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John O'Hara

Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara (Vintage 1953 Hardcover Edition)

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For all its excellence as a social panorama and a sketch of a marriage, it is as a picture of a man destroyed by drink and pride that Appointment in Samarra lives frighteningly in the mind’ John Updike

Julian English prides himself a member of his hometown’s social elite, but from the moment he throws a cocktail in the face of a powerful business associate his life spirals out of control, taking his loving but troubled marriage with it.

Following English’s rapid decline and fall, Appointment in Samarra is a fast-paced and blackly comic portrait of 1930s America. O’Hara’s debut novel introduced a prolific new voice to a generation and still stands as one of the great works of American fiction.

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