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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2006
Having thoroughly enjoyed My Fair Lady over the years, I came to the book expecting to enjoy a recap of the film - was I wrong!
From the start, this book grabbed my attention and kept me glued to the page - so different to the filmed version, and so much better!
I laughed a lot and wanted to scream a lot at Higgins but, and this was a good sign for me, I was so terribly disappointed when I got to the end!
Read it and laugh - this is definately staying on my 'keeper' shelves!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The greatness of this play is expressed for me by the fact that even reading it straight through as a text, rather than hearing or seeing it enacted as a drama, it still made me laugh. Shaw's ear for dialogue and his sense of comic timing is superb. Yes, it's a dated play, and one wonders how long it will last in performance, but it is literary perfection, razor sharp dialogue, fantastic charactersation and a superb eye for detail. The ambiguity of the ending and the refusal to bow to the schmalzy hollywood film makers saves it from being too saccharine, and allows the seriousness of Shaw's message to shine through, and the comedy saves it from being a polemic.
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on 16 April 2012
I was very pleased with my product. It was exactly what I wanted. I needed the script to use it for a drama exam and this product is perfect for it and very handy. The price is also very affordable for all people which is brilliant as I am a student and have limited money. The only problem I had with this product was the delivery, as it was meant 3-5 working days, but took almost two weeks to turn up. This was very inconvenient, as I needed it for an exam. Other than this problem, it is a fantastic product and I would definitely recommend it.
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on 16 December 2014
The classic story behind the Musical 'My Fair Lady' most people are aware of what happens in this book. However the ideas about class and identity are still being explored regularly by much less impressive books and TV.
The penguins classics brand is a very reliable presenter of stories in nice editions that sit well on any bookcase.
I would happily recommend this book to literature lovers or to those who know the musical but have never read it.
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on 27 September 2011
This play is brilliant. George Bernard Shaw was a complete genius. You really do feel as if you're in the play itself watching things develop. The characters are so well written. I laughed out loud in many places (got a few strange looks from my fellow commuters!!) The sign of a great book is one you want to read over and over again, and this one makes my list!
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on 17 February 2012
Having been (jokingly I do hope) compared to Eliza by a friend I went and ordered this play and was hooked in just the first page. Read it in a couple of hours - Shaw does very well! Would definitely recommend for a bit of light-hearted reading or in depth analysis for those who do prefer it!
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2004
Published as a play in 1916, 'Pygmalion' is one of Shah's play not heavy on philosophy. I, personally feel that his plays heavy on philosophy are his best - 'Man and Superman', 'St. Joan', 'Androcles and the Lion' et al. Among his plays of 'not heavy on philosophy' genre, I rate 'Pygmalion' as one of the best. It is full of fun, gaiety, humor, Shavian wit and is a wee bit didactic. As Shaw wrote in the preface of 'Man and Superman', that all good, great writing should be didactic. So, even in the mildly didactic 'Pygmalion', Shaw had more than one axe to grind so to say.
The central theme of Pygmalion is the gift of speech in human
beings. Shaw has tried to depict as to how a person speaks affects their own personality and the people around. As a corollary to this theme, Shaw hoped to popularize the science of phonetics. In the short preface of the play, Shaw also makes a plea for enhancement of the English alphabet (with it's too few vowels and few consonants) to make English reading pronunciation rational. Both his wishes of popularizing phonetics and getting the English alphabet enlarged remain unfulfilled even today, perhaps a measure of how much ahead of the times he was or still is!
The locale is London's Covent Garden vegetable market. The time is late night. It is pouring heavily, everybody is seeking the shelter of a church's portico. Among the shelter seekers is an impoverished, bedraggled flower girl Liza with a terrible cockney accent. Liza is trying to peddle her flowers to the crowd of shelter seekers. A middle- aged gentleman, professor Higgins is taking down her speech (in Bells Visible Speech) in his notebook. Professor Higgins is an eccentric phonetician, expert on London accents and can place a person by their accent to the street they originate from. One other shelter seeker is an ex-military man, Colonel Pickering (also middle aged) with a deep interest in phonetics. As professor Higgins Colonel Pickering get talking, Higgins bemoans the terrible accent of Liza (most depressing and disgusting sounds) and boasts that if given a chance to teach and train her to speak for three months, he could pass her off as a duchess on the basis of her fine way of speaking! It comes about that Colonel Pickering is willing to bear the expense of teaching Liza to speak by Higgins. The rest of the play is about Liza 'the live doll' learning to speak like a Duchess from two confirmed bachelors Higgins and Pickering and whether they are able to pass her off as a duchess.
The woman protagonist character of the play Liza like all Shaw's woman protagonist character is strong willed and assertive. Having to endure during her learning the overbearing ways, domineering mien, downright bullying from a socially superior Higgins her teacher, she manages to hold her own. In the latter stages of the play, she even manages to get the better of him and Higgins has to tamely acknowledge that he has made a 'woman' of her after all. (a lame defence) Although there is a romantic angle, (Liza and Freddy) the relationship between Liza vis-à-vis Higgins and Pickering are pivotal, focal relationships of the play. The Liza, Freddy romance is a relegated affair. I feel only Shaw could do this i.e. make a non-romantic relationship so interesting over the other. But then Shaw loved debunking popular notions. All in all a much readable play.
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on 1 August 2013
A nice copy, clear text and helpful notes. A very good version to get if you are studying the play, or if you are performing it, as it includes all the original stage directions and notes on set layout.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2010
After a visit to Bernard Shaws house owned by the National Trust, I decided to get a copy of this famous play. Compared to plays i read at school it is really easy to read - the dialogue is excellent and whereas i was expecting something along the lines of the My Fair Lady film i was pleasantly surprised by the much cleverer and less Hollywood ending. I was so impressed that i have been out and bought his collection of 3 "Unpleasant" Plays which I am enjoying at the minute.
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on 14 November 2012
A real insight to the background of this play. Very helpful to both actor and director with descriptions of the characters, era and a fascinating chapter on what happened next!
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