the social ladder are portrayed as well and what they do and say to one another is often shocking Ten North Frederick won the national book award in 1956 I touched on it in my blog It's a book I've always wanted to read but it wasn't easy John O'Hara wrote it with no chapters and long paragraphs What was fascinating about this story was how well he depicted the characters in this small town and their political manoeuvrings As the American election of 2012 just took place I found what went on back in the 1930s mirrored what went on today Politics is a dirty business and John O'Hara showed some of its complexity As well he is frank on sexual matters and my understanding is that he was taken to task for the way he did this back in the 50s which were considerably repressed than the age we're living in now Ten North Frederick by John O’HaraThere is here in the biography of Joe Chapin nothing that could not have been seen or heard by the people whose lives were touched by Joe Chapin’s life Whatever he thought whatever he felt has always been expressed to or through someone else and the reader can judge for himself the truth of what the man told or did not tellWinner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 1956 Wow what a spectacular novel another one for my six star bookshelf O’Hara is known as the truth teller of the mid 20th century life of the upper middle class His writing is sandwiched somewhere — both in the age he lived and the subject matter — between say Edith Wharton and John Updike His characters are always drawn with clarity They avoid speaking about the things most important and precious to them I think this is the key to O’Hara’s realistic dialogue its often what is not saidThe novel begins at the funeral in 1945 for the main character Joe Chapin a prominent lawyer in Gibbsville PA We don’t know how Joe died but it appears to be heart related Joe has a wife Edith son Joe and daughter Anne The rest of the book goes back in time and proceeds from Joe’s childhood to his courtship with Edith and then on through their lives The novel eventually ends at Joe’s funeral and comes full circle Joe does not fulfill many of his dreams but rather than being depressing it reads as being very real There are no devilish plot twists in this book and most of the plot is telegraphed in advance So in summary it’s a story about well drawn characters and of course the house at Ten North Frederick that anchored several generations of Chapins Illicit affairs figure prominently in this book which is typical of the O’Hara novels that I’ve read While none of the characters including Joe are heroes by anyone’s measure they are not despicable either I could not help but feel for each of the characters who were having the affairs — all people who would probably be well heeled guests at your dinner party Five stars I also loved O’Hara’s first novel Appointment in Samarra I came to this novel having seen the 1957 film version and being intrigued with the film and wondering how faithful it was to the novel I was surprised to find that the core of the film was not the main body of the novel but only covered the final thirty pages or so Yet this was no disappointment I'd not read O'Hara before but I will read This is a rather wonderful novel encompassing decades in the life of the central figure Joe Chapin a well to do Pennsylvania lawyer The novel told in one 390 page chapter and one 18 page one skips around chronologically but always fluidly organically as if the characters and time periods were taking turns with the story It is filled with rich characters some spectacular writing and sometimes that writing reaches the level of magnificence It is filled with insights into the wealthy of a middling sized city in the first half of the twentieth century and some of O'Hara's descriptions of political thought could have been written today In the end it made me care deeply about the sort of man one might not particularly care for It is a real work of art expressed with a wry poetry and an unblinking eye I finished 10 North Frederick 1956 this morning on the train to work and I have mixed emotions about this novel On the one hand it is very much a John O'Hara plot with his penchant for sparkling collouial dialog among its many characters It is a novel set in his fictional Gibbsville Pennsylvania modeled after his own hometown of Pottsville On the other hand for a novel that was awarded the National Book Award in 1956 my birth year I felt that the primary protagonist Joe Chapin was really pretty one dimensional; particularly for a fundamentally flawed individual who develops a desire to run for the presidency of the United States In retrospect it may well have been O'Hara's intent to portray Joe Chapin in this light but I found myself throughout the novel to be much interested in Joe's wife Edith and daughter Ann as well as several other charactersSimply put Joseph Benjamin Chapin was safe maybe too safe Very much a methodical and entirely predictable 'Felix Unger' type of character who worked diligently his entire life to provide for his family and to keep his real feelings and emotions in check The I think about it this may be exactly the message that O'Hara is trying to convey through the novel that this behavior was dangerous and even unhealthy He contrasts this with Joe's wife Edith who starts out as much like her husband and who is seemingly only interested in social climbing in the small Gibbsville society Edith does begin to learn over time that life does need to be fully experienced But it is through Joe and Edith's daughter Ann that we see a fully fleshed out character that has a genuine and honest lust for Life Ann it seems to me is the one that ends up teaching both of her parents the most about what life can be or should be aboutFrankly after writing this review I am perhaps coming to realize that there might just be to this novel than I initially thought and that maybe I need to give it some thought and another read sometime soon and see if there is to the story and moral of Joe Chapin's life in John O'Hara's 10 North Frederick For the time being however this novel gets 35 stars of 5Finally it is becoming interesting to me how novels are selected for various literary awards For example when looking at John O'Hara's prodigious output of fiction I am mystified that novels like Appointment in Samarra BUtterfield 8 A Rage to Live From the Terrace or even Elizabeth Appleton didn't receive any awards In my humble opinion each of these novels is arguably better than 10 North Frederick but what do I know?

  • Hardcover
  • 408 pages
  • Ten North Frederick
  • John OHara
  • English
  • 09 April 2016
  • 9780394448145

About the Author: John OHara

John Henry O'Hara was an American writer born in Pottsville Pennsylvania He initially became known for his short stories and later became a best selling novelist whose works include Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8 He was particularly known for an uncannily accurate ear for dialogue O'Hara was a keen observer of social status and class differences and wrote freuently about the social


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