COVID-19 Update

September 25, 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 by  John O'hara - Hardcover - Book Club Edition - 1961 - from Sparkle Books (SKU: 005839)

Appointment In Samarra

Click for full-size.

Appointment In Samarra

by O'hara, John

  • Used
  • hardcover
Very Good+/Good+
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Calgary , Alberta
Item Price:
$8.42 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: Harcourt Brace, 1961 This Is The Bmoc Facsimile Edition, Copyright 1961, In Very Good Plus Condition, Black Boards, Gilt Titles, Yellow Green Topstain, No Writing Or Marks, A Few Small Bumps To Board Edges, But Very Good Corners And Binding. Errata Slip Included. The Dust Jacket Is Good + Only Due To A Missing Three Inch Long Vee From The Rear Panel As Well As A Crumpled Upper Front Panel. This Was O'hara's First Novel Which Received High Praise And Still Merits Reading.


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


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
O'hara, John
Book condition
Used - Very Good+
Jacket condition
Quantity available
Book Club Edition
Harcourt Brace
Place of Publication
New York
Date published
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:

The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
Errata: aka Errata Slip A piece of paper either laid in to the book correcting errors found in the printed text after being...[more]
An exact copy of an original work. In books, it refers to a copy or reproduction, as accurate as possible, of an original...[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
Indicates that the affected part of the book has been impacted in such a way so as to cause a flattening, indention, or light...[more]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]

This Book’s Categories