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August: Osage County PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: August: Osage County
Author: Tracy Letts
Publisher: Published February 1st 2008 by Theatre Communications Group
ISBN: 9781559363303
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The thre One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The three-act, three-and-a-half-hour mammoth of a play combines epic tragedy with black comedy, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams and leaving not one of its thirteen characters unscathed.

30 review for August: Osage County

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    Tracey Letts is the son of Billie Letts who wrote Where the Heart Is and other novels, all taking place in Oklahoma. Following in his mother's footsteps, Tracey Letts became a playwright, most notably of August: Osage County, which won both the Pulitzer Prize for drama and Tony Award in 2009. In Osage County, the dysfunctional Weston family has gathered to assist their mother Violet after their father Beverly's funeral. Premiering at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, Osage County is a gritty family Tracey Letts is the son of Billie Letts who wrote Where the Heart Is and other novels, all taking place in Oklahoma. Following in his mother's footsteps, Tracey Letts became a playwright, most notably of August: Osage County, which won both the Pulitzer Prize for drama and Tony Award in 2009. In Osage County, the dysfunctional Weston family has gathered to assist their mother Violet after their father Beverly's funeral. Premiering at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, Osage County is a gritty family drama. Beverly and Violet Weston lived in a small Oklahoma town southeast of Tulsa. Beverly had taught in the Tulsa University literature department for nearly forty years after publishing a stellar poetry collection. Yet, he allowed the early fame to get to him, often at the expense of his wife and three daughters. Over the course of their marriage, Beverly and Violet separated three times to clear the air, yet inevitably reconciled. As a result, Violet became a pill popper and the three daughters carried baggage for their entire adult lives. Following their father's death, daughters Barbara, Karen, and Ivy must come to grips with their own lives while simultaneously caring for their mother. Barbara the oldest is in the throes of a divorce and raising a difficult teenaged daughter; however, she has declared herself the matriarch of the house. Meanwhile, youngest daughter Karen is finally getting married to a business man ten years her senior, while middle daughter Ivy desires to run off to New York with her first cousin. Total family dysfunction and chaos ensues as the entire family must live under one roof for as long as it takes Violet to get back on her feet. While the multi-layered characters appear powerful in book form, they inevitable are much more poignant on stage. From the exchanges between the sisters and their spouses to rants of Barbara to her mother or her daughter, this three act play is best seen on stage or a staged televised production. Yet, Letts has crafted a modern classic play rife with memorable characters, who will stay with me even in written format. For 2017, I have devised myself a Pulitzer challenge across many genres, and Osage County is my first completed work. A play reminiscing on a lifetime of what ifs, August: Osage County is a play not to be missed. Tracey Letts has created a powerful drama, which I hope to see one day on stage. I also look forward to reading Letts' other dramas. A tale of a dysfunctional Oklahoma family, Osage County is a solid 4 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    "It lives where everything lives: somewhere in the middle." There is no doubt that “August: Osage County” is a great American play. Reading it one instantly gets the same feeling you get from the best O’Neil and Williams dramas. And like those plays, it is saturated with anger and bitterness and love, and all those complex emotions that make us human. Tracy Letts has written the text in a very simple direct style that flows easily, and the structure of the piece fills out nicely. It opens with a p "It lives where everything lives: somewhere in the middle." There is no doubt that “August: Osage County” is a great American play. Reading it one instantly gets the same feeling you get from the best O’Neil and Williams dramas. And like those plays, it is saturated with anger and bitterness and love, and all those complex emotions that make us human. Tracy Letts has written the text in a very simple direct style that flows easily, and the structure of the piece fills out nicely. It opens with a prologue that is worth going back and rereading after getting about halfway through, just to see what new resonance it has now that the reader has more information. Written in three acts, the same structure that many great American plays seem to share, the first act pulls you in with an interesting ensemble and plotlines that hint at more under the surface. The second act features a family dinner for the ages and violently and relentlessly will propel the reader to its conclusion. The third act contains more scenes, seems to have a quicker pace, and really punches the reader in the gut with many moments that come up in quick succession. In the hands of a talented director and cast this play would be a gripping night in the theatre. A key moment that stood out to me was Act 3:2, when the character of Barbara realizes that she will never really know why her marriage ended. That moment of acknowledging that she will never get the answers she deserves is recognizable, and painful, to anyone who has suffered through a breakup where the communication was less than should be desired. And really, that lack of honest communication is what the play is about in general. Our inability to be honest with others, and ourselves, is a profound recognition that you see in yourself as you read this play. Which brings me to the ending of the piece, a dark warning that to live your life without honesty and kindness will catch up to you at some point. “August: Osage County” is a play that will be performed and read for generations, and it deserves to be because it is about important human truths, and if we don’t read and go to the theatre every once in a while to have those things pointed out to us…then why are we doing it?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I stayed up late last night so I could finish reading Tracy Letts’s exquisite play, August: Osage County. I was fortunate enough to see it performed in San Francisco last month. I was especially fortunate to see Estelle Parsons reprise her Broadway role as family matriarch Violet Weston. I just learned that the woman is eighty years old! I can’t believe the things she goes through on that stage night after night. She is truly wondrous, and I think I can say with more than a fair amount of certai I stayed up late last night so I could finish reading Tracy Letts’s exquisite play, August: Osage County. I was fortunate enough to see it performed in San Francisco last month. I was especially fortunate to see Estelle Parsons reprise her Broadway role as family matriarch Violet Weston. I just learned that the woman is eighty years old! I can’t believe the things she goes through on that stage night after night. She is truly wondrous, and I think I can say with more than a fair amount of certainty that this was the best play I have ever seen or ever will see. August: Osage County can be described as a darkly comic drama about a dysfunctional family in Oklahoma. You’re probably saying “Oh, that’s nothing new,” but in Letts’s capable hands it is. It is so dark and so bleak and yet so hilarious – sometimes all at the same time. I am sure many people can probably relate to at least part of the family dynamic. At one point the friend I attended the play with leaned over and whispered (about Violet’s son-bashing sister Mattie Fae) “That woman right there is my mother.” No doubt many people could see at least some of themselves in one generation or another of that family. Beverly and Violet, the husband and wife, probably loved each other once, but their relationship has degenerated into bitterness and passive-aggressive behavior. She is a pill-popping harpy recently diagnosed with cancer of the mouth; an irony that is not lost on Beverly. He is an alcoholic and the poetic equivalent of a one-hit-wonder. They have three grown daughters, and two of them live out of state while one has stayed in their hometown. The action really begins when Beverly goes missing and the three girls converge at their childhood home along with Violet’s sister, her husband, and their son. The eldest daughter brings her estranged husband and their daughter, and the youngest daughter brings her new fiancé, who has never before met her family. The tension is palpable. My favorite part of the play was the family dinner scene. It was one of the most real and cringe-worthy things I have ever witnessed on a stage or even on a screen. It starts off pleasantly enough…there’s the griping over at the kids’ table, the bad jokes courtesy of Uncle Charlie, the fiancé trying and failing to make a good impression. I was just waiting for Violet to blow, and she didn’t disappoint. See the play if you can; read it if you can’t or if you’re a fan of theater. I read it because I just wanted to experience the Westons one more time. What a sad and beautiful treat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sawsan

