John O’Hara’s, “Hope of Heaven,” might very well be the best book I have read about the old Hollywood of the 30’s, and quite possibly because it does not concentrate on movie stars, but a novelist, turned screenplay writer, Jim Malloy, and a cast of characters who have nothing to do with the movie business.

After having read it, I can honestly say that I don’t even know if this book has a climax and it definitely does not have an ending because too many of the characters are still searching for what they want out of life. Besides being superbly written, this book has an abundance of what I consider critical to any great novel… Well defined, fascinating characters… Right down to the waiters who have only a line or two. They are beyond memorable.

Few, if any books, have this many great characters, especially a relatively short book like “Hope for Heaven.” Peggy Henderson, the on and off girlfriend of Jim, is so completely fascinating, and real, that her unpredictability is so charming, horrifying, and funny, that it is maybe one of the truest testaments to female youth that I have ever read (and that includes Gloria in another O’Hara book, Bufferfield 8).

Mr. O’Hara has taken a telescope to the Hollywood of the 30’s, and created a great book. A book I could not put down. A book that doesn’t deserve 5 stars, but simply labeled a classic.51fk-vjejjL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_


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