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The Real Thing [Paperback]

Tom Stoppard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

15 April 2010

The play begins with Max and Charlotte, a couple whose marriage seems about to rupture. But nothing one sees on a stage is the real thing, and some things are less real than others. Charlotte is an actress who has been appearing in a play about marriage written by her husband Henry. Max, her leading man, is also married to an actress, Annie. Both marriages are at the point of rupture because Henry and Annie have fallen in love. But is it the real thing?

The Real Thing was first performed at the Strand Theatre, London, on 16 November 1982.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (15 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571270123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571270125
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Stoppard's work includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, After Magritte, Dirty Linen, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, the trilogy The Coast of Utopia and Rock 'n' Roll. His radio plays include If You're Glad I'll Be Frank, Albert's Bridge, Where Are They Now?, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Dog It Was That Died, In the Native State and Darkside (incorporating Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon). Television work includes Professional Foul, Squaring the Circle and Parade's End. His film credits include Empire of the Sun, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which he also directed, Shakespeare in Love, Enigma and Anna Karenina.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This play is a succeeded attempt to question what is real. It studies people and what they do and how it is the real thing. In this play art and popular culture are represented as replicas, fake and merely expressions of something that is believed to be real. Language and emotions as real. It questions love. Centred around four main characters, Henry, Charlette, Max, and Annie the play uses many illusional tricks to make the reader question what is real. An extremely thought prevoking play that uses realism all through out. Funny, clever and very intriging.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The usual Stoppard brilliance. 10 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As what is considered a turning point in Stoppard's ability to write romance, The Real Thing includes the usual ingenius commentary on life and art this time woven through a love story. Thus, the play can be enjoyed for the usual Stoppardian elevated language and fascinating explanations of quality art as well as its touching yet clever romantic plot. Moreover, it is this plot that sets it apart from Stoppard's earlier work. The characters in The Real Thing make up complex relationships and display emotions that add another facet to Stoppard's masterful control of the language. Dialogue seemlessly drifts between discussions of language to discussions of life, all the while maintaining the level of quality for which Stoppard is famous. It is a wonderful play demonstrating wit, intelligence, cleverness, and overall entertainment in a variety of ways.
As Ros. and Guil. used Hamlet and Travesties used the Importance of Being Ernest, The Real Thing contains certain references to 'Tis Pity She's a Whore that make that Jacobean tragedy a helpful piece of background reading.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb 24 May 2000
By M. L. Arnautov - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This play is very funny in places, very moving in places, very absorbing in places -- all of it in an apparently seamless whole of the high Stoppardian quality. How does the man do it? How does one write a dissertation on the art of writing using a cricket bat as a teaching aid? To quote another recent Stoppard's work: "It's a mystery!..."
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Enjoyed this Production BUT... 14 Sep 2010
By My Two Cents,and some change... - Published on Amazon.com
I truely enjoyed this revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. It has been one of my favorite plays since the original Broadway production with Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close. At one time, there was an audio version of that cast (I had it on cassette tape,) which is now out of print. I have looked everywhere! Nobody has it available.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! ---re-release THAT version of the play on CD. It would make a fantastic addition to anyone's collection of spoken word recordings.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great play by Stoppard! 3 Dec 2008
By Marilyn Squier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tom Stoppard is my favorite playwright. Yet, the first time I read The Real Thing, I really disliked it. I didn't find his focus on adultry at all compelling. When I read the play for a second time, I realized that it had a lot of merit that I had not previously noticed. For example, he examines the relationship between polemic and artistic creation, between the artistry of writing and writing which is personal and passionate. Is it a good thing to be able to manipulate words for any occasion, or is it better to feel strongly about what you are writing?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 29 Nov 2011
By J. Smallridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of Stoppard's greatest works. He captures the nuances of human behavior in a terrific way and his dialogue is, as always, sharp and full of meaning.
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