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Meet One Of The Saddest Couples In Literature

I’ve got to admit that I really like Appointment in Samarra.

Knowing very little about the novel before I started, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy O’Hara’s writing style, as well as the story.

If you enjoy a novel based on what’s essentially small-town gossip among a bunch of country clubbers, then you’ll probably appreciate Appointment in Samarra.

Here’s how O’Hara describes how his main character, Julian English, met his wife.

“When Caroline Walker fell in love with Julian English she was a little tired of him. That was in the summer of 1926, one of the most unimportant years in the history of the United States, and the year in which Caroline Walker was sure her life had reached a pinnacle of uselessness.”

Sounds like a real winner of a couple, eh?

The tone of that passage, and O’Hara’s description of Caroline’s attitude toward her husband, perfectly fits the overall feel of the novel.

English is a bit of a sad sack. He’s had plenty of opportunity, but his lack of self-control takes him down a strange path of self-destruction–and a lot of it is brutally, awkward self-destruction. This novel has quite a few Michael Scott-ish cringeworthy moments.

More on Appointment in Samarra on Thursday.

It’s a great, easy-to-read novel so far.

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on adrivit.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014
  2. 1banjo #

    Some authors have contempt for their characters, others have disdain. O’Hara is the former and Alice Monroe the latter. Nabokov’s contempt was the amused variety.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014
  3. Mom #

    I have never heard of this book until you mentioned that it was “next up.” Might have to add this one to my pile. I’m in the middle of “Nothing New Under the Sun” by Bacchelli. I’m liking it. Sounds like this would be similar

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014
  4. Now I remember the major problem I had with the books on the list– there are so many sad ones!!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014
    • Almost all of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2014
    • Mom #

      Haha Mutant Supermodel (love the name btw) writers do tend to love the dark painful underbelly of life. I think many get “lighter” in their careers as they go along…if they write beyond the first successful one…because as their own demons are released, they find there really is more inside of them to create with and share.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2014
  5. Love this book. Hope you continue to like it and look forward to hearing more of your thoughts. Makes me want to read it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014
  6. Jetagain #

    Thank you for reading this book. From your description, I know enough to never look between it’s covers. This is really not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014
    • Interesting. I love it, but to each his own. I scorn many a book that others love.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2014
  7. That is such a great description.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2014

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  1. Book #74: Appointment in Samarra | 101 Books

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