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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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1,170336,910 (3.87)70
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 (32)  Spanish (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I saw a recommendation for this book. I think it compares favorably to the Great Gatsby and other F. Scott Fitzgerald books. It is interesting how just one drunken incident leads to Julian's downfall. It seems like such a long time ago when men filled out women's dance cards at social events. I thought O'Hara presented the woman's point of view perhaps better than Fitzgerald ever did. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is a fairly depressing tale of the dissolute upper middle class in the United States in the late 1920s. Alcoholism, social hypocrisy, and dishonesty seem to be the predominant traits of the country club set of characters. Not a pretty picture! Well written, but depressing. ( )
  hemlokgang | Nov 19, 2015 |
Julian English seems to have everything: a gorgeous (and smart) wife, a good job, wealth and glamour. But his actions at a party one night cause his near-perfect life to begin unraveling, and readers soon see that his reality is quite far from perfect.

O'Hara was a contemporary of and often compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and truthfully I was often comparing this story in my head with The Great Gatsby. Oddly enough, I may even have liked it better. Maybe because their glitzy country club life was a little more small-town than New York, maybe because I felt like the characters had foibles that I could forgive a little more than Gatsby's. Certainly no one is on a pedestal in this story, which is introduced by the short story "Appointment in Samarra" by W. Somerset Maugham and addresses the inevitability of fate. Though the essential action takes place over three days of Christmas 1930, many times we get a glimpse of past events in several characters' lives, helping us see how everything came together in just this way. I didn't always like what happened but couldn't imagine things ending up any other way, and that's about the highest compliment I can give a writer. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 18, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John O'Haraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schab, Karin vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:56 -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)

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