“beginnings” in The Instrument by John O’Hara

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 23, 2007

·     O’Hara’s first two chapters (50 pages) are a nice setup for what (I hope) will follow. Interesting characters are introduced, the primary event takes place (the production of Yank Lucas’ play), and a whole range of expectations of interesting story line are established. There has been no mention of what the “instrument” is. ·     first paragraph … “Yank Lucas fell asleep late one night and left the gas burning on the kitchen range. … when the water boiled over … extinguished the flame … the odor of gas … Jiggs knocked on the door.”  ·     I read The Instrument because Sol Stein quoted this first line in his Stein on Writing. Would that Mr. Stein had commented on the rest of the book.


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