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The God of Carnage (Ff Plays) Paperback – 6 Mar 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571242588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571242580
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 0.7 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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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3.6 out of 5 stars
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Sitting comfortable within the ranks of Albert Camus, Harold Pinter, and the other established masters of Absurdist theatre, The God of Carnage is an excellent translation from Christopher Hampton (in both clarity and precision) from Christopher Hampton of the original French play.

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.
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Format: Paperback
"[Are] we interested in anything but ourselves? Of course we'd all like to believe in the possibility of improvement", says poor Alain, one of the four characters in Yasmina Reza's play "The god of carnage". He may be naïve for a single moment saying this, but deep down he - and probably the French dramatist - do not believe in the possibility of improving the human being.

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?
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Format: Paperback
Two couples are forced to come together and talk about a fight between their children. The evening starts off civilized, if a little forced but soon deteriorates into a bitter argument revealing the flaws in both couples marriages and lives. Sound familiar? Yes it is a similar set up as Albie's Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf with much the same revelation of ugly truths, but without as much collateral damage. The problem isnt that this takes the same setup or even a similar premise of Albie's play. Nor is it that it doesn't have the dramatic final turn as Whos Afraid Of Virgina Woolf to look forward too. It could have been a perfectly fine play in its own right; exploring these couples and their relationships, even delving into the harder aspects on how children change a persons life. But it doesn't because all the characters are shallow, upper middle class stock types. The corporate lawyer whose always on the phone. The wife who writes historical books and wants to save the world but is at heart an egotist. The nervous wreck who throws up and is constantly dismissed by her diffident husband. Its hardly a surprise when the playwright turns on her characters to expose them for the narcissistic, shallow, unhappy people they really are. To write unlikable people is fine, even great but then you need an engaging plot to carry the play through. Sadly this doesn't have one.

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.
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I bought this as I LOVED Yasmina Reza previous work with ART. I thought the play was amazing, and me and my friends actually acted it for fun. I loved the triangle between these friends and their friendships about to fall apart.
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.
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