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Appointment in Samarra, Butterfield 8, Hope of Heaven Hardcover – 1934

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (1934)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000NY21BO
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #914,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Scandal in Gibbsville! Nov. 6 2007
By Patrick W. Crabtree - Published on
O'Hara wrote mostly of the daily peccadillos and scandals that transpired in the early 20th century small town of fictional Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, located in the anthracite region of the Keystone State. Gibbsville rarely escapes mention in any of his works.

His best novel of all (my opinion) is 'Appointment in Sammarra' where we are treated, right off, to a young mover and shaker who spontaneously decides to chuck his iced cocktail into his old mossbacked boss's face, giving the old man a black eye. That's the sort of story that it is and I loved every word.

In 'Butterfield 8', an adventurous young and beautiful gal has an affair with an unrepentent executive. He unwisely ticks her off by leaving her some cash to get home on after one particular night of wild carousing and, as the guy's wife is away from the apartment, she lifts his wife's mink coat from the closet, just to cause this scoundrel a panic. It goes downhill from there. The 'Butterfield 8' thing is a reference to a phone number, (for those of us who are aged enough to remember that phone numbers used to begin with 'names' so that we could remember them better).

'Hope of Heaven' is a tale of Hollywood (and obliquely of Gibbsville) and a playwright is the protagonist. And since it's Hollywood, of course there follows plenty of underhandedness, scandal and O'Hara's semi-graphic trademark conveyance.

O'Hara loves to kill off his characters, and not necessarily the ones that you expect to die. Every time he abruptly pulls it off, I find myself rolling in the floor, howling with laughter, mostly at myself for not seeing it coming.

This triad of novelettes is some of John O'Hara's finest work. If you enjoyed Grace Metallious's 'Peyton Place' you'll love O'Hara's work which is additionally injected with shrewdly-scribed humor. This is fine 20th Century American literature, better than 99-percent of contemporary works -- it is timeless because O'Hara's characters have existed in every society throughout every era of time.

See my listmania lists for more great recommendations.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
O'Hara's big three - wonderful May 31 2010
By G. Blake - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hadn't read "Heaven" but saw the movie "Butterfield 8" years ago. Am greatly enjoying the book "Appointment in Samarra." I didn't appreciate his works earlier. The detailed slice of life from the time just after the depression began in 1929 is fascinating. He wrote as life is lived. He didn't color coat everything. I heartily recommend the book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Appointment in Samarra Nov. 18 2011
By J.L. Ozzard - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very satisfied with the delivery time. The book was advertised as used, and it was published in 1934, but other than being yellowed it was in good condition and did not affect the readability. After reading Steinbeck I appreciated O'Hara. JLO

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John O'Hara at the plate three times and goes 3 for 3. Aug. 30 2015
By Percy Dovetonsils - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great purchase! Three in one!
Appointment at Samarra - The best of the 3 by far. Although written in the Depression Era of the 1930's, it is timely today. The characters are timeless, real and people that you might know. Every town has them. Suspenseful and insightful.
BUtterfield 8 - 1930's NYC. All the speakeasys and the mingling of class is there. The movie with Elizabeth Taylor cannot touch the real book in it's richness, the movie is not even a Cliff Note job. Drama, obsession, confusion; again could be of today as far as the characters go, yet enter the world of 1930's NYC.
Hope of Heaven - Interesting and the closest to a detective story that John O'Hara has written. Hollywood at the B level. Who is who? Who is what? Fascinating fog to try and cut through.
gorgeous but depressing July 17 2013
By dion macellari - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John O'Hara the underknown literary master of the 1930s is at the height of his powers here with "Butterfield 8" and his masterpiece "Appointment in Samarra." This ain't no summer romp but O'Hara does tragedy better than most anybody. This is my third or fourth time reading "Samarra" and it did not disappoint. And hey, it's short! You can knock it out in a couple evenings. 'nuff said. Butterfield 8 is exquisite also.

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