Appointment In Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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.

First Edition Identification and Notes

Harcourt, Brace & Company first published Appointment in Samarra in 1934. Bound in black cloth, the 301-page first edition states “First Edition” on the copyright page. The dust jacket has the original price of $2.50 printed on the front flap and “Recent Fiction” printed on the back panel (instead of reviews). While true first editions of the novel have sold for upwards of $12,500, first editions signed by O’Hara have sold for twice that.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Faber and Faber published the first UK edition of Appointment in Samarra in 1935. 

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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Quintessential Rare Books, LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Fine
Edition
1st Edition
Item Price
$25,000.00

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Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1934 First Edition, First Printing SIGNED by John O'Hara on a laid in signature. An outstanding First Issue dustjacket that is vibrant in color with slight wear to the spine. This ORIGINAL dustjacket has the publisher's $2.50 printed price present on the front flap. The book is in fantastic condition and appears UNREAD. The… Read more
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$25,000.00
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'hara, John

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Quintessential Rare Books, LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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$12,500.00

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Harcourt Brace and Company, 1934 First Edition, First Printing with the words "first edition" printed on the copyright page. This original First Issue dustjacket with "Recent Fiction" on top back panel of dustjacket is rich in color with minor wear to the edges. The book is excellent shape. The binding is tight, and the boards are crisp with a hint… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by OHara, John

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Quintessential Rare Books, LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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$7,500.00

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Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934 First Edition, First Printing. A stunning First Issue dustjacket that has benefitted from professional restoration. The end result is a beautiful dustjacket that is rich in color with no chips or pieces missing. The book is in fabulous condition. The binding is tight, and the boards are crisp with minor wear to the edges. The… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Quintessential Rare Books, LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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$6,000.00

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Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1934 First Edition, First Printing with the First Issue dustjacket with "Recent Fiction" printed on the back panel of dustjacket instead of reviews. This original sophisticated dustjacket is vibrant in color with NO chips or tears. The book is nice shape. The binding is tight, with slight wear to the boards. The pages are clean with… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'HARA John

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Bauman Rare Books
Published
1934
Edition
First Edition
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$5,500.00

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1934. First Edition . O’HARA, John. Appointment in Samarra. New York: Harcourt, Brace, (1934). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. $5500.First edition of O’Hara’s first novel.John O’Hara’s acclaimed first novel was “an instant success when it was published in 1934… tightly constructed and fast-paced, it detailed the three-day slide to self-destruction of a young man named Julian English…… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'Hara, John

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1934
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$5,500.00

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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934. First edition of the author's first book. Octavo, original cloth. Fine with a contemporary bookplate to the inner gutter, in the first issue dust jacket with a few small closed tears and general wear. A very nice example. One of the great novels of small-town American life, Appointment in Samarra is John… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'HARA John

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Bauman Rare Books
Published
1934
Edition
First Edition
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$5,200.00

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1934. First Edition . 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… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'HARA, John.

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Jeffrey H. Marks Rare Books
Published
[1934].
Condition
Tiny ms. ink date (10/25/34) on the upper corner of the front free endpaper; a few of the usual light marks to the black cloth;
Edition
First edition.
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$4,500.00

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New York:: Harcourt Brace and Company,, [1934].. First edition.. publisher's cloth in dust jacket.. Tiny ms. ink date (10/25/34) on the upper corner of the front free endpaper; a few of the usual light marks to the black cloth; else very good or better. The dust jacket has a few tiny chips and some light overall tanning. … Read more
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'Hara, John

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1934
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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934. First edition of the author's first book. Octavo, original cloth. Fine with a contemporary bookplate to the inner gutter, in the first issue dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. A very nice example. One of the great novels of small-town American life, Appointment in Samarra is John O'Hara's crowning achievement.… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'HARA, John.

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Peter Harrington
Published
1934
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$3,627.75

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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, , 1934. Octavo. Finely bound by the Chelsea Bindery, titles and decoration to spine gilt, raised bands, single rule to boards, twin rule to turn ins, burgundy endpapers, gilt edges. An excellent copy in a fine binding. First edition, first printing in lovely fine binding.
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'HARA, John

