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A Rage to Live

scrambledbrain posted 4/13/2020 14:11 PM

Anybody read this book by John OíHara?

One of the starkest and most tragic adultery sequences Iíve ever encountered.

Just wondering.

waitedwaytoolong posted 4/14/2020 20:07 PM

I looked for the book, but not available in a digital format. The movie however is on you tube. The wife got what she deserved in the end

scrambledbrain posted 4/15/2020 13:30 PM


It's a long book and I think the movie kind of dumbed it down too much (Liz Taylor, though OMG). The female lead is much more multidimensional than is portrayed in the film.

The infidelity part pops up almost out of nowhere, but is the core thread of the whole plot. In the book -- a perfect wife, with an ideal husband falls into a purely PA with a nasty womanizer/woman hater.

Husband immediately banishes her. No rhyme or reason, no real remorse; only tragedy. Really struck me. Like a lot of stories here.

It all makes me so sad. But like Dylan once said "It's life and life only".


waitedwaytoolong posted 4/15/2020 13:41 PM

I had a feeling that with the book 700 pages much had to be cut out.

Did she have no remorse? In the movie she seemed destroyed as she knew that was her chance at love with her husband.

How did the book end.

It was Suzanne Pleshette though :)

scrambledbrain posted 4/15/2020 19:40 PM

The book is about the decline from prominence of a family dynasty in a fictional capital of Pennsylvania.

Spoiler alert aside, the incredibly charming daughter of the patriarch is the subject of crude and seemingly unwanted advances from a local letch. Eventually she succumbs and fully engages.

When her husband finds out, it's reads like a post from JFO. She begs him to stay. Offers him a hall pass. He does the 180.

Immediately thereafter, both he and his little boy get infantile paralysis and both die in her presence.

She gathers herself. The POSOM comes back from WWI and tries to lure her back. She rejects him and he meets a bad end. She goes on to be rejected herself by another lover, and then the family bails to NY.

O'Hara is a disturbing writer, very triggering. Every one of his books has female infidelity as a core theme.

His stuff is very compelling, but paints the world in terms that I can only understand in my darkest hour.

[This message edited by scrambledbrain at 7:42 PM, April 15th (Wednesday)]

waitedwaytoolong posted 4/16/2020 15:35 PM

Definitely different than the book, but the underlying theme the same. I actually enjoyed the movie as unlike most movies and books that justifies the wife cheating as the husband is some kind of scumbag, this didnít. He was a decent guy who didnít deserve it

I also liked the fact that she suffered real consequences having her husband leave, and the whole town witness her humiliation.

In the book, how did she react to the death of her husband. Iím sure she was crushed about her child.

scrambledbrain posted 4/16/2020 17:50 PM

Thanks for the continued interest, WW2L. These are my first posts. One day, I'll share my story...

First, the title of the book comes from a specific stanza of Alexander Pope's "Epistle to a Lady", which is worth a read in and of itself.

The heroine of Rage comes across as a perfect woman. Beautiful, graceful, self-aware, generous. The solicitation by her AP opens up something inside of her, bringing out FOO issues, etc. FWIW, I'm not big on child psychology as a root cause of adultery. I reckon most episodes stem from a desire for gratification meeting associated opportunity.

She takes the death of her husband and son with complete stoicism. She understands what she's done, and the consequences, but it fails to move her -- at least outwardly. NOTHING can rattle her, and it is quite unnerving.

I read a ton of O'Hara. till I couldn't any more. He is a compelling story teller, but seems to conclude that most everyone is out for themselves and will accept great harm to those they love to achieve their ends.

He's probably right, but one can only stand to read so much of that sort of thing.


waitedwaytoolong posted 4/16/2020 19:57 PM

She definitely wasnít stoic in the movie. Down right distraught. Any of the books to recommend?

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