    A play by the american author Tracy Letts reunion of a family at August, Osage County a lot of emotional damages and secrets have been hidden for years after days of confrontation between the family members they left home with feelings of grief and hurt more than before good family drama, and the details of the characters are well written

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Oh. My. God. This play deserves every hint of praise and recognition it's ever been given. A perfect blend of realistic household bullshit and and spectacularly weird fuckeduppery, the Weston family grabbed my heart and ripped it out through my tearducts. How can you know when enough is enough? Or when it's not enough? How do you swim through oceanic waves of family crisis, when the breakers are nothing but violent reflections of your own personal doom? Goddamnit. This play is both human and ani Oh. My. God. This play deserves every hint of praise and recognition it's ever been given. A perfect blend of realistic household bullshit and and spectacularly weird fuckeduppery, the Weston family grabbed my heart and ripped it out through my tearducts. How can you know when enough is enough? Or when it's not enough? How do you swim through oceanic waves of family crisis, when the breakers are nothing but violent reflections of your own personal doom? Goddamnit. This play is both human and animal at the same time. And regardless of the fact that some of the shit that goes down is pretty twisty, I'm astounded by Letts' perfect psychological portrayal of humanity kicking itself in the crotch. Repeatedly. Fuck, this play is good.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    Way better than expected. I hate to see Oklahoma so neatly dispatched, but at least it was an Okie who did it. Accurately.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia

