O'Hara's Choice
Leon Uris
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O'Hara's Choice

Leon Uris
394 pages
October 2003
rated 1 of 5 possible stars

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Leon Urisí final novel (he died in 2003), OíHaraís Choice, is a vast disappointment. The ingredients list on the box of crackers in my kitchen is more readable. Zachary OíHara, the novelís protagonist, is a Marine and the son of a Civil War Marine hero, and is the man the Corps targets to bring them into the nineteenth century. The novelís text includes confusing plot jumps to and from the Civil War, Zacharyís childhood, and his life in the Corps, as well as too much historical background on battle methodology.

The prose is wooden, the history lengthy and itís difficult to place the relevance of everything Uris tells us in this story. His characters, including Zachary and his love interest, Amanda Kerr, are thinly developed and their dialogue frequently unbelievable. Much of the unbelievable dialogue takes place between officers in the Corps, who discuss Marine history and the future of the Corps as if they were working on their doctoral dissertations in the twenty-first century, and not speaking as the sons of farmers and hillbillies who would not have completed a high school education.

The ďchoiceĒ of the title refers to a decision Zachary must make regarding his future (while resolving a family secret from his past), and is a disappointment. After wading through over 600 pages to find out just what that choice is, all I could say by the end was, thank goodness thatís over.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Virginia Williams, 2004

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