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The Pillowman [Paperback]

Martin McDonagh
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

20 Nov 2003

A writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town.

'Sometimes you don't even know what you've been craving until the real thing comes along.' New York Times

'McDonagh is more than just a very clever theatrical stylist. His tricks and turns have a purpose. They are bridges over a deep pit of sympathy and sorrow, illuminated by a tragic vision of stunted and frustrated lives.' Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times

Martin McDonagh's searingly brilliant new play premières at the National Theatre, London in November 2003.

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The Pillowman + Poor Things + The Good Soldier (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (20 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571220320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571220328
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


PRAISE FOR MARTIN MCDONAGH AND THE PILLOWMAN: "McDonagh is destined to be one of the theatrical luminaries of the 21st century." -"-The New Republic""Energizing . . . a blindingly bright black comedy." --Ben Brantley, "The New York Times""A complex tale about life and art, about fact and illusion, about politics, society, cruelty and creativity." --Alastair Macaulay, "Financial Times""Martin McDonagh, master of bad taste in black comedy's cause and persistent enfant terrible, leaps towards maturity in this dazzling, disquieting nightmare of a play which makes up its own Grimm fairy-tales." --Nicholas de Jongh, "Evening Standard""A play of extraordinary power and stunning theatrical bravura." --Michael Coveney, "Daily Mail"

About the Author

Martin McDonagh is the author of six plays, including the Tony Award-nominated "The Beauty Queen of Leenane."

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but scary 26 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A storyteller is pulled in by police for investigation into a number of child murders. The author's stories feature brutal, harrowing and explicy child murders, all told in a eerie fairytale manner, and the murderer has been copying these scenarios. So. inevitably the police suspect the author is the murder and set to break him into confessing.
This is a great play, and written with such energy that it really needs to be seen in performance. But if living in a theatrical vacuum like me , the second best option to to buy the text and 'play' the scenes out in your head.
The shocking conclusion is just as brutal and harrowing as some of the authors stories, and leaves you cast adrft in your thoughts. Cracking play.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossibly Funny 24 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This play deserves a resounding cheer for managing to approach a potentially controversial and difficult subject (the massacring of tiny infants) with startling ease and intelligence. The dialogue is second to none, and the play offers excellent two and three-handers for theatre students to use for rehearsal and showcase purposes. I was lucky enough to watch the play at it's recent run at the National Theatre, and the production lived up to the writing in winning style. I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by the entire cast, and I can't stop re-reading this truly brilliant play!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 July 2014
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An integral play in modern and current drama. Incredible script and should be read by all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 17 May 2014
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For all those 1st year students this book is a must read, a very twisted drama which many critics have portrayed as a sexual abuse towards kids but there's more to it, a story that tells a story and really opens your mind to the truth of the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant play! 15 Jun 2013
By Tori
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I saw this at the theatre and loved it. It is simply superb, dark, funny and yet surprisingly playable characters for actors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Dark 2 Jun 2013
By Suzie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The plot is about the detention of a playwright, who is suspected to be involved in a series of gruesome murders, which are eerily similar to the Grimm-like stories he has written. It is a engaging piece of writing and I would recommend it to anyone who's not afraid to explore the darker side of humanity and fairy tales.
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5.0 out of 5 stars storytelling 22 April 2013
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I say I love it but that's not really how you would describe it. Love it in the sense that it is well written and even though the subject matter is quite hard to swallow it was a fascinating read. Recommend second reading though as the first time around you get caught up in murders of the children by the storyteller (won't give anything away) so on second reading you start to question Katurian's motives for writing such horrific stories, somehow reminding me of Grimms fairy tales. A must read
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite thing that I've ever read. 31 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Maybe I just ruined it for you, but seeing how, like many great things it succeeds on multiple levels, at least three; I don't think I did. How something can be so incredible and fly under my radar for so long is one of the things that would keep me up at night if anything could. The "In Bruges" writer/director gives large doses of the only two qualities I want: wit and profundity. The dialogue is superb, but even it takes a back seat to the overall depth and pure story that unfolds. I abhor gruesome things, but unlike a young B.E. Ellis a young M.M. spins the grotesqueness to achieve something more than just thoughtfulness about the pure shock of it.

I jumped on this because Adam on Filmspotting said it was amazing, so I owe him yet again. Please tell me something that reaches the heights (wrong word) of The Pillowman with anything close to the same economy and I'll read it immediately. I'm almost glad I read this instead of seeing the play because I had time to stop and laugh out loud, and some remove from the intensity. NOTE: I read this in two sittings, 1/3 first and then the rest the next night; I assume this had a positive effect and ensured substantial immersion.
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