The Last Hurrah an engaging story of an engaging man.
A life-long, old-style Irish politician, Frank Skeffington is seeking his fourth term as mayor of the city he loves.
The Last Hurrah by Edwin O’Connor
Little, Brown, 1956. 427 pages. 1956 bestseller #2. My grade: B.
Nobody can do personal, on-the-pavement campaigning like Frank.
He’s kind, generous, and corrupt.
With all his opponents united behind one political novice, Frank expects a tough campaign, but he expects to win.
Though surrounded by loyal henchmen, Skeffington is lonely. He asks his nephew, Adam, to come with him on various campaign appearances to see how big city politics is played by masters of the game.
Adam gets to see Skeffington at his best and to hear — often from his Uncle’s own lips — stories of him at his worst.
Best of all, he gets to hear Skeffington’s straight-faced double entendres that his uncle’s loyal but dull henchmen don’t understand.
Beneath the marvelous human story, Edwin O’Connor sneaks in some analysis of American politics.
From a critic who admits to finding Skeffington charming, readers learn why people like Skeffington flourished, and why they died out. O’Connor reveals the ugliness so naturally, the novel flows as effortlessly as Irish storytelling.
Easy reading, some laugh-out-loud lines, and historical insights make this novel one you’ll enjoy regardless of your politics.
© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni