"I'm dying. I'm dying."

 "Shut the water off first."


- J.P. Donleavy from The Saddest Summer of Samuel S
Photo by Francesco Scavullo
Short and bittersweet, Donleavy's novella The Saddest Summer of Samuel S was among the first works published by the Seymour Lawrence Delacorte Press imprint.

The story has also been adapted for the stage and appears in the US and UK editions of Donleavy's collected plays.

Though not given much attention by the literary world and academia, Donleavy often mentions in interviews that he considers this work to be among his best. Another of Donleavy's books long overdue for re-issue.
A reception was given at Patrick O'Neal's (unauthorized) pub/restaurant, The Ginger Man, in New York to celebrate the publication of JPD's novella, The Saddest Summer of Samuel S. O'Neal had played Sebastian Dangerfield in the U.S. Premiere of The Ginger Man at the Orpheum Theatre. JPD's publisher, Seymour Lawrence of Delacorte Press (JPD's publisher) picked up the tab. Larger view. (front cover says, "Meet the author of The Ginger Man at The Ginger Man). The former Ginger Man establishment (closed for many years and not to be mistaken for the authorized Ginger Man bars run by Bob Precious) has been re-opened as O'Neal's.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Cloth | Delacorte Press, New York, January 1966 - 124 pages

First trade edition. The first printing does not state it is a first edition or first printing, but all reprints list the first edition. If your copy has just the 1966 copyright notice with no other printing information it is the first edition, first printing.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Cloth | Delacorte Press, New York, March 1966 - 124 pages

2nd Delacorte printing. Identical to first printing but for publication statement indicating printing history.

Patrick O'Neal's Ginger Man restaurant and bar, scene of the Delacorte Press publication party for JPD's The Saddest Summer of Samuel S.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Cloth | Delacorte Press, New York, June 1966 - 124 pages

3rd Delacorte printing. Identical to first printing but for publication statement indicating printing history.

To purchase books by J.P. Donleavy, go to the Buyers' Guide.

Schlimmer Sommer für Samuel S

Cloth | Schauenburg KG, 1966 - 104 pages

German translation.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Cloth | Eyre & Spottiswoode, Ltd., London, 1967 - 125 pages

First UK edition.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Dell, New York, January 1967 - 93 pages

First US mass paperback edition.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Dell, New York, April 1967 - 93 pages

2nd Dell printing.

sorgmodig sommer

Wraps | gyldendal, Denmark, 1967 - 95 pages

Danish translation. Paperback with dust jacket.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Penguin, Middlesex, England, 1968 - 122 pages

First UK paperback edition.

De somberste zomer van Samuel S

Wraps | Literair Paspoort #32 (an imprint of De Bezige Bij), Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, 1969 - 87 pages

Dutch translation.

Nejsmutne js i léto Samela S

Binding? | Sve Tová literatura, 14, 1969

Czech translation.

Schlimmer Sommer für Samuel S

Cloth | Hermann Luchterhand Verlag GmbH, Neuwied & Berlin, 1970

German translation.

Samuel Sn surullisin suvi

Binding? | Tammi Publishers, Oslo, 1970

Finnish translation.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Penguin, Middlesex, England, 1972 - 122 pages - ISBN 0140028323

2nd Penguin printing. Penguin logo shifted from left side of author's name, as in first printing, to the right.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Penguin, Middlesex, England, 1974 - 122 pages - ISBN 0140028323

3rd Penguin printing.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S & Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule

Wraps | Dell, New York, Sept. 1975 - 258  pages (combined) - ISBN 44005937175

First Dell Laurel printing of what (to date) has been the only English-language edition of two Donleavy books combined in a single volume.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Penguin, Middlesex, England, 1976 - 122 pages - ISBN 0140028323

4th Penguin printing.

El triste estío de Samuels

Wraps | Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1979 - 104 pages

Spanish translation.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Wraps | Penguin, Middlesex, England, 1979 - 122 pages - ISBN 0140028323

5th Penguin printing.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S & Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule

Wraps | Dell, New York, June, 1979 - 258  pages (combined) - ISBN 44005937175

2nd Dell Laurel printing.

La Sale Saison de Samuel S

Wraps | Denoël, Paris, 1979

French translation. Paperback with stiff DJ. This edition is a combination of The Saddest Summer of Samuel S and Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule like the Dell Laurel edition, but it does not state both titles on the DJ or front cover, only on the inside title page.

Samyj sumrachnyj sezon Semyuelya S

Cloth | Azbuka-klassika, Sankt-Peterburg, 2002 | ISBN 5352000974

Russian translation. Unusual combination of Donleavy pieces. Includes the novella, plus many of the short works from Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule, plus the play version of A Singular Man. Many thanks to Ivan Denisov from Moscow for providing the information regarding this edition and cover photo.

Samyj sumrachnyj sezon Semyuelya S

Binding? | Azbuka-klassika, Sankt-Peterburg, 2004 | ISBN 5352009637

Russian translation.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S

Lilliput Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2011

E-book available in various formats. More on Lillyput Donleavy ebooks

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