John O'Hara

John Henry O'Hara was an American writer known for his novels, short stories, and plays. He was particularly noted for his keen observations of social status and class distinctions.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Appointment in Samarra

    This novel explores the self-destruction of the main character, a successful and respected car dealer, over a three-day span during the Christmas season in 1930. After a series of impulsive and reckless actions, including alienating his friends and family, having an affair, and getting involved with organized crime, the protagonist spirals out of control, leading to his tragic demise. The book offers a critique of the vapid and hypocritical aspects of high society in a small Pennsylvania town during the Great Depression.

    The 1416th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. From The Terrace

    The novel is a sweeping tale of ambition, love, and betrayal, following the life of Alfred Eaton, a man who emerges from the shadow of his wealthy and domineering father to carve out a successful career in the world of business. As he climbs the social and professional ladder, Alfred's personal life becomes increasingly complex and strained. He marries the beautiful but troubled Mary St. John, whose own issues and desires create further conflict. Set against the backdrop of mid-20th century America, the story delves into the intricacies of family dynamics, societal expectations, and the pursuit of success, all while questioning the true cost of the American Dream.

    The 4937th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Collected Stories

    "Collected Stories" is an anthology that showcases the breadth and depth of a 20th-century American writer's short fiction. The collection brings together a wide array of narratives that delve into the lives of various characters from different social strata, capturing the nuances of their personal relationships, ambitions, and the societal norms that shape their actions. The author's keen observation of detail and dialogue reflects the complexities of American life, particularly in the context of the early to mid-1900s, offering readers a rich tapestry of human experience ranging from the mundane to the profound.

    The 9978th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Ten North Frederick

    "Ten North Frederick" is a novel that explores the life of Joe Chapin, a wealthy, ambitious lawyer living in Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, during the early 20th century. The story delves into his personal and professional life, including his troubled marriage, his strained relationship with his children, his political aspirations, and his secret love affairs. The narrative is an exploration of social class, ambition, and the pursuit of the American Dream, revealing the emptiness and dissatisfaction that can often lie beneath a seemingly successful and enviable life.

    The 10922nd Greatest Book of All Time