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The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

By: J.P. Donleavy

Rated 4.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

A wily American driving his psychiatrist crazy in Vienna. Prey of a wealthy countess who wants him comfortable and secure – and her very own. Master of his domain – his sealed, darkened, disheveled apartment on a dank Vienna sidestreet. Abigail was not the girl for Sam. She was a brash, sexy American coed with only men on her mind. And se had Sam very much on her mind at the moment…

“Zany…comic…brilliant” – The New York Times

“Extremely funny yet bittersweet… handled with such grace that even its outright sex is captivating” – Chicago American.

“Donleavy’s best work since The Ginger Man” – The National Observer.

“In this short novel J.P. Donleavy writes of the tiny battle waged for survival of the spirit in bedrooms and hearts the world over. Samuel S, hero of lonely principles, holds out in his bereft lighthouse in Vienna. Abigail, an American college girl on the prowl In Europe, drawn by the beacon of this strange out-post, seeks in her own emancipation the seduction of Samuel S, the last of the world’s solemn failures. Samuel S is the liveliest of loonies.” – TIME

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2 reviews for The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Lilliput Press

    “The Saddest Summer of Samuel S was the first Donleavy book I read, soon followed by others of his shorter novels. Marketed in the late sixties via pop lettering on minimalist backgrounds, mercifully brief and hearteningly improper, they ran amuck for several years before falling into a all-too-common obscurity. Recently, thanks to a self-induced ‘original voice’ reading programme (Salinger, Kerouac, Dylan Thomas) I finally got around to Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, a fabulous work now scandalously ignored, which took me back to The Saddest Summer et al. Reading it again was strange: it was as if I had never read it at all.
    The protagonist goes to Vienna and is analyzed by a Freud caricature. He is in crisis, being a writer who has lost his touch and and is reduced to a one-man audience. Egregious and puritanical, he seems to be giving up on desire; perhaps it is only the good doctor’s own shortcomings that will save him.
    Nowhere near the madcap adventurism of The Ginger Man, it is still du Donleavy; an easy read if not a toss-off, a drole but feeble representation of analysis, and an insight into the demise of a great author. Worth the time and effort. Easily.” BRICE PETIT-JEAN

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Lilliput Press

    “J P Donleavy made a huge impact on me when I first read his books (around the time of clay tablets) and he is almost as good second time round. I say almost because now I spot some of the linguistic or grammatical flaws but to be honest they are totally irrelevant. This guy genuinely captures a taste of what it is to be human, stains and all. This book, like most of his others, is evocative and thought provoking. There is a strange but highly palatable air about the main character and his situation.

    J P Donleavy seems to be fading into history but he’s definitely worth reading. This may not be the best of work but I would strongly recommend it.” D CARVER

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ISBN
9781843512073
Weight 0.5 kg
publication-date

October 2011

format

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