Review: Who the Hell Is Pansy O’Hara – The Fascinating Stories Behind …
I’m sure that you have read books and wondered what inspired the author to write them. Who the Hell is Pansy O’Hara: The Fascinating Stories Behind 50 of the World’s Best-Loved Books by Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy provides context for 50 books. Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy present profiles and the lives lived by the 50 authors included in their book, and you are transported into their lives and get a better sense of where they are coming from.
The whole course of action began as a discussion over dinner, when the question was asked, “What is the special ingredient that creates a truly spectacular piece of literature or a work with lasting allurement?” They realized that to answer the question they would have to delve deeper. To choose the 50 books, Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy started off with books they loved and they expanded by asking their friends and colleagues for recommendations. They also talked to professionals in publishing, book specialists and looked at book sales and “awareness figures in various countries.” They conducted extensive research and found that the special elements were passion and struggle.
Books mentioned among the 50 best-loved books include:
Pride and Prejudice Oliver Twist Jane Eyre War and Peace Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Great Gatsby Winnie-the-Pooh The Grapes of Wrath Casino Royale Nineteen Eight-four Catcher in the Rye To Kill a Mockingbird The Godfather Jaws Bridget Jones Diary Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone The Da Vinci Code The English Dictionary Guinness World Record Roots A fleeting History of Time
Many of the authors whose lives were delved into had life altering experiences, and many of them used their work experiences to craft the best tales building realistic characters. Frankenstein was inspired by a nightmare, Oliver Twist was an act of social justice and rebellion against an unfair system. Erich Remarque drew on a lot of his experience when he wrote the war story All Quiet on the Western Front. As you read Who the Hell is Pansy O’Hara, you get a glimpse into the time the author lived in. Not surprisingly, most of them were voracious readers, though they were not necessarily great students. And, it often took them a while to find their true vocation. They kept at it and faced numerous rejections.
For me, reading about the authors mentioned in Who the Hell is Pansy O’Hara shows that good things come to those who persist. I recommend this book. For those who are wondering who Pansy O’Hara is, Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind was originally called Pansy O’Hara.