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JOURNEY'S END: A PLAY IN THREE ACTS. Hardcover – 1929


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 5 pages
  • Publisher: Brentano's; Eleventh Impression edition (1929)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00085OXFK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,030,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Gray on 26 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Many of the more luke-warm reviewers of this powerful play clearly haven't been to see a good production. I don't think it's about boredom, rather about how men cope, without going mad, with the impossible horror of having seen thousands of their comrades die hideously in battle often in prolonged agony, of knowing that they themselves are likely to die soon, of hearing constant battle noise or the single cracks of sniper fire when it's quieter. Each of the characters deal with this in a different but equally convincing way. Go and see the superb production now on in London, or any production you can, re-read the play and I think you'll have a different take on what you've read. It is after all designed to be seen and heard, not read.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sep 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read this play when I was studying for an English GCSE. To be honest, I didn't really expect much of it, as I don't always enjoy the books we are told to read. However, from the moment I opened it, I knew this was something special. Sherriff's realistic portrayal of the WWI trenches and the relationships between the men really do stay with you forever. I never wanted to put it down This is a gem of a book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. M. Fuller on 6 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
'Journey's End' opens in the bleak environment of the Western Front as a new arrival James Raleigh comes to join a group of soldiers in the trench system. The 'journey' on which the soldiers embark upon is contains two human attributes, the first being emotional attachment, the second being the power of perceiverance.

Sherriff does not need to go into the graphic details of what happens when the men 'go over the top', however he builds up a number of passionate friendships that both move and endear the reader. The first of these relationships is between Commander Stanhope and Officer Osborne who is 'the only man who could understand me' as described by the company commander at the moment of Osborne's demise. Their relationship is one of two brothers as they look after each other on the Front line - 'what would I ever do without you old chap' exclaims Stanhope, 'I do not know' responds Osborne - inferring the loving relationship the two characters share. At the moment of Osborne's death I was shocked at the anger that welled up inside Stanhope as he responded to the comments from the survivors of the daylight raid on 'the Boche'. He shouts at Hibbert - 'What did you say!...Get out of my sight!' in anger at losing his 'most trusted friend' and the sense of loss is only solidified by the explosion of emotion that feels his dialogue whilst conversing with Raleigh (the soul commanding survivor of the raid).

The audience can fully understand the sense of anger that is perpetuated by Stanhope at the loss of his comrade. The loss moves the reader as the emotional outpouring fills six pages of intense dialogue between the commanding officer and the other soldiers.

The opposite reaction can be found at the climax of the performance.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 July 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the most moving play I have ever read.This play possesses all the dramatic components it needs in order to make it a success: comedy, tragedy, conflict and a flawed hero. This play is the only play I have ever read that has brought a tear to my eye.
As a result of the play's brilliance I am now starring and co-directing a performance of it at my school!
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
This drama about trench life in the first world war is a very moving piece. The characters- Captain Stanhope, who has changed dramatically since he came to the front, Raleigh, the young officer and schoolfriend of Stanhope who hero-worships him, the avuncular teacher Osborne, the comic cook Mason, and the other characters are portrayed sensitively and accurately. The play brings out all the tragedy of war, as you would expect, but is unsentimental and even brings out the humour of the situation at times. In short, well worth reading- especially around November 11th.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wordson Canvas on 9 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the film 'Withnail and I,' & recently noticed the 'I' character reading this play during a scene in the movie - presumably it's the play in which he ultimately wins a part. This prompted me to order a copy from Amazon, and guess what? It's not bad!

It's a thoroughly British portrayal of life in a WW1 trench. It's not perfect - there is more than a hint of stereotypical caricature in Sherriff's depiction of various working class/public school characters - and it seems rather sanitised compared to Remarque's superb description of trench warfare in 'All Quiet On The Western Front,' but you are drawn in by it all, and I'm sure the script would gain a lot & be very affecting in performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Fairhurst on 1 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The message of this play, a bold piece of drama for the time in which it was written, is still relevant and powerful today. The plot is very easy to follow, and it is the themes and ideas that draw the reader in, such as the moral dilemma of commanders who know that the war is unjustified and that their own leaders are stupid and incompetent, yet feel duty or honour bound to follow the rules of war. Does any of this sound familiar?
There is also a grim fascination in examining the strategies each man adopts in order to cope with the insane hell in which he finds himself. It is a real drama about real people, and it leaves the audience/readers with uncomfortable questions.
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