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1934
Condition
Good
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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934. Hardcover. Good. First edition. Errata slip tipped-in. A good copy with the paper over the front hinge slightly repaired, and some of the usual smudging or light stains on the glazed front board, a sound good or a little better copy lacking the dustwrapper. Ownership signature of Anthony Soma ("A. Soma")… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Quintessential Rare Books, LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1934 First Edition, First Printing with the words "first edition" printed on the copyright page. This ORIGINAL second issue dustjacket has the $2.50 printed price present with some wear to the spine and edges. The binding of the book is tight with light wear to the boards. The pages are clean with NO writing,… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA
Published
1934
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1st Edition
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New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1934 First edition, first printing, with the publisher's errata slip. Publisher's black cloth, lettered in lemon yellow; in the original first issue pictorial dust jacket designed by Alfred Maurer, priced at $2.50 and with "Recent Fiction" to the rear panel, with the iconic deco design of a car driving through a hilled landscape in… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Sanctuary Books
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. Cloth; dust jacket; 8vo; pp. 301. First printing, with tipped-in errata slip. Second issue dust jacket by Maurer, with reviews on rear panel. Spine tips and lettering rubbed; waterspots on the cloth; ownership signature and faint erased remains of an inscription on… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra (w/author's signature)

by O'HARA, John

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abookshop
Published
1934
Condition
VG++
Edition
First Edition
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$975.00

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NY: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1934. This is the true first edition (stated) with the errata slip present. Bound in Black cloth. Slight gilt fading to stamping on spine. Endpapers restored and book tightened. Overall, a very nice copy of O'Hara's first book. Signed by the author on a 1 1/4" X 3" slip of paper affixed to the half-title… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'HARA, John.

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Jeffrey H. Marks Rare Books
Published
[1934].
Condition
Slightly cocked; some effacement and oxidation of gold on spine; else a very good copy in a good to very good jacket with some l
Edition
First edition.
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$850.00

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New York:: Harcourt Brace,, [1934].. First edition.. publisher's cloth in dust jacket.. Slightly cocked; some effacement and oxidation of gold on spine; else a very good copy in a good to very good jacket with some light chipping, creasing, and general use and wear; there are several clear tape reinforcements on the jacket verso. . 8vo,. … Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Carpetbagger Books, IOBA
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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$756.00

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New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1934. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Good. First State. Very Good in a Good second state jacket, unclipped ($2.50), generally rubbed with some creases, chipped at the corners and at the front gutter. Black buckram boards, some rubbing, with gilt lettering on the spine. Firmly bound with a slight forward lean to the… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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Appledore Books, ABAA
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good -
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$750.00

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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934. Cloth. Very Good -. WARMLY INSCRIBED BY JOHN O'HARA IN YEAR-OF-PUBLICATION (to New York decorator George Basso) on the front free endpaper. A solid copy to boot of the September 1934 stated 3rd printing. Tight and VG- in its dark cloth, with light fraying along the spine crown, the residue… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'HARA, John.

Seller
Jeffrey H. Marks Rare Books
Published
[1934].
Condition
The book is cocked, with a few finger marks to cloth; otherwise a very good copy in a very good jacket with some internal tape r
Edition
Second printing, August, 1934, in the second state of the jacket
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$500.00

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New York:: Harcourt Brace,, [1934].. Second printing, August, 1934, in the second state of the jacket, with reviews to the back panel.. publisher's cloth in dust jacket.. The book is cocked, with a few finger marks to cloth; otherwise a very good copy in a very good jacket with some internal tape reinforcement and some browning. The extremities… Read more
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APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA

by O'Hara, John

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Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good in Very Good+ dust jacket
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$396.00

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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. Very Good in Very Good+ dust jacket. 1934. Hardcover. Facsimile DJ with 'Recent Fiction' list to rear, but no price to front flap. Spine slightly cocked. Front hinge well started, showing webbing. Wear to extremities with bottom corners bumped. Binding could be tighter ; Includes publisher's errata slip regarding Maugham's 'Sheppey.'… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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BohemianBookworm
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Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
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$265.00

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1st Edition . Hardcover. Very Good/Good. Excellent copy, near VG, errata slip included, d/w is from the 1961 reprint version, stated 1st edn with small abrasions to pps 19-22 and closed tear and folds to upper edge of dj.
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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Books Express
Published
1982-02-07
Condition
New
ISBN
9780394711928
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Appointment In Samarra

by John O'Hara

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The Old Book Shop of Bordentown (ABNJ)
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First edition
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$145.00

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New York: Harcourt Brace, 1934. First edition. Hardcover. Very Good. First edition, first state with notice slip tipped in at the dedication page. Hardcover in polished black cloth. 301 pp. Very good, some light splotches to the boards and reading crease to the spine strip; faintly cocked. No jacket. The author's first book (and considered by many to… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra: A Novel

by John O'Hara

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Books Express
Published
2003-09-02
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9780375719202
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Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)

by John O'Hara

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Published
1994-05-08
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9780679601104
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Appointment in Samarra: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

by John O'Hara

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Published
2013-01-03
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New
ISBN
9780143107071
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Appointment in Samarra (Vintage Classics)

