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Death of a salesman;: Certain private conversations in two acts and a requiem [Unknown Binding]

Arthur Miller
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007F7R6S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
ON THE EVE of Saint Simon's Day, Baard Peterson's ship anchored at the spit near Birgsi. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Dream 17 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Death of a Salesman is a trdgedy of the common man. It is mainly concerned with the fulfillment of the American Dream, but it also shows aspects of family life and commercilalism. Willy Loman is a failed salesman, who forces his dreams onto his two sons, Biff and Happy. Biff had a promising future but after an incident, refused to take part in the American dream, and chooses to 'Bum around' on farms 'out West'. His Brother Happy is the assistant to one of the assistant buyers, but sees himself as a great success. Miller concentrates on how the characters lie to themselves about who and what they are, and this is ultimatly the downfall of Willy, Happy and possibly Biff. The play is an important lesson for all. Although written in the forties, it is still increadibly relavent today in this age of consumerism and the tremedous desire for success. I have recently read this play, and it has changed my whole perspective on life, aspects of the play are constantly mirrored in every day life, and I am sure one of the characters will be relavent to you. This play - contraversial in the forties and fifties leading to Miller being charged with anti-American activities - should be read by all, putting your feet firmly on the ground.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully crafted, wonderfully moving 20 April 2007
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I suppose this iconic American play is depressing, in a way, as some other reviewers have said. So's 'Hamlet'. The old Greek view of tragedy was that it should purge the mind by means of pity and terror - there should be a catharsis - and whether we are looking at the Oedipus plays, or Shakespeare (King Lear'? Old man dies, so do all three of his daughters, his closest allies, etc., etc.) or this play, that is what we get. I think it's a measure of 'Death of a Salesman' that it can be considered at the same time as Shakespeare, but perhaps it comes closer to some of us because the hero is so recognisable - not a king, a prince or someone from an exotic time and place but a commission-only salesman down on his luck and chasing shadows. What cannot be disputed is that this is a beautifully crafted play full of memorable lines and with a group of well-delineated characters whose interplay really, really works. The haunting use of music and of Willy's flashbacks (its original title was 'In His Mind', or something like that, if I remember correctly) are its memorable trademarks. It has valid claims to being the greatest of twentieth-century plays in English, and if it is depressing, perhaps that's something we just have to put up with.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Times of Willy Loman 5 May 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," while confusing when just read through the text alone, is an awesomely crafted play that takes drama to the next level. Now being interested in plays, I decided it was time to read this one, being that this is considered a classic by many (which I could easily see why). Reading this play makes me want to write plays. Reading something like this makes me believe that I can some up with something great too. I am glad that I finally took the time to read it.
The story is about a broken-hearted salesman, Willy Loman. He is a man no longer living in the real world but is mostly trapped in his own delusional world. He can't let go of the past no matter how hard he tries, and it's eating him up inside. He wants to believe that his family is a shoe-in for greatness, no matter how lonely and sad his wife is, or how much of a player/swinger his youngest son is, or how confused and anti-business his oldest son is. You put all of this together and you get a glimpse of an American tragedy that is so powerful and sad that it makes you think these things happen all the time. From Page 1 you know it's not going to end on a happy note, but you decide to take the path anyways. And a path worth taking it is.
I admit that I was confused at certain points, because through the text alone it is very hard to separate Willy's reality from his imagination. There are places where Willy departs from reality and goes back to the past and it makes it very hard for us to figure out what is going on if we're only reading it. When I saw the movie version after reading this, I was able to appreciate the play more. I understood what confused me and I was able to figure out what was happening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'm learning about this play for English A-level coursework. When I had just finished reading it, I didn't like it. I found it a miserable play with a distinct lack of action.
However, as we are going into more depth about the characters and themes, I am starting to like the play. Arthur Miller has thought about every detail, and though I am not convinced about it being a tragedy, I believe it is a powerful and moving play.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars depressing genius 15 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This play is so depressing, for me at least, because of the universal truths so clearly expressed in what IS a tragedy of the western world. I find myself moved nearly to tears by how poignant this play is, saying more than a million plays could say in one line.
In fact I probably wouldn't recommend it, due to the effect on me, but if you want to see pure drama, this is for you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't get no satisfaction 21 Jan 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A work becomes a classic when it transcends the years, just as DOAS does. The themes of dissatisfaction, striving to achieve an almost impossible ideal, and not being able to sit to one side and realise what's really important as life in the fast lane creates a blur -- they're all as relevant now as in the late 40s.

Post-war idealism meant that many lived the winner-takes-all dream (as Willy's brother Ben is imagined to have), but not everyone can win. Willy pictures himself as being among the losers, even if he has had a successful career for many years as an on-the-road seller. As he comes to the end of his energy nearing retirement age, he is frustrated not to have broken through and made it truly big... and his mind is on all those others who have. He's also preoccupied with his goldenboy son Biff, high school football star, who somehow failed to slip into the winning world that Willy imagines.

Willy realises that his past successes were based on a broad smile, but the smile no longer works and he feels empty - left with nothing. His wife Linda recognises his achievements, and wants him to relax into old age. Meanwhile, unexpressed impulses are making Willy want to plant the family's small garden... to do something with his hands that is 'real'. But vegetables won't grow as their house is now surrounded by apartment blocks that keep out sunlight.

He loses his job and his way. And Miller captures the mindset of a worker in freefall when capitalism goes wrong... just as it is across the globe today, with economic crisis after econmic crisis.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Salesman
I first saw this as a movie around 1956. The characters are so well drawn that you can see real people behind them (maybe even yourself). Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a brilliant play
There's very little comedy in the play and a familiarity which deepens as you get older. Blowing my own trumpet, I read it twenty years ago and appreciated the furze of the style... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dan Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great sellar
Published 8 months ago by Mimm
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic.
Everyone should read this play.

It's as relevant today as it was when Arthur Miller first wrote it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by P. A. Power
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
The book was great for my IGCSE English exam. It is a worthwhile read and far more enjoyable than I would have thought. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Adam
3.0 out of 5 stars Review
Was purchased for english work and the comment from my son was one of the most boring plays he has ever had the misfortune to read
Published 14 months ago by Dawn
4.0 out of 5 stars Great play!
This came fast & in perfect condition.
Hard to review a classic as everyone has their take on it...

Maybe just avoid the movie. ;)
Published 17 months ago by Robert Fulton
5.0 out of 5 stars sons education
this is getting monotonous but it was bought for sons education and again is worth having on the book shelf
Published 18 months ago by sue
4.0 out of 5 stars Death of a salesman
Excellent play. I brought a used one, and the condition was brand new. I wouldn't have brought otherwise except for my studies. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Iain
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
You have to buy so many books at GCSE level and AS level so buying secondhand benefits your purse, the planet and the student! Would recommend to all year 9-13 pupils and parents.
Published 19 months ago by Anne
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