Vicki's Reviews > Appointment in Samarra

Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara
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's review
Jan 11, 2015

really liked it
Read from August 11 to 16, 2011

Appointment in Samarra vividly traces Julian English's calamitous and seemingly inexplicable path of destruction in 72 hours during the Christmas holidays of 1930. In his early thirties and from an affluent family, college educated, manager of a thriving Cadillac dealership in small town Pennsylvania, married to an attractive and admired woman - there would seem to be nothing significant to explain English's reckless behaviour and decisions that precipitiously eradicate his professional, personal and even spiritual footing in a matter of days. Even more so than Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry's 1947 novel that captures a doomed character's similarly compressed and irrevocable slide into oblivion, Appointment in Samarra is a breathless read, where one simply can't look away until it's over.

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