Books: Our Town

A FAMILY PARTY (64 pp.]−;John O'Hara;−Random House ($1.95).

John O'Hara's talent as a novelist runs to stenographic reporting and, as any reader of his bestselling Ten North Frederick knows, he reports most expertly on Pennsylvania small towns whose very ordinary people all seem to lead extraordinary sex lives. O'Hara fans can now get, between hard covers, one of his minor magazine stories that proves that he can exercise his talent with his left hand. It also proves that he can suppress—at least for the space of 64 pages—his obsessive preoccupation with sex.

A Family Party purports to be a "stenographic report" of a...

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