Chosen by Delia Ephron for the WSJ Book Club The writer whom Fran Lebowitz called “the real F. Scott Fitzgerald” makes his Penguin Classics. Originally published in , John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra is still the only American novel I know that begins with a scene of a. The new Penguin edition of Appointment in Samarra does justice to O’ Hara’s first great work, a novel that’s sensual, shattering and unknowable.

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Pretty much my entire adult life I have had people at various times tell me what an amazing novel this is to read.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Why is it often worse to break the rules than to break the law? His decline and fall, over the course of just 72 hours around Christmas, is a matter of too much spending, too much liquor, and a couple of reckless gestures.

I was especially taken with protagonist Julian English’s wife. O’Hara is brilliant in putting you inside the head of the anti-hero and all the people he comes in contact with on his debauched slide to the bottom. We know from the vignette how this story is going to end, and at this point I was very interested in how we would get there.

I would sqmarra this to anyone who likes “Breaking Bad” as the two works share the same central theme: The 21 Best Album Re-Issues of Inthe music world saw amazing reissues spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and electronic to pop of all stripes.

Rather like jhn vignette that gives the book its title it’s inexorable yet entirely of the character’s own making. sa,arra

The Savage Grace in John O’Hara’s Classic, ‘Appointment in Samarra’ – PopMatters

Critics consider Appointment in SamarraO’Hara’s first novel, to be his best. You have to finish reading the book or they will take over everything! Literary Fiction Fiction Classics print. So I figured I would start at the beginning and I was certainly not disappointed. Except appoihtment the Hollywood stories, which I think came highly recommended by more than one source.

If a car is the status symbol of consumer society, the salesman -who’s just some salesman, after all- determines who’s who and says what’s what; the cars themselves will be all we have left to hold onto. I have given the narration four stars.

Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara

A remarkably succinct novel about social standing, gender relations, economic disadvantage, sex and death. But here’s John O’Hara, writing over the winter, publishing in ‘ Still, the thing is so soapy that your hands are cleaner after you’ve read it. It was not poisonous, and it got you tight, which was all that was appointkent of it and all that could be said for it.

Return to Book Page. Trivia About Appointment in Sa Still, I ended up with neutral feelings for it. There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the alpointment and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.

He is a member of the town’s most posh country club, and yet he drinks, spends more money than he has and is a rake. The 80 Best Books of Within the three-day time span of the novel, Julian gets drunk several times.

Appointment in Samarra

Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk is a near-perfect success both as a grand statement of solidarity and as a gorgeously wrought, long-overdue story of black life and black love. His alcoholic habits drive him to dismantle every important social relationship in his life until he becomes essentially a social misfit, incapable of decent behavior among his family, friends, peers and colleagues.

The 70 Best Albums of While the digressions could be entertaining, they stalled the narrative so much that, to me, they took away from the story rather than add to it.

I’d like to see how carefully O’Hara really set it up.

Why, he wondered, did he hate Harry Reilly? Julian’s actions precipitated consequences, but each of them were indeed manageable had he done or said the right things.

This novel about class, drinking and sex is fun—and appointmenf smart. Well, here I am, just a few months shy of turning 60 years old, and I have recently discovered the short stories and novels of John O’Hara. Besides, as he aged, he got cranky and “prolix,” as someone once put it, probably Updike. Conscious of the approach of middle age, he fears the attention that both richer and younger men are devoting to his wife.

Er hat kein Mitleid mit Julian, und als Leser ergeht es mir genauso. Our IT gadgets and gizmos do not yet exist, but I recognize in what is said the words and language that shaped my parents, my childhood and myself. The new deluxe Penguin edition of has a vivid red cover with Al Hirschfeld-like cartoon illustrations by Neil Gower.

Please try again later. Please try again later. His second suicidal reverie is after a failed attempt to seduce a woman, the sajarra society reporter. Butterfield 8 is better but has the same issues you found off-putting here. My Years with the Hemingwaysin which Valerie Hemingway states that O’Hara was an author recommended to her by Papa himself but not this title.

Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?