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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Why can’t we be satisfied, even happy with what we have?

Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. 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.

Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara

Lying beside him is his wife, lying on her right side and enjoying her sleep. Writing after affords us that judgement. L 16, Michael rated it really liked it. For the Supernatural episode, see Appointment in Samarra Supernatural. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.

Feb 15, Margit rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara | : Books

Nov 04, Mike Moore rated it it was amazing. The second event occurs at a roadhouse, where Julian goes with his wife and some friends. November 2nd, 0 Comments. That was the pit of the Depression, and both books are imbued with that time while scarcely mentioning it directly. The narrator, I’m told, is Death. And they get longer — much longer. It was quite a revelation-a Fitzgerald-esque depiction of the 30s jazz age lifestyle complete with snappy dialogue, big parties, heavy drinking and other sorts of dissipation.


Profanity is limited to words that start with “b”: The novel takes place inbut apart from a few passing reference On the back of this novel, Hemingway offered the following blurb: Julien, after too many drinks, decided he had enough.

You better leave me at the corner becuss if my old man. Also, O’Hara’s portrait of the American way of courtship and love peel the gilt veneer off the elite, proving that under all the fancy dress and attitude they are somewhat like you and me. Julian thought and thought about Caroline and Harry, and thought against them, against their being drawn to each other sexually, which was the big thing that mattered.

He has a wife that loves him, his father is a doctor and he is himself johm wealthy car dealer of Cadillacs.

As he wanders from meaningless party to meaningless party, Julian also feels the tightening grip of boredom, and he feels within himself a dull, creeping rot from which the only escapes appear to lie in alcohol and reflexive rebellion. Mi piace pensare che questo ” Appuntamento a Samarra ” sia il giusto punto d’unione fra due grandi libri della letteratura americana del secolo appena trascorso, ovvero ” Il grande Gatsby ” di Fitzgerald e ” Revolutionary Road ” di Yates, due libri con cui condivide molto, dall’ambientazione fino alle vicende raccontate.

And somehow, the hollow comport maintains itself, even with the aberrant scandals that seem so much part and parcel to the lifestyle: He was a jerk, himself. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. What is the meaning of Samarra?

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

By the end of the novel Julian has without consciously meaning to begun burning bridges to the life he believes he wants in Gibbsville. But he dissuades himself, reminding himself that Harry has loaned him quite a bit of money to pull Julian out of a pinch at the Cadillac dealership. 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.


BUtterfield 8 became an Oscar-winning film, and Pal Joey found a prosperous second life as a Broadway musical. The last day in the life of Julian English, just as the Great Depression is beginning to be felt.

But when she was sitting down across the table from him she leaned forward with her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands, and that loosened the dress so that whenever she made a move he could see the nipples of her breasts. October 18th, 6 Comments. Appointment in Samarra is about the downward spiral of a promising young man. May 04, Jenn Ravey rated it really liked it. Our IT gadgets and gizmos do not yet exist, haar I recognize in what is said the words and language that shaped my parents, my childhood and myself.

The first paragraph is frank and written in the kind of clarity I find very attractive: Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to samarr and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?

John, thanks for explaining what that upper-case U means! 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.

Appointment in Samarra

In the first of the two scenes, after Caroline’s temporary departure, he places a gun in his mouth:. Losses, Journeys, and Ascensions: And unlike Lee, I much preferred this to BUtterfield 8.

The epigraph that begins the novel is this: