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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a dauntless document of love and war, 20 July 2004
This review is from: Not about Heroes (Paperback)
This play presents the tale of two men who are both, in their different ways, broken by their experiences of war, and the effecst that this has on their art. Owen and Sassoon, especially the former, have become symbols of the doomed youth of the Great War, and it is to them that we turn in order to discover the true realities of war today. We can no longer listen seriously to the solemn, romantic young heroism of the likes of Rupert Brooke, as we know that his perspective was the product of an inexperienced mind, blissfully unaware of the nightmare into which he was being sent when he died (of septicemia in 1915).
By exploring the effects of modern warfare on the psyche of two individuals, this play gives us insight into the nature of war and the trauma it brings, and makes us wonder just how much the world could benefit from listening properly to these historic nay-sayers.
The relationship between Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen comprises the heart of the play, and remains mysterious and ambiguous; it is given interesting exploration by MacDonald. The relationship certainly had a profound effect on the young, nervous Owen, whose poetry developed wonderfully under Sassoons' watchful(and sometimes critical)eye. The tale of these two poets is therefore important in giving us insight into the shaping of some of the great war poems of our times, and why they were written: to show the pity of war in Owens case, and something like the horrific lunacy in Sassoons, as far as possible.
This play is sometimes amusing, sometimes moving, tragic and always memorable. The characters are well portrayed, their own mannerisms and personality traits well illustrated through dialogue and stage directions, as well as frequent extracts of Sassoon and Owens' poetry, which complements the dialogue and character interaction.
This play gives us a picture of how deep friendships can be formed in awful circumstances, and the necessity for love and and humanity to endure through the darkness and find immortality.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deeply moving play, 11 Dec 2001
By 
paulburton@totalise.co.uk (Hungerford, Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Not about Heroes (Paperback)
This play tells the story of two of the great poets of the first world war. Siefreid Sassoon and Wilfred Owen meet while recovering at the Craiglockhart military hospital for mental trauma (shell shocked officers). The story is told partly in 'flashback' as Sassoon refllects on their friendship. Owen begins as a fan of Sassoon's poetry and they gradually build up their friendship polishing Owen's work for publication. The play contains some beautiful language, not just the poetry, and illustrates the pointless nature of war and the way in which it destroys anything of Beauty..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect radio/tv/theatre drama, 1 Feb 2004
This review is from: Not about Heroes (Paperback)
Not About Heroes must be one of the most underrated and underused First World War plays ever (probably) It tells of the coincidental meeting between two poets, one already established as such (Siegfried Sassoon) and one desperately wanting to be (Wilfred Owen)and if you, like me, have never experienced a war this play will silence you voluntarily on Remembrance Day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not About Heroes: Moving and Useful, 16 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Not about Heroes (Paperback)
I bought this as I'm doing First World War Literature in English, but also because of a personal fondness for Wilfred Owen and everything connected with him. Compared to the other plays I've come across, this one was unusual in as much as it contains only two actors, but much of it is very touching and well written. Not About Heroes uses collections of Owen and Sassoon's letters and poetry alongside dialogue, and the connection with the 'real life' poets is thus intensified.
In short, a very good play, and a worthwhile buy. It's helped with both the Literature work and just for general reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A production in Keswick, 30 Jun 2014
This review is from: Not about Heroes (Paperback)
Haven't read the play, I must admit, but saw it recently at The heate by the Lake in Keswick. It was one of the best productions I've seen there - absolutely excellent. Most moving without being, in any way, sentimental. The actors were extremely good - and I was very impressed by their rendering of the poems - it felt very natural. It was an intimate production in a small space and the atmosphere throughout was palpable. The end, which of course was inevitable, left a sober and emotionally moved audience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the book very much as it gave me an insite into two well known 1 W W poets, 12 Feb 2014
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Only trouble was the print was too small and the binding of the book very poor, it fell to pieces as I read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tears tearing through my eyes ;(, 11 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Not about Heroes (Paperback)
I absolutely lovvvvved this book!!!!!! written in such a contextual structure but yet so easy too follow. A very well written book. I bought this book for my English Literature course in A Level and with the help of this book and many others I passed!!! Definitely a good buy. The book was in very good condition too considering the fact that I bought a used copy. It was like a new copy! And definitely worth the price.
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Not about Heroes
Not about Heroes by Stephen MacDonald (Paperback - Jan 1987)
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