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On the Stairs

by Henry Blake Fuller

On the Stairs contrasts the lives of two men. Johnny McComas is practical, ambitious, and methodical. His rise in the business world to the presidency of the Mid-Continent National Bank seems predestined. Raymond Prince is idealistic, dreamy, and cultured. His economic failure seems as certain as Johnny McComas' success, for his interests are legion, but he does nothing well. From their student days at Grant's Private Academy through some forty years of their adult lives their dramas are acted before a splendid Chicago setting. Yet, Fuller is more interested in development of the human character than in the development of the city. While he has created a graphic view of Chicago society from 1873 to 1916, it comes as a by-product of his in-depth analyses of McComas and Prince, and sometimes lacks the perspective needed for a novel of this scope.-- Book Review Digest, 1918

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