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Appointment in Samarra: A Novel by John…
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Appointment in Samarra: A Novel (original 1934; edition 2003)

by John O'Hara

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1,037308,137 (3.88)47
Member:OWSLibrary
Title:Appointment in Samarra: A Novel
Authors:John O'Hara
Info:Vintage (2003), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 272 pages
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Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara (1934)

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English (29)  Spanish (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Even though it falls short of its potential to be a great novel (a hybrid of The Great Gatsby and The Stranger), it's still worth reading.

Gatsby's generation came back from a war looking for a ship that had already sailed; this generation was the partying on that ship and failed to understand their good fortune. ( )
  DinoReader | Aug 21, 2014 |
As you read you uncover the peculiarities of the protagonist - not in the usual manner, but through other character's thoughts of him. The action is only over three days during which Julian commits impulsive acts that ruin his reputation with everyone important in his life. The manner of the writing redeems this book. It is a novel novel. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Spend a while with the declining upper class of a small American city at the end of the Jazz Age! Keep company with Julian English, boy lush and adulterous charmer, as he careens his was to self destruction! Pity his clever and loving wife, worry about that quiet mobster in the corner, and sympathize with his coworker, who sees the business going down the drain. Doesn't sound like an attractive project, but this is a compelling and ultimately heart-breaking book, which you knew it was going to be all along. What's striking is how real and how contemporary the characters seem, despite their 1920's language and attitudes. The writing is brilliant, clear as glass to let the story and the characters take over. And the plot is brilliant too, full of twists and turns and blind alleys, but still driving inexorably to that fatal appointment. This is a compelling read, and an underestimated American classic. ( )
  annbury | Jun 30, 2014 |
Contains one of my all time favorite moments in fiction, the scene early on in which Julian English throws a cocktail into the face of another partygoer at the country club and thus begins his self-destruction.

You know, I hadn't thought til this very moment just how much the film American Beauty owes to this O'Hara masterpiece. Both chronicle men who, for reasons even they cannot truly fathom, find themselves embarked on a path leading to their own destruction.

For some reason, I've also never forgotten the name of the street he lives on: Lantenengo Street.

If you haven't read Appointment in Samarra, stop what you're doing right now and pick up a copy. ( )
  BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
Meh... hardly 'the real F. Scott Fitzgerald.' This book has its moments, but it never really came together for me. The whole organized crime middle class ennui equation doesn't work out. Judy's going to murder me for saying these things, but whatever; she slams the books I like too. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John O'Haraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
von Schab, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Our story opens in the mind of Luther L. (L. for LeRoy) Fliegler, who is lying in his bed, not thinking of anything, but just aware of sounds, conscious of his own breathing, and sensitive to his own heartbeats.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375719202, Paperback)

A twentieth-century classic, Appointment in Samarra is the first and most widely read book by the writer Fran Leibowitz called “the real F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville social circuit is electrified with parties and dances, where the music plays late into the night and the liquor flows freely. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English—the envy of friends and strangers alike. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction. Appointment in Samarra brilliantly captures the personal politics and easy bitterness of small-town life. It is John O’Hara’s crowning achievement, and a lasting testament to the keen social intelligence of a major American novelist.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville social circuit is electrified with parties and dances, where the music plays late into the night and the liquor flows freely. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English -- the envy of friends and strangers alike. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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