“I LOVE YOU? YES, I LOVE YOU. LIKE SAYING I HAVE CANCER."
O'HARA, John. Appointment in Samarra. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1934. Octavo, original pictorial wrappers. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5200.
First edition of O’Hara’s rare first novel, scarce advance review copy in original pictorial wrappers in the design of the eventual dust jacket.
O'Hara's "highly acclaimed first novel explored the disintegration and death of an upper-class inhabitant of a small city" (Kuiper, 830); "an ironic, toughly realistic treatment of the fast country-club set" (Hart, 553). Published August 16, 1934, the work was an immediate and lasting success. A novel tracing the self-destruction of a socially prominent businessman in the fictional town of Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, it established O'Hara's reputation as a writer with a precise eye for telling, realistic detail, and a wonderful ear for dialogue. Both Fitzgerald and Hemingway praised the novel when is came out, with the latter writing in the December 1934 Esquire: "If you want to read a book by a man who knows exactly what he is writing about and has written it marvelously well, read Appointment in Samarra." With "To be published Aug. 16, Price probably 2.50" ink stamped and completed in manuscript on a front flyleaf, and with "Presentation Edition, Not To Be Sold" on a leaf preceding the half title. Bruccoli A2.1.a.
Text clean, spine slightly darkened. A near-fine and scarce advance review copy.