    This is THE BEST play I've read in years. Twisted on ALL levels and digging deep into SO many aspects: family - in all its intricate and dysfunctional combinations, personal growth, addiction, the "great" generation, academia, you name it. I would love to see this performed but I'll settle for the star-studded movie version for the time being.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎

    A tragedy triggers a perfect storm that will leave the Weston family relationships in ruins. Talk about drama! I loved the author used humour to relive the hard blows that the family secrets delivered. I remember watching Maryl Streep (playing Violet) stunning performance in the movie version, and I loved reading the play just as much. 4.5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ana Rînceanu

    This play messed up my brain... I have book hangover so we'll talk about it later.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kazza

    A dysfunctional family dynamic on full and earnest display. The writer (play write) effectively nails the psychology of you can't see the forest for the trees of certain situations, especially pertaining to love and family.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    It seems like it's been far too long since we've had a living-room drama play that is actually touching and disturbing and hysterically funny as well. I snorted with laughter and cringed with disgust while reading this. It was easy to imagine it staged, a real plus for script reading! There are no heroes in this play. There are heroic moments by individuals, but really, no one comes away stronger or better off. A case could be argued for some, I suspect, and it could be staged or played that way, It seems like it's been far too long since we've had a living-room drama play that is actually touching and disturbing and hysterically funny as well. I snorted with laughter and cringed with disgust while reading this. It was easy to imagine it staged, a real plus for script reading! There are no heroes in this play. There are heroic moments by individuals, but really, no one comes away stronger or better off. A case could be argued for some, I suspect, and it could be staged or played that way, but the tragedy here is that none of these characters escapes the dysfunctional family genes. If anyone ever wonders what the term 'dysfunctional' really means, or implies, this script could be THE example. If I could have rated this 4-1/2 stars, I would have, taking half a star away for a couple of minor points. Mainly...it went on too long. I don't necessarily mean the actual running time (though it would probably clock in at about 3 hours), but there were so many subplots that needed a resolution, and each ended as disastrously and dysfunctionally as the previous one, that it actually got tedious. On the other hand the fact that each subplot actually had a resolution was a precious treat. And...the dysfuntion was just a little too much sometimes. Did Karen's fiancee Steve really have to be so stereotypically a letcherous jerk? Sure, it shows that Karen can't escape the tradition of dysfuntion by choosing such for a partner, but it did have me shaking my head, thinking, "Oh, come on." Still, all in all, a fantastic wild ride.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Hit the nail on the head with this one. Osage County has been dysfunctionally raw since the beginning. It is a place of treachery, murder, and hardship on the macro, and with this contemporary glimpse of the micro, this story is congruous with its past. The characters are alive. They breathe and weep and scorn through every scene. The plot was so simple that it had to be what it was. The plot was inevitable. Oklahoma was an ambivalent space of colliding cultures, not a melting pot but a caldron Hit the nail on the head with this one. Osage County has been dysfunctionally raw since the beginning. It is a place of treachery, murder, and hardship on the macro, and with this contemporary glimpse of the micro, this story is congruous with its past. The characters are alive. They breathe and weep and scorn through every scene. The plot was so simple that it had to be what it was. The plot was inevitable. Oklahoma was an ambivalent space of colliding cultures, not a melting pot but a caldron of dissonant, vibrating identities, identities on a path toward destruction, identities poised to give up. The only unfulfilled desire I had after finishing this little treasure was seeing the play acted out.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    Brilliant.

