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269 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a bit different
I had just finished a long novel and wanted something different to read. The novel was the last of the Millennium Trilogy and The Importance Of Being Earnest, I thought might be a good choice for the something different.

And it was different. I hadn’t read anything by Oscar Wilde before this and so didn’t know what to expect. It is a quick read,...
Published 10 months ago by andy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The play of the play...
This is the play - not a novel of the play.

I've watched TIOBE many times (stage & screen versions) and always enjoyed it. Reading the play is interesting but, once the input of actors is missing, it's noticeable that this play is really just a one trick pony. The humour, plot and characters are expressions of one solitary joke: that the aristocracy embrace and...
Published 12 months ago by DR


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a bit different, 17 July 2014
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
I had just finished a long novel and wanted something different to read. The novel was the last of the Millennium Trilogy and The Importance Of Being Earnest, I thought might be a good choice for the something different.

And it was different. I hadn’t read anything by Oscar Wilde before this and so didn’t know what to expect. It is a quick read, but a very clever and amusing story.

It was a free Kindle download and I probably wouldn’t have chosen it if I’d had to pay for it, but having read it I know it definitely would have been worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece - laugh out loud funny, 13 Sept. 2014
By 
Laura Hartley (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I was under the impression that The Importance of Being Earnest was a serious piece of work for some reason but I couldn't have been more wrong. This play, written by Oscar Wilde, is incredibly funny farcical comedy that was written in the late 19th century. It follows the story of two men, John and Algernon who both have separate identities for when they are in town and when they are in the country. When John is in town, he goes by the name Ernest and claims to be in love with a young lady named Gwendolen, whom he wishes to marry. The problem is that the name Ernest is of great importance to Gwendolen, but of course, it isn't his real name. Algernon usually resides in town but upon hearing that his friend John has a young ward by the name of Cecily in the country, he takes on the persona of John's fake brother 'Ernest', and goes to visit John's house in the country. As you can imagine, numerous funny incidences occur as there is more than one man named 'Ernest' and people are not who they say they are.

This play is rather short and I managed to read the entire play in about an hour. There are very few stage directions in The Importance of Being Earnest, but this play is all about what people are saying, rather than what they are doing. Everything the characters say is either nonsense or completely backwards which is very funny for the reader. I must admit that even I got a little confused with all the identity switches but this short and sharp play keeps you entertained the entire way through and laugh-out-loud funny. Reading this play was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I would imagine that seeing this played out on stage would be even better. I haven't read any of Wilde's other plays but I can't imagine them getting much better, or funnier, than this.

Of course, whilst it is incredibly funny, if you read between the lines this is a satire of society and social commentary with Wilde making remarks on love affairs and marriage in the 19th century as well as the vanity of the upper classes. Of course everything the characters say is quite ridiculous and you absolutely cannot take them seriously and yet I suppose the idea of these characters being real people is not funny at all.

All in all, Wilde is a master and The Importance of Being Earnest is a must read/watch for all. Having read the play, I am now desperate to see it performed on stage which will no doubt be down right hilarious. This play is very short and easy to read so there are absolutely no excuses. Although written over a century ago, this witty play is a timeless classic that even modern readers will appreciate.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic farce, 30 Jun. 2011
By 
Colin Jones (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
I have read this a long while back, so the story was familiar but it is very silly but is funny at the same time. It is a play format and is easy to visualise the characters in action but is well worth a read by anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of being Earnest, 11 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
This is a brilliant play to read very funny full of clever wit, wonderful puns and one liners. I didn,t think it would appeal to me at first but I couldn,t put it down
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5.0 out of 5 stars A trivial comedy for serious people, 17 Jun. 2013
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
I've read this delightful play several times over the years, and was pleased to be able to download a (freely available) copy for my iPhone last week to re-read once again. It was the last play Wilde ever wrote, and the absolute pinnacle of his brilliant career as a writer in which his dazzling gifts for wit, social critique and epigram are all deployed to the full. The humorous plot of this farce (involving two characters who assume other identities merely in order to avoid social burdens), the lightness of the author's touch and the carefree world it portrays (in which vice is represented by a craving for muffins) are a world away from what lay in store for its author, and it can be sometimes difficult to read it without a sense of foreboding for Wilde's precipitous fall from grace (as is well-known, after the play's glittering London premiere on Valentine's Day 1895, it was taken off after just 86 performances following the eruption of Wilde's feud with the Marquess of Queensbury which resulted in his incarceration at the end of May in the same year and - somewhat more indirectly - his death at the age of forty-six five years later).

But the brilliance of this work is such that you almost forget about that, and luxuriate in its eminently-quotable dialogue - e.g.

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

"In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing."

"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means."

The fact that the play makes us laugh whilst meaning hardly anything at all, was created out of thin air as a pure entertainment, and - in spite of Wilde's fate - has survived for all these years whilst its contemporaries have been forgotten make the author's achievement here all the more admirable. Try it - you'll like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read., 9 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
If you've ever struggling for witty comebacks - just take the time to read this short play. You're bound to have heard some of the lines before - come on it's Oscar Wilde - but it really lives up to the hype.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusingly funny, 14 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
A welcome reminder of schoolday studies. A classic play with a comical bent, another winner from the pen of Mr Wilde. Good edition for Kindle - and all the more attractive for being FREE!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, beautiful and complete, 27 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
Well, what can I say barring the fact that I am painfully ashamed of never having much love for plays, which led to the misfortune of my never reading this? It is wonderful to read, at times hilarious, and the use of language alone is exceptional. I love how the ending ties itself off in such a dramatic and almost expected way.

If, like me, you are reserved from theatrics, spend an hour reading this little gem. It will bring more than a few smiles to your face.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have not read this before then there really ..., 23 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
If you have not read this before then there really are no excuses, if you have read it then you should read it again. If you can picture in your head the ridiculousness of British society at the time this is set. How the mere appearance in society and the station you had in the community were taken so seriously. This is so witty, well written and charming. It's not a long book and goes to show that "classic" literature can not be measured in pages.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always Popular, 14 May 2011
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Kindle Edition)
Of all that Oscar WIlde did, this must be his crowning achievement, and has always proved popular. Even people who have never read the play or seen it performed, or even seen a film of it seem to know the story, so it would be redundant of me to go over the plot.

Lets be honest though, the actual storyline is ludricous, and this is why it makes such a brilliant farce, but also in keeping with Wilde's keen grasp of wit this is also a great satire of the Victorian period at the time (1895). With its tangled web of lies and deceits this shows how much appearances had to be kept up, rather than what peope really did.

I have already got this in 'treebook' form but when I saw this edition here I just had to get it. If you like a good laugh, then this will be ideal for you. Also, if you get the chance I would highly recommend that you see it performed as well. I was extrememly lucky as some years ago the local amateur dramatics group put a free performance on in the local park.
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