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Other Desert Cities Paperback – 17 Nov 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press (17 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802145655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802145659
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 0.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 482,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"The most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many seasons. . . . In his most fully realized play to date, Mr. Baitz makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family portrayed here. Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and just possibly heroic. . . . leaves you feeling both moved and gratifyingly sated." --Ben Brantley, "The New York Times"
"Other Desert Cities is a winner . . . funny and fierce, invigorating and intelligent." --Joe Dziemianowicz, "Daily News"
"Baitz's script sparkles with a deep understanding oif the turmoil boiling beneath the surface of his characters and it is chock-full of wonderful lines." --Mark Kennedy, "Associated Press"
"This scathingly funny, deeply felt family drama is the tastiest, most entertaining new play of the season . . . with a wisdom and compassion--and sureness of touch--that make this his most mature, moving, and flat-out enjoyable work to date."--Adam Green, "Vogue"
"A master of crackling dialogue . . . Baitz manages to engage matters of public and private morality--and public and private ideology--with and energy, and a minimum of self-flagellation."--Scott Brown, New York magazine
"Baitz's latest familial drama manages to be funny, cutting and illuminating. Secrets, lies and betrayals play out against a backdrop of Californian affluence and restraint. This is rich dysfunction--zingers are delivered with a whiskey chaser." --Fern Siegel, "The Huffington Post"


The most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many seasons. . . . In his most fully realized play to date, Mr. Baitz makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family portrayed here. Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and just possibly heroic. . . . leaves you feeling both moved and gratifyingly sated. Ben Brantley, "The New York Times"
Other Desert Cities is a winner . . . funny and fierce, invigorating and intelligent. Joe Dziemianowicz, "Daily News"
Baitz s script sparkles with a deep understanding oif the turmoil boiling beneath the surface of his characters and it is chock-full of wonderful lines. Mark Kennedy, "Associated Press"
This scathingly funny, deeply felt family drama is the tastiest, most entertaining new play of the season . . . with a wisdom and compassionand sureness of touchthat make this his most mature, moving, and flat-out enjoyable work to date. Adam Green, "Vogue"
A master of crackling dialogue . . . Baitz manages to engage matters of public and private moralityand public and private ideologywith and energy, and a minimum of self-flagellation. Scott Brown, New York magazine
Baitz s latest familial drama manages to be funny, cutting and illuminating. Secrets, lies and betrayals play out against a backdrop of Californian affluence and restraint. This is rich dysfunctionzingers are delivered with a whiskey chaser. Fern Siegel, "The Huffington Post"
"

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw the play and thought the text would be well worthwhile a closer examination. It is! The characters come to life even more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny and deep, sharp and moving. A five hander of familial betrayal and loyalty seated in entitlement and sacrifice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 42 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars who owns your family's story? 19 Mar. 2016
By Frank L. Greenagel II - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good play from 2012 that centers around the question "who owns our story when we share it with other people?" If a man write a memoir about his time in the Army with his fellow soldiers, or a young woman writes about a family tragedy from 25 years ago...is the story theirs to tell alone? Do the others have a say in what is said or not said? Can people sue each other?

Brooke Wyeth, a liberal New Yorker, comes home to Palm Springs, California to celebrate Christmas with her WASPY, GOP-loving parents and her TV show producing brother, who is ten years her junior and a political agnostic. Lefty Aunt Silda, Polly's broke and drunken sister, rounds out the cast. Brooke has written a memoir about her brother's suicide and she tells the family on Christmas Eve that the New Yorker will run a chapter in February. The family is aghast and the fighting ensues.

The dialogue is solid - there are some funny lines, some nice life observations and a few biting remarks. The political battles are a bit stale and predictable. The GOP parents like money, control, scotch, guns and war. The Leftists have mental problems, substance abuse problems, preach, judge and constantly correct language. It's hard to like any of them when they go on like that.

Strong play. For over a month now, I've thought about the ending and how much I like it.
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Play, but please wait for a second edition 12 Jan. 2012
By L. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this play was nearly as enjoyable as seeing it the Broadway production, which was one of the most memorable performances I've experienced in many years as an audience member. Baitz's strengths are displayed impressively: the characters are memorable, the themes are fascinating, and both are treated with evenhanded compassion. The dialogue is so thoughtful and provocative that it's easy to forgive the occasionally heavy-handed speech or the lack of urgency. These characters and the situation are so engaging that it's a pleasure to wait as things unfold.

But...readers should absolutely not buy this book.

Apparently, the publisher did no editing whatsoever. Throughout, the text is riddled with minor punctuation inconsistencies, spelling or word choice errors, and other errata that suggest that no one at Grove has ever read (much less edited) a script.

The most egregious error - and the reason you should not support such shoddy publishing - is in the scene that forms the climax of the entire play. You know, the scene where an editor probably should not just barely skim over and accidentally hit "copy/paste." After a major plot revelation, in case you didn't get it, pages 57-58 repeat an entire half-page sequence of dialogue - capping it off by inventing the baffling phrase: "to sew doubt."

This sloppiness definitely should sow doubts about ever buying a book from Grove Press.
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable family drama 29 Sept. 2015
By Peter J. Orvetti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this play, which starts off as a well-written but seemingly familiar story about an estranged liberal daughter back home to visit her conservative parents, but which turns into something quite different by the end. I have not yet seen it staged live, but the presentation is simple, as is the language. Baitz is building relationships with the language of the ordinary, not trying to craft flowery speeches. The play does have a good deal of humor in its earliest scenes -- though it is the dark humor of dysfunction -- but "Other Desert Cities" is ultimately a drama, and a memorable one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting play. 3 Dec. 2016
By D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really interesting play. At first, I thought this was turning into the typical "let's bash the conservatives with stereotypes", but I kept reading anyway. I'm glad I did! Baitz uses the stereotypes to