  14. 4 out of 5

    William2

    I saw this on Broadway so I'm going to count it as a read. Fantastic production with Estelle Parsons as the crazy mother.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cărți și călătorii

    O piesă intensă despre o familie disfuncțională, reunită cu ocazia dispariției tatălui. Toate personajele au tare, sechele, păcate, probleme, secrete, toate se ratează într-un fel sau altul de mâna lor sau din cauza altora. Mama, Violet, dependentă de pastile, tatăl alcoolic, fost profesor universitar și autor al unei singure cărți de succes, fiicele cu probleme și sechele proprii: Barbara părăsită de soț, Bill, pentru o studentă (ce clișeu, nu?), fiica lor, Jean, de 14 ani, fumează marijuana și O piesă intensă despre o familie disfuncțională, reunită cu ocazia dispariției tatălui. Toate personajele au tare, sechele, păcate, probleme, secrete, toate se ratează într-un fel sau altul de mâna lor sau din cauza altora. Mama, Violet, dependentă de pastile, tatăl alcoolic, fost profesor universitar și autor al unei singure cărți de succes, fiicele cu probleme și sechele proprii: Barbara părăsită de soț, Bill, pentru o studentă (ce clișeu, nu?), fiica lor, Jean, de 14 ani, fumează marijuana și e suficient de matură să înțeleagă foarte bine situația din familie, Karen și Ivy, celelalte surori, triste, singure, cu singura șansă la iubire și fericire spulberată de revelațiile care au loc acum, o mătușă, Fanny Mae, mamă îngrozitoare, un unchi, Charlie, singurul care pare cât de cât normal și tată bun, fiul lor, Little Charlie, infantilizat și nelăsat să se maturizeze, personaj cheie într-una dintre revelații (alt clișeu?). În ciuda celor două clișee de care am amintit, mi s-a părut o piesă excelent scrisă, intensă, care concentrează atâta dramatism în câteva scene, cu citate memorabile, personaje exccelent construite și un dozaj perfect al suspansului și tensiunii. Avem de toate aici: relații dintre părinți și copii, dintre soți, dintre surori, mediul academic, dependență, adulter, problema rasială, discriminarea și corectitudinea politică etc. Abia aștept să văd și filmul, cu o distribuție de zile mari: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson și Sam Shepard.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vasileios

