Monday, December 21, 2015

Edwin O'Connor

Edwin O'Connor died much too young. I hate to think of how many great novels went with him. His books contain much wisdom and humor as well as scenes that will, no matter how many years pass, will be within easy reach of your memory. He is an author who can be re-read with pleasure. I particularly recommend:
  • The Last Hurrah. His most famous novel is about Mayor Frank Skeffington, a charming rogue who plays Boston machine politics like a violin. Must reading for political junkies but also just flat-out funny. Thoroughly enjoyable.
  • I Was Dancing. A retired hoofer is trying to elude a rest home. His eccentric friends overshadow the main character.
  • The Edge of Sadness. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a priest's relationship to a strange Boston Irish family is filled with humor and just the right amount of sadness. Charlie Carmody is one funny but infuriating villain.
My suggestion: Start with The Last Hurrah, then move on to The Edge of Sadness, and save I Was Dancing as a light dessert.

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