Oh, Johnny: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Mar 24, 2009 - Fiction - 240 pages
2 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jim Lehrer's Tension City.

A talented athlete, Johnny Wrigley believes that someday he will play major league baseball. But his life unexpectedly takes a detour. In April 1944, Johnny is a newly minted marine on a troop train heading west for California, where he will be shipped overseas to fight in the Pacific Theater. At a brief stop in Wichita, Johnny gets off the train and falls in love with the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. In a storeroom at the station, they share an intimacy that Johnny will treasure for the next two years at war—and beyond.

In Peleliu and Okinawa, nothing prepares Johnny for the terrible events that will haunt him forever. During fierce combat, inspiring thoughts of Betsy Luck (the name Johnny has given his Kansas love) keep him safe. Two years later, Johnny is back in Wichita, searching for the girl he wants to marry. But fate has different plans for Johnny, his long-dreamed-of baseball career, and the girl whose memory helped him survive.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - luvlylibrarian - LibraryThing

Listened to the NLS Talking Book version for my library's bookclub. The book was short and sad, but had a note of hope at the end. It really helps people understand the horrors of war and the lasting effects it can have on the young people who carry out their orders. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A young ex-Marine pursues two ideals, a major-league baseball career and a young woman he knows only as Betsy, in Lehrer's bittersweet 19th novel (Mack to the Rescue, 2008, etc.).It's 1944, and Johnny ... Read full review

Selected pages


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About the author (2009)

Oh, Johnny is Jim Lehrer’s nineteenth novel. He is also the author of two memoirs and three plays and is the executive editor and anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. He and his novelist wife, Kate, have three daughters.

From the Hardcover edition.

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