    http://www.dreamersandco.com/2013/02/... Πώς έμαθα για το βιβλίο αυτό; Πέρυσι τα Χριστούγεννα στη Μαδρίτη ήθελα να δω μια θεατρική παράσταση. Ξαφνικά βλέπω οτι μια από τις πιο σημαντικές φιγούρες της ισπανικής θεατρικής σκηνής, Amparo Baró βρισκόταν σε έναν από τους πρωταγωνιστικούς ρόλους της παράστασης August. Διάβασα την περίληψη και αμέσως συνειδητοποίησα το πόσο ήθελα να το δω. Για την απογοήτευσή μου τα εισιτήρια είχαν εξαντληθεί για πάνω από ένα μίση μήνα. Έτσι λοιπόν, μου έμεινε απωθημένο http://www.dreamersandco.com/2013/02/... Πώς έμαθα για το βιβλίο αυτό; Πέρυσι τα Χριστούγεννα στη Μαδρίτη ήθελα να δω μια θεατρική παράσταση. Ξαφνικά βλέπω οτι μια από τις πιο σημαντικές φιγούρες της ισπανικής θεατρικής σκηνής, Amparo Baró βρισκόταν σε έναν από τους πρωταγωνιστικούς ρόλους της παράστασης August. Διάβασα την περίληψη και αμέσως συνειδητοποίησα το πόσο ήθελα να το δω. Για την απογοήτευσή μου τα εισιτήρια είχαν εξαντληθεί για πάνω από ένα μίση μήνα. Έτσι λοιπόν, μου έμεινε απωθημένο, αλλά τουλάχιστον έπεσε στα χέρια μου το βιβλίο το οποίο απήλαυσα. Κύριο θέμα του είναι πως το αμερικανικό όνειρο που ζούσε μια οικογένεια κάπου στην Αμερική, μετατρέπεται σε εφιάλτη από τη μια στιγμή στην άλλη. Ο Tracy Letts μας παρουσιάζει μια οικογένεια στα καλύτερα αλλά και στα χειρότερά της, ο ορισμός του disfunctional. Η οικογένεια Weston, αν και πολύ ήσυχη είναι γεμάτη μυστικά που χρειάζονται μόνο μια αφορμή για να βγουν όλα στο φως και να απογυμνώσει τελείως τους χαρακτήρες. Το έργο κορυφώνεται τόσο με στοιχεία τραγικά αλλά και μαύρης κωμωδίας. Ξεκίνησε την επιτυχημένη πορεία του στο Broadway με απίστευτες κριτικές και δεν είναι τυχαίο οτι κατέκτησε το βραβείο Pulitzer το 2008. Όλα ξεκινούν με την εξαφάνιση του Beverly, πατέρα της οικογένειας Weston. Η σύζυγός του Violet μαζί με τα τρία της κορίτσια αλλά και άλλους, όπως η αδερφή της, ο άνδρας της αλλά και τα παιδιά τους, έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με ότι συνεπάγεται αυτή η εξαφάνιση (αδερφική ζήλια, οι σχέσεις μεταξύ γονιών και παιδιών όταν οι δεύτεροι πρέπει να τους φροντίσουν κτλ.) που τους μπερδεύει σε ένα παιχνίδι γεμάτο ενοχές, δεύτερες σκέψεις και εγωισμούς που θα αποκαλύψει από τα πιο ανθρώπινα μέχρι τα πιο ζωώδη ένστικτά τους ενώ ταυτόχρονα είναι ικανό να μας ταυτίσει με οποιοδήποτε οικογενειακό μας πρόβλημα. Από τις πιο δυνατές σκηνές του, είναι αυτή που το διαζευγμένο ζευγάρι (το έχουν κρυφό από όλους) βρίσκεται στο κρεβάτι αλλά και η σκηνή με το οικογενειακό δείπνο που είναι σαν ένα καζάνι που βράζει και είναι έτοιμο να εκραγεί. Αξίζει να πούμε πως ήδη γυρίζεται η ομότιτλη ταινία με ονόματα όπως η Maryl Streep στο ρόλο της Violet (φιγούρα πολύ ξεχωριστή που έχει καταλάβει τα πάντα και ας μην έχει πει τίποτα σε κανέναν) αλλά και άλλοι όπως ο Benedict Cumberbatch γνωστός από την φοβερή σειρά Sherlock και η Julia Roberts. Η ταινία έχει προγραμματιστεί να προβληθεί περίπου στο τέλος του 2013. Την αναμένουμε με αγωνία! Αξίζει όμως να διαβάσετε και το θεατρικό που είναι τόσο καλογραμμένο που διαβάζεται απνευστί.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Given that there aren't many 2-star-or-below ratings, nor reviews with such ratings, I figured I should write something that may give another reader some sort of review to relate with (as I was searching for one earlier, but was left disappointed by the rather superficial reviews, e.g. "I couldn't relate with the characters," or "It was strong and powerful, but I didn't really enjoy it," etc.). This play has a good amount of potential in it. References to Eliot's The Hollow Men, a set-up of comme Given that there aren't many 2-star-or-below ratings, nor reviews with such ratings, I figured I should write something that may give another reader some sort of review to relate with (as I was searching for one earlier, but was left disappointed by the rather superficial reviews, e.g. "I couldn't relate with the characters," or "It was strong and powerful, but I didn't really enjoy it," etc.). This play has a good amount of potential in it. References to Eliot's The Hollow Men, a set-up of commentary on Native American-White relations in the Midwest (Oklahoma), and a running commentary on the "relativeness" of literature. However, these aspects (including an exploration of time and death, as is usual in just about any piece of literature) sort of get thrown by the wayside and we mostly see family dysfunction taken to a rather extreme level (to the point of dysfunction-for-dysfunction's-sake). The premise is rather cliche: the father goes missing and a family has to come together. And we have to wait a little while until we find out that he has committed suicide - but the only thing that seems important in starting out by hiding this information is to show the reaction of the family to this news, of which there is barely anything. The tale continues on as if his death is not even needed (other than to bring this family together - which is a rather amateur use of instrumentalism). An aspect of the play I felt to be superfluous was Jean smoking pot, and then Steve hitting on her. This was predictable from their very first interaction. The play is already full of dysfunction without adding this on top of it. It's all just way overdone; in its quantity, all the potential quality that we started out with ends in a huge disappointment. We already understand how fucked up the world is; show us something more interesting.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    This was a fast read because it is written in screenplay format. It does dyfunstional family well, drinking, drugs, cheating, lies and other secrets for this family in Oklahoma! I think its dark comedy at times (or to tell in the play format) but that's how my sense of humor took it. I liked this story better than I thought, I read this as its part of a 2016challenge I am doing!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    So, this is pretty much just a screwed-up family. I love how it's a little dark and disturbing (view spoiler)[what, you're in love with your cousin? (hide spoiler)] to super disturbing (view spoiler)[just kidding, it's actually worse, you're sleeping with YOUR BROTHER, surprise! (hide spoiler)] to the cliche disturbing (view spoiler)[the soon-to-be uncle is a pedophile.... didn't see THAT coming a mile away (hide spoiler)] . I did like the end with Violet though, (view spoiler)[the revelation tha So, this is pretty much just a screwed-up family. I love how it's a little dark and disturbing (view spoiler)[what, you're in love with your cousin? (hide spoiler)] to super disturbing (view spoiler)[just kidding, it's actually worse, you're sleeping with YOUR BROTHER, surprise! (hide spoiler)] to the cliche disturbing (view spoiler)[the soon-to-be uncle is a pedophile.... didn't see THAT coming a mile away (hide spoiler)] . I did like the end with Violet though, (view spoiler)[the revelation that Beverly left her a note, but she waited to call him because of the safe deposit box, and by waiting, basically assured his death. (hide spoiler)] . Messed up, but interesting. Makes my and my spouse's families look pretty tame! :)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike W