by John O'Hara

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Published
2008-04-06
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9780099518327
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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9780394711928
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Published
nd
Condition
Bound in full red polished calf, with the Thaw family motto stamped in gilt on the upper cover: "Ou le Sort Appelle" (Where Dest
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New York: Grosset and Dunlap, nd. 301 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Bound in full red polished calf, with the Thaw family motto stamped in gilt on the upper cover: "Ou le Sort Appelle" (Where Destiny Calls), top edge gilt. Fine. 301 pp. 1 vols. 8vo.
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Wonder Book
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Used - Acceptable
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9780451007667
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Signet. Used - Acceptable. Acceptable condition. Cover is detached. Reading copy only. (Literature, Classics)
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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Published
1982-07-01
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Good
ISBN
9780613170864
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1982-07-01. Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be re-issue. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!
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Organic Chemistry

by Smith, L. Oliver & Stanley J Cristol

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Melissa E Anderson
Published
1966
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
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$90.00

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New York, N. Y., U. S. A.: Reinhold Publishing, 1966. First Edition. Hard Cover. Near Fine/None Issued. Wonderful textbook of Organic Chemistry. A must for the collector and Chemestry buff alike. Reinhold textbook series.966 pages and index. Presentation Note in Back, Presented to JL Miller by Reinhold College Textbook Department at the request of Joseph E Smith. No… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra (Vintage Classics)

by John O'Hara

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2008-04-06
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9780099518327
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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2001-02-04
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9789997412591
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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2001-01-07
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9780451010872
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Appointment in Samarra: A Novel

by O'Hara, John

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Bonita
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9780375719202
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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2002-06-02
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9780571042920
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Appointment in Samarra.

by O'Hara, John

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1946
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Dover Publications: New York, 1946. Early printing of the author's first book. Octavo, original cloth. From the library of American actor Zachary Scott, the first husband of Elaine Scott who later married writer John Steinbeck. Scott is best remembered for his many roles as villains and "mystery men" in dozens of musical comedies, film noirs, and psychological thrillers throughout… Read more
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1961
Condition
Fine
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1st Edition
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Harcourt, Brace and Company. DJ in archival cover. Stated first edition. Facsimile of the First Edition. . Fine. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1961.
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APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA

by O'Hara, John

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Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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$74.25

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New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. Very Good. 1934. First Edition. Softcover. Light wear and spotting to black boards. Bookplate; Slip bound in attributing title page quote to upcoming Maugham play 'Sheppey' ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 301 pages .
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Bonita
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Good
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9780783803760
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Appointment in Samarra (Vintage Classics)

by O'Hara, John

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Bonita
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9780099518327
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Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)

by O'Hara, John

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Bonita
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9780679601104
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Appointment in Samarra

by John O'Hara

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Jeff Bergman Books ABAA/ILAB
Published
1961
Condition
Fine
Edition
Facsimile
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$65.00

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Harcourt Brace & Company, 1961. Book. Fine. Hardcover. Facsimile. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Exact Facsimile of the First Edition. Fine Copy in Like Jacket.Terrific Copy of This Masterpiece..
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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Turn-The-Page Books
Published
1961
Condition
Fine
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$65.00

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First Edition Library, 1961. Facsimile reprint of the First Edition. Crisp and unmarked, F/VG. Fine in a lightly rubbed jacket, in a near fine slipcase. Full cloth binding. 301pp.. Hardcover. Fine/Very Good. 8vo - 8" - 9" Tall.
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

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San Francisco Book Company
Published
1934
Condition
Good
Edition
Cloth/dust jacket and mylar wrapped octavo
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$62.69

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New York: Duell, Sloan, & Pearce, 1934. Cloth/dust jacket and mylar wrapped octavo. Hardcover. Good/fair. brick-red cloth green lettering top edge green dust jacket unclipped 301 pp dj chipped, especially at top of spine.
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$62.69
image of Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)

Appointment in Samarra (Modern Library)

by John O'Hara

Seller
Ergodebooks
Published
1994-05-17
Condition
Used:Good
ISBN
9780679601104
Item Price
$61.62

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Modern Library, 1994-05-17. Hardcover. Used:Good.
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$61.62
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Appointment in Samarra (Mentor Books)

by O'Hara, John

Seller
Wonder Book
Condition
Used - Acceptable
ISBN
9780451005632
Item Price
$59.99

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Signet. Used - Acceptable. Acceptable condition. Front hinge cracked. 1963 edition.
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$59.99
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

Seller
Wonder Book
Condition
Used - Acceptable
ISBN
9780586046760
Item Price
$59.99

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Description:
Pan Books Ltd.. Used - Acceptable. Acceptable condition. Dampstained. Cover tearing. (American literature, adult contemporary, suicide in fiction)
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$59.99
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Appointment in Samarra

by O'Hara, John

Seller
Bonita
Condition
Good
ISBN
9789997412591
Item Price
$59.88

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Description:
Hardcover. Good. Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
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$59.88