A Sentence in Which I Make Too Many Comparisons
John O'Hara's novel Appointment in Samarra is a classic that is actually fun to read -- it contains the dry humor and tragic inevitability of Madmen . . . Julian English especially reminds me of Pete Campbell; it has the drinking and parties and class commentary of The Great Gatsby, but without Fitzgerald's flowery and pretentious prose; it has drunken and picaresque adventures reminiscent of Jerome "Corky" Corcoran from Joyce Carol Oates' excellent novel What I Lived For . . . and while most of these folks need to follow Robert Littell's advice for young men and learn how to drink, that would remove the plot and conflict from all of these works of fiction . . . and while you can run from your appointment in Samarra, you can't hide -- like the dentist, the Grim Reaper will have his due . . . and like I am due for a cleaning, and that receptionist just keeps calling and calling, so too will Death, and just when you think you have avoided him, he shows up at your door, whether you live in Manhattan or West Egg or Gibbsville.