    I haven’t laughed this hard while reading in a long, long time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hennessey Library

    After a month of reading She gave him a piercing look...The wind moved through the trees like a restless lion...He gripped the mug and hot coffee sloshed over the table... and long well-written examinations of inner thought and motive, I came to August: Osage County by Tracy Letts with anticipation. Dialogue. Clean, spare, pointed and well-written. Dialogue goes straight to this old director's heart. Unfortunately, I didn't like any but three of the characters in this bitter, recriminatory family After a month of reading She gave him a piercing look...The wind moved through the trees like a restless lion...He gripped the mug and hot coffee sloshed over the table... and long well-written examinations of inner thought and motive, I came to August: Osage County by Tracy Letts with anticipation. Dialogue. Clean, spare, pointed and well-written. Dialogue goes straight to this old director's heart. Unfortunately, I didn't like any but three of the characters in this bitter, recriminatory family-disintegration drama, and their dialogue, though well-written and believable, told a tale that came to no good end. Think Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf meets Tennessee Williams in an old farmhouse just outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Nasty, damaged people pick at old wounds and inflict fresh ones as they gather at the disappearance of the patriarch of the clan. He has committed suicide to get away from his pill-popping paramour. The B word was coined for the women in his life. The play is well-written, but I do not understand how it could have won the Pulitzer. If the author is God of the Play, then Letts is a harsh and unrelenting god, destroying any hope for happiness or resolution in even his most deserving creation. The two who have the most chance for a life outside the broken family circle are damned by irreversible transgressions in the past of other family members. Borrowing from the tradition of Henrik Ibsen and Tennessee Williams, Letts crafts a tragic ending, stepping out of his own style in hollow imitation of those master craftsmen; nonetheless, the meat of the play is sharp and focused. We, the audience, see these people at their worst and watch the attendant devastation unfold. The work seems derivitive and I expected more. ~mary

  22. 5 out of 5

    J.M.

    December of Drama 2015, day eight From Shakespeare to something a little more Greek in tenor. This is obviously harsh, dysfunctional family territory, stuff that immediately brings Eugene O'Neill to mind. It has that self-referential post-modern flavor, with the address-the-audience prologue where Beverly, the patriarch of the Weston family, more or less sets up everything that follows. There are so many brilliant, poignant lines, coming in the midst of (mostly) realistic situations and delivered December of Drama 2015, day eight From Shakespeare to something a little more Greek in tenor. This is obviously harsh, dysfunctional family territory, stuff that immediately brings Eugene O'Neill to mind. It has that self-referential post-modern flavor, with the address-the-audience prologue where Beverly, the patriarch of the Weston family, more or less sets up everything that follows. There are so many brilliant, poignant lines, coming in the midst of (mostly) realistic situations and delivered by fully-realized characters, that for most of the play I was positive I'd be giving it five stars. It is almost flawless. But then it goes just a little too far. As 'meta' as it might be, the sheer concentration of dysfunction and wounds being opened by the end almost serves it up for satire. Substance abuse, check. Incest, check. Underage sex, check. Bitterness, recriminations, physical violence, check check check. Certainly most people will read (or see) this play and recognize parts of themselves or their relatives in it-- and if they don't then they're probably in denial or their family hides its flaws a little better than others. The only issue I have with it is, as noted, the borderline ridiculous quantity of issues aired out. Not to mention the occasional line which seems to exist solely because this is a play, where there's an audience to listen and gasp over it. Drama is conflict, I get that, but is it wrong to want things toned down just a little in the interest of realism? That said, Tracy Letts is great. I didn't know that he also wrote Bug-- I saw the adaptation starring Michael Shannon and, obviously, loved it. How could you not?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wes Hazard

