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Four Plays: Summer and Smoke/Orpheus Descending/Suddenly Last Summer/Period of Adjustment Mass Market Paperback – 30 Nov 2003


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics (30 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451529146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451529145
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.1 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Four Plays: Summer and Smoke/Orpheus Descending/Suddenly Last Summer/Period of Adjustment

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marta Riba Ocaña on 19 Sept. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I think that Summer and Smoke and Orpheus Descending are two of Tennessee Williams' best theatre plays. The characters seem real, nothing in them is conventional, nor out of tune. The same is true about the situations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diddle on 16 Oct. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Purchased for GCSE studys. the school supplied own copies but bought own so as my daughter could make notes in the relevent pages.
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Value - Portrait of a Playwright at the Height of his Powers 20 Oct. 2010
By Stephen Dedalus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I do not share the opinion that the quality of Tennessee Williams' plays suffered greatly after 1961's NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, it is true that his work lost favor with the public as he began to abandon conventional narratives in favor of more experimental and absurdist forms, as opposed to the expressionism and Southern Gothic melodrama that first put him on the map with THE GLASS MENAGERIE and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in the mid-1940s. This collection from Signet Classics brings together four plays from this decade-and-a-half "golden era" in Williams' career, a period that most would call his best and all would agree was his most successful critically and financially.

SUMMER AND SMOKE (1948) is the first play and it comes on the heels of the massive successes of MENAGERIE and STREETCAR. As a result, it is a work that continues in this expressionistic vein, with careful and detailed production notes recalling the former and the sexual angst and human drama of its characters quoting the latter. ORPHEUS DESCENDING (1957) is a remarkably effective reworking of an earlier apprentice play, and it updates the Greek myth within a rural Southern backdrop. In my opinion, it is not only the best play in this collection but one of the playwright's five best works in his entire canon. Next up, and almost just as good, is SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER (1958), a tremendous psycho-drama that features a climactic monologue that is among the most gripping and nightmarish in American drama. The only real misstep in this collection is PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1960), a shamelessly commercial romantic comedy... it is quite inconsequential.

Despite my indifference to the final play of this collection, the value of this small paperback is indisputable. There is more to Tennessee Williams than STREETCAR and MENAGERIE. While his later plays are less accessible (but quite underrated!), this collection is a great and inexpensive way to introduce yourself to more of this fascinating playwright's work. ORPHEUS and SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER, in particular, are essential.
Tennessee's other great plays 23 Jun. 2014
By Peg D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As a playwright, you can learn how to craft reading these memorable works by Tennessee. Forget the movies ... the plays really tell the story!
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