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The best-loved book by the writer whom Fran Lebowitz compared to the author of The Great Gatsby, calling him “the real F. Scott Fitzgerald” 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 if a major American writer.
A Study Guide for John O'Hara's "Appointment in Samarra," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
'O'Hara is the only American writer to whom America presents itself as a social scene in the way it once presented itself to Henry James, or France to Proust' The New York Times When the beautiful, imperious and moneyed Grace Caldwell Tate wants something she goes after it, men included. Her affair scandalises Pennsylvania's elite and she must face the costs to her marriage and the man she really loves. A bestseller on publication in 1949, A Rage to Live is a candid tale of idealists and libertines, tradesmen and crusaders, men of violence and goodwill, and women of fierce strength and tenderness.
A New York Times Bestseller One of People Magazine's Top 10 Books of 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 (Fiction) A Washington Post Bestseller • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller • A USA Today Bestseller • One of Vulture’s 100 Greatest Beach Books Ever • A People Magazine Summer Reading Pick • One of Elle, InStyle, and Marie Claire’s Best of July “Delia Ephron’s Siracusa is a stunning portrait of two marriages coming unraveled during the stress of travel abroad. Insightful and engaging. A must-read!” —Sue Grafton, author of X “Siracusa is an Italian aria, a Greek tragedy and a modern American masterpiece written by Delia Ephron at the height of her powers. This is a story of two complicated marriages, one vulnerable child, and a trip to Italy that changes each of their lives forever. Secrets, lies, love raging, love dying, and the shame of unrealized potential are exposed in detail under the Sicilian sun. And, like the Moro blood oranges that grow there with abandon, the taste is both sour and sweet at once, but the bitterness that remains is not only haunting but unforgettable.” —Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker’s Wife “Siracusa is an unusually crackling, tricky journey into the distant land of other people’s marriages: their secrets, paradoxes, weaknesses, and pleasures. Delia Ephron writes like a warm-blooded Patricia Highsmith, her story’s treachery matched by a deep and easy feel for the various human, imperfect ways that people find themselves bound together, and sometimes painstakingly unbind themselves. An absorbing, tense, and original novel.” —Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings An electrifying novel about marriage and deceit from bestselling author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from one another are exposed and relationships are unraveled. New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. With her inimitable psychological astuteness and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none will see coming.
Hercule Poirot may be on vacation, but a killer isn't. The victim's a hateful tourist despised even by her own children. For the guests at the resort hotel, sympathies are with the murderer, which means a tough job for the Belgian detective.
The author sympathetically portrays the people--miners, shopkeepers, bartenders, collegians, and country club members--of the coal region of his hometown in five novels and more than fifty short stories
Everyone's Day in Samarra, is a twofold allusion: 1) the fable Appointment in Samarra, and 2) the book Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara. It is a dystopian piece that contains violence, battle situations, and historical references with implications for current and future affairs. The underlying science fiction elements and premises provide context for the story. An excerpt follows: Prosperity Way-1 is a narrow lane with islands of filth, few operating businesses, and fewer functional people. There are no dogs, cats, rats, or even birds; protein is protein and cannibalism is not unknown, especially in the all-too-often lean times. Beleaguered former storefronts are marginally boarded with crumbling, rotting scraps of pallet wood. Nearly all the slats meant to secure the abandoned buildings were used long ago for winter barrel fires sporadically tended by the disinherited, disinterested, and numbed. Doorless frames and empty windows gape like hungry mouths and eyeless sockets waiting for sustenance and vision. The few remaining faux businesses nominally serve the officially designated Homeless under grudging NorAm Prosperity Purity Party subsidies, and the Working Poor as their sporadic wages permit. These two insurmountable castes are fluid and interchangeable-once there, always there. Orange lightning rune tattoos are inscribed on the temples of every child born into the castes, indelible and inescapable. The only exceptions are male children chosen to be Purists, NorAm enforcers, who have the ancient, blood-red ichthys tattooed on their foreheads. They are taken from their parents like janissaries to eat meat and learn cruelty at the hands of Masters to better serve the Blue-eyed Masters purportedly pursuing Prosperity and Purity.