Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara is another novel on the Top 150 Novels of the 20th Century list. I’m happy to know this fine novel was recently resurrected by Penguin Books. As many of my readers know, I promote the reading of the great books and authors of our time.
This novel does not disappoint. It is a story about a 30-year-old man living in a small Pennsylvania town with his wife of 4 years in the 1930’s. Julian English, the main character, has a drinking problem, but that is just the tip of the iceberg he creates after making a number of poor, life changing decisions over the Christmas holidays.
Appointment in Samarra is heavily populated with believable small town characters and rich in symbolism. The novel was highly praised by other famous writer’s like Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I enjoyed the book, agree it is well-written, but didn’t like it very much as I found the story depressing.