    Families are…complicated. We all know that much. Basically, if Thanksgiving dinners broke out into car chases on an even semi-routine basis, none of us would ever feel compelled to go the movies again because you just can't beat the laughs, tears, sighs and shocks that accompany a gathering of liquored up people that you only even know as a result of genetic happenstance. Sometimes it's awesome, sometimes it's torture, but no matter what happens you end up building some ineradicable (if not heal Families are…complicated. We all know that much. Basically, if Thanksgiving dinners broke out into car chases on an even semi-routine basis, none of us would ever feel compelled to go the movies again because you just can't beat the laughs, tears, sighs and shocks that accompany a gathering of liquored up people that you only even know as a result of genetic happenstance. Sometimes it's awesome, sometimes it's torture, but no matter what happens you end up building some ineradicable (if not healthy) bonds and agreeing to do it all again next year. So yeah, families are complicated. This play is about that, and it's about it in an awesome way. Hilarious, surprising, caustic, & honest, this is an on-target read for anyone who's ever looked over a plate of Christmas ham and thought "I'm seriously related to this person?? The universe MUST be joking." If you're lucky your fam is nowhere near as far gone as that of these characters, but you'll definitely relate somewhere along the way. If you're not generally a big reader of plays (I'd count myself here) don't hesitate on this one; I couldn't put it down. P.S. Without question, one of the best dinner table scenes I've ever read anywhere.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Everything you want in a play. Zingers. Secrets revealed. Moments of action and danger. Strong female characters ripping each other, and their men, new ones. Don't see the movie. (The movie is never as good as seeing a live play). Don't even read this play, unless you have a mind to perform in it, or direct it.. Just wait for a chance to see it performed in your area.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kiersten

    More like 3.5. The beginning was kind of slow for me, but it really got interesting in act two. I was really surprised by a lot of the plot turns. Overall I liked it, but I'm not eager to write a paper on it. #bfaproblems.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dominique

    Disfunctional family+fighting+dark humour= great play/book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    88% | B+ You should read this if you're into: Pulitzer Prize winning plays, American family drama, Oklahoma settings, family dysfunction that will make you feel better about your own family dysfunction, family secrets, dark humor

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brett Dupré

    Punch-drunk laughter in the void.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danny Call

    Tracy Letts is just fucking awesome.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Roxana Truţa

    This play is so messed up. All that "you can't pick your family" conundrum? You will feel it to the core of your shuddering bones. Feeling lonely among the people you love is the most gut-wrenching loneliness you will ever experience, which makes for the subject of this play. 'August' is also a portrayal of time in old age versus time in youth, big city life versus the static despair of living and finding things to do in a small town, the regrets of the married versus the ever forgiving high hope This play is so messed up. All that "you can't pick your family" conundrum? You will feel it to the core of your shuddering bones. Feeling lonely among the people you love is the most gut-wrenching loneliness you will ever experience, which makes for the subject of this play. 'August' is also a portrayal of time in old age versus time in youth, big city life versus the static despair of living and finding things to do in a small town, the regrets of the married versus the ever forgiving high hopes of the ones who found someone a little late, the beauty of lies versus the biting ugliness of truth, social reunion versus interior disintegration. All sprinkled with a dash of utter psychotic chaos. I loved Violet. I loved how her inability to communicate was not in any way related to her - ironic - mouth cancer. Can't wait to see Meryl Streep's interpretation of her bitter nature. I also loved Barbara, who's basically a Phoenix of the gutters. I loved how the name Beverly goes for both guys and gals, just like Tracy - see what I did there, wink wink nudge nudge. Overall, I did find this play a bit cliché at times, hence the missing star. Other than that, if it's soul-murdering family drama you're searching for, you're in for a treat with this one.

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