Appointment in Samarra

  • by John O'Hara, Charles McGrath (introduction)
  • Narrated by Christian Camargo
  • 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the great novels of small-town American life, Appointment in Samarra is John O'Hara's crowning achievement.
In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction.
Brimming with wealth and privilege, jealousy and infidelity, O'Hara's iconic first novel is an unflinching look at the dark side of the American dream - and a lasting testament to the keen social intelligence of a major American writer.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Quite good, but not a classic

O’Hara thought he was better than Hemingway…he wasn’t. Yet this novel has its points, examining the power of society and belief. I did not find this one of the best novels of the twentieth century, but it is more than respectable. The power of the story is the all too obvious inability of humans to be themselves. Hemingway liked this novel, which makes sense. Hemingway and O’Hara examined the same issue (society vs. individuality) from utterly different perspectives and both valued truth. Both perspectives are interesting making this, for me, a good read, if not a must read. I did not find this a downer as the point is to avoid reaching your end without ever being your true self.

The narration is good, but not great, occasionally losing intensity necessary to the story.
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- Michael "I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read."

Book is a downer.

This book is often considered a classic. It has a catchy start and end with a Persian folk tale. Everything in between is depressing.

The entire story transpires in less than a week as a salesman destroys himself by stupid misbehavior during periods of heavy drinking. Nothing in this book is cheerful. From start to finish it is a downer.

Pure Schadenfreude. If you get pleasure from the misfortune of others you will enjoy this book.

I probably should have rated the performance as five star because the reader made a disgusting person seem more disgusting, but also so blind to his faults as to be helpless in a slide to death.

Jim Fuqua
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- Jim Fuqua "Jim"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-19-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio