COVID-19 Update

September 20, 2020: Biblio is open and shipping orders. Read more here.

Skip to content

Biblio logo: Used, Rare and Collectible Books for Sale

Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library) by John O'Hara - 1st Edition - 1994 - from Sparkle Books (SKU: 006068)

Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)

Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library) by John O'Hara - 1st Edition - 1994 - from Sparkle Books (SKU: 006068)

Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)

by John O'Hara

  • Used
  • near fine
  • hardcover
  • First
Near Fine/Near Fine
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Calgary , Alberta
Item Price:
$8.56 shipping to USA
Standard Delivery: 6 to 12 days

More Shipping Options
Ask Seller a Question

Payment Methods Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Paypal

About This Item

New York: Modern Library, 1994 Modern Library First Thus, First Printing, Full Number Line, Near Fine In Near Fine Unclipped Dust Jacket. John O'hara's First Novel, "It Is By Far In Both Form And Content The Most Fashionable, Most Debonair, Most Cosmetically Literary Of His Books." Fran Lebowitz, Introduction.


At the ripe age of twenty-eight, John O’Hara completed Appointment in Samarra, his first novel, in less than four months. At a similarly quick pace, the events of the book take place in a span of just three days. In this brief time, Appointment in Samarra tells of the increasingly impulsive and self-destructive acts that lead to the main character’s suicide. Julian English, once a high-ranking member of the community of Gibbsville, angers and alienates those close to him, resulting in the rapid decline of his social status. Specific explanations for Julian’s behavior are unclear in the text, though personal insecurities along with his alcoholism undoubtedly play a role. The small-town prejudices of Gibbsville (O’Hara’s fictionalized version of his hometown, Pottsville, Pennsylvania) greatly affect Julian’s demise as well. Omniscient narration works to expose these prejudices via the inner thoughts of various people in the town. The title, Appointment in Samarra, is a reference to W. Somerset Maugham's 1933 retelling of an old story in his play, Sheppey. In the story, which appears as an epigraph for the novel, Death speaks of meeting a merchant in Samarra, informing the reader from the beginning of the novel’s fatal ending. In his foreword to the 1952 reprint, O'Hara says that the working title for the novel was The Infernal Grove. It was not until fellow writer Dorothy Parker showed him the story in Maugham's play that he got the idea for the title Appointment in Samarra. Modern Library ranked Appointment in Samarra 22nd on its list of the “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century.

Read more: Identifying first editions of Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)


Review this book and you'll be entered for a chance to win $50!

(Log-in or create an account first!)

You're rating the book as a work, not the seller or the specific copy you purchased!


Sparkle Books CA (CA)
Bookseller Inventory #
Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)
John O'Hara
Book condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket condition
Near Fine
Quantity available
1st Edition
Modern Library
Place of Publication
New York
Date published
Fiction, American
Bookseller catalogs
8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall

Terms of Sale

Sparkle Books

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.

About the Seller

Sparkle Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2008
Calgary , Alberta
Ask Seller a Question

About Sparkle Books

I search out used books on principle to highlight their value, keep them circulating and out of the landfill (and just because I am compelled to tell people to "read this"!)


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
number line
A series of numbers appearing on the copyright page of a book, where the lowest number generally indicates the printing of that...[more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]

Frequently Asked Questions

This Book’s Categories