The God of Carnage (Ff Plays) Paperback – 6 Mar 2008
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"Reza holds the mirror up to bourgeois hypocrisy withthe savage indignation of a born satirist", Guardian. "A triumph! Brilliantly translated by Christopher Hampton", Daily Express.
About the Author
Yasmina Reza is a French playwright and novelist, based in Paris, whose works have all been multi-award-winning, critical and popular international successes. Her plays, Conversations After a Burial, The Passage of Winter, Art, The Unexpected Man, Life x 3, A Spanish Play and The God of Carnage have been produced worldwide and translated into thirty-five languages. Novels include Hammerklavier, Une Desolation, Adam Haberberg, Dans la Luge d'Arther Schopenhauer, Nulle Part and L'Aube le Soir ou la Nuit. Film includes Le Pique-Nique de Lulu Kreutz directed by Didier Martiny.
Christopher Hampton was born in the Azores in 1946. He wrote his first play, When Did You Last See My Mother? at the age of eighteen. Since then, his plays have included The Philanthropist, Savages, Tales from Hollywood, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, White Chameleon and The Talking Cure. He has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, von Horváth, Chekhov and Yasmina Reza (including Art and Life x 3). His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel du Lac. His screenplays include The Honorary Consul, The Good Father, Dangerous Liaisons, Mary Reilly, Total Eclipse, The Quiet American, Carrington, The Secret Agent and Imagining Argentina, the last three of which he also directed, and A Dangerous Method, based on his play The Talking Cure. Appomattox was first presented on the McGuire Proscenium Stage of the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, USA, in September 2012 as the centrepiece of a major retrospective of his plays and films.
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Top Customer Reviews
I read this after having seen the Roman Polanski adaptation, and there was a small disappointment at first - not only for the play which was effectively a script for the play, but also in Polanski, having expected some parts to have been made up or, at least, modified.
The contents of this book are very close to the screenplay, so if you're buying it only for 'additional content' outwith the film, be warned. Since buying it, however, I've read it a few times, and I love it. Reza excellently brings together classical existentialism and nihilism, middle-class and bourgeoisie criticism, both high- and toilet-humour, a Pinteresque feeling of general uneasiness, and top-quality dialogue with that powerful 'overheard-on-the-subway' feeling which only comes from effective ultra-realistic writing.
Alain, his wife Annette, and the couple Véronique and Michel, are clear example of the well meant bourgeoisies whose blindness do not allow to see beyond their belly tummy. The answer to Alain first question is: not. No, they - and for extension we - are not interested in anything but themselves. The excuse for the gathering is each couple's child behavior - one of them has hurt the other with a stick. This is said in the first lines of the play, but what arises after a couple of minutes is the inherent nastiness that inhabits the inside of each of us.
Reza's strong dialogues - translated with pitch perfection by Christopher Hampton - exposes above all her characters' moral fragilities. They are like a quartet playing a game whose winner is the one who best betrays his/her companions. For that they pair up with somebody else from the other couple, but, in the end, each is playing for on his/her own.
What is it to be a parent? What is it to be half of a married couple? Are there rules for one live in society? How to fulfill other people's expectations towards us? Or, as a matter of fact, should we? There is a lot of irony in "The god of carnage" because we behave as others expect us to, and rarely show our true colors. They criticize the children's behavior and are hoped to teach them how to behave. But how can they do that when they themselves behave worse?
However structurally the play is very good and there are some nice moments to be had. Plus its nice to see more contemporary plays making it into publication.
In God of Carnage, it's a similar scenario, only it's two couples who meet for the first time to discuss their son's bad behaviour towards one another and at the beginning they're very polite and little by little , incidents happen, funny things that starts to create chaos... Yasmina is quite funny in a sarcastic way as well.. Its a good idea but a bit of a repetition if you've read Art. So I'm not convinced to see the film either... Disappointing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I performed this play for my As Drama performance, fantasticly funny play, definitely a must read even if not performing.Published 25 days ago by Theo Ellis