Oh, Johnny: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $4.52 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Oh, Johnny: A Novel has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book in good condition with typical stamps and markings. Pages are clean and the binding is tight. *NOTE* Stock photo may not represent the actual book for sale.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Oh, Johnny: A Novel Hardcover – March 24, 2009


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.48
$0.01 $0.01

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400067626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400067626
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,913,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PBS NewsHour anchor Lehrer mixes baseball, WWII and romance in his 19th novel to mostly pleasant results. Even though Johnny Wrigley, from smalltown Lafayette, Md., is being scouted by the Detroit Tigers, he enlists in the Marines in April 1944 to kill Japs for America. En route to deployment, Johnny meets Betsy, a striking but naïvely religious doughnut girl, falls instantly in love and seduces her. He vows he'll return for her, a quixotic obsession that sustains him through grittily rendered combat scenes in the Pacific. At the war's end, Johnny returns with marriage on his mind. But Betsy can't be found, and Johnny ends up in Baltimore with a menial bus company job and his big league dreams rekindled. But those, like his romantic fantasy, remain out of reach. Though Johnny's obsessive love for Betsy is a bit hard to swallow, his troubled postwar reintegration is nicely handled and gives readers insight into a Greatest Generation leatherneck. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

High-school baseball star Johnny Wrigley’s talents earn him a professional baseball contract, but Johnny enlists in the marines to kill Japanese before joining his heroes, center fielders Pete Reiser and Joe DiMaggio, in the major leagues. On a troop train headed for the West Coast, at a 30-minute stop in Wichita, Johnny meets and falls in love with a girl he knows only as Betsy. What he calls Betsy luck helps him survive the bloody invasions of Peleliu and Okinawa, and as soon as he’s discharged, Johnny heads for Wichita to find Betsy and marry her. He fails and must try to settle into civilian life and resume his baseball career, but the horrors he’s seen make it harder than he expected. Later, he does find Betsy and must confront the realization that time and experiences have changed them both. PBS anchor Lehrer has crafted a profoundly sad and beautiful story of promise and hope crushed by war, of youthful infatuation, and of the wholesale carnage of World War II that wounded much of a generation worldwide. --Thomas Gaughan

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the opening scene of Jim Lehrer’s Oh, Johnny, we encounter nineteen-year-old Johnny Wrigley aboard a marine troop train bound for California during the last year of World War II. Johnny’s eagerness for action finds an outlet when the train stops briefly in Kansas: he meets a beautiful volunteer named Betsy who shares a few passionate moments with him in a supply room. Instantly smitten, Johnny keeps his vision of Betsy close to his heart as he faces fierce fighting, death, and destruction in the coming months, determined to find her once the war is over. The need to find Betsy even overtakes his passion for baseball, the only thing he’s ever really wanted to do.

Despite a bit of a clunky beginning, Oh, Johnny turned out to be an intriguing book with the poignant message that a soldier’s life will be irretrievably altered after war. As the story progresses, the characterizations gain depth, and we can begin to see the motivations for Johnny’s actions. In fact, the entire style of writing gains depth as Johnny’s relationships with his mother, boss, and doctor all help him to learn to deal with the horrific carnage he’s witnessed. Johnny’s feelings of being at loose ends after the war is probably very accurate to how many men found themselves. There’s a definite coming- of-age element within the story, and you’ll be left thinking of Johnny and his comrades long after you finish this book.

Thank you to the Historical Novel Society for providing a copy of this book for review.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By thomas truesdale on December 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read most of Jim Lehrer's books, and this is one of his best. A great story and interesting characters makes it hard to put this book down.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By PAL on February 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not enjoyable for me at all, in fact I skipped over some of the descriptions. It does give you a birds eye view of what the military goes through in a war and how it affects them afterwards but I thought the plot was shallow.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
Oh, Johnny is the story of an up-and-coming baseball player who joins the military and is shipped out. Just before leaving, he meets a sweet girl at the station and they have a moment of passion together. He spends all of his time serving thinking of her and using her memory to keep him going. When he comes back, things are not quite what he expected them to be.

The premise of this story is good, but it is not well written. The main character is very unrealistic, and laughably naive about everything to the point that he comes off as slightly mentally deficient. There are long rambling stretches that seem to only be there to show the passage of time, but they're boring stretches. I did not enjoy this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
This was Lehrer's 19th published novel. It is not one of his best. He says this is a novel & purely a work of fiction. However, it reads as a combination memoir or tribute to an old fallen friend.
This is a very low-key story. It's about an ordinary high school boy from Maryland who enlists in the Marines to fight in World War II. He loses his 17-year old virginity in a fluke 30-minute rest stop in Wichita, Kansas on a train heading west to California. Lehrer writes of this coupling in just a few words & it took just a few moments of real time. However, it haunted this young man for years to come. He fell head over heels in love with this girl. He didn't know her real name. He wrote imaginary letters to her nearly a mile long, all throughout the war. Conversely, he wrote just 11 short letters home to his single Mom.
He lived through the horrors of some of the worst of the Pacific campaign. Lehrer describes those horrors in a very low-key, non-garish way. Johnny believes he survives because the girl is his good luck charm.
After the war, he sets out for Kansas to find her. He can't. Before the war, he was a star baseball player for his high school. He was even scouted by the pros. Back home in Maryland, he was signed to a minor league contract with a Class B team for the Detroit Tigers. He became a star, batting .374 & fielding like a demon. Then he crashed headlong into the outfield fence & ruined his arm & shoulder & his baseball career ended.
The rest of the book describes how he copes with this loss, how he finds angels to give his life new direction when he's lost, & the O'Henryesque twist towards the end. The last few pages include a truncated version of the rest of his life.
This book contains no fireworks. A few flares, which populate most average lives. Johnny is a nice guy. Would this book have been published by Random House if the author wasn't Jim Lehrer? I tend to think the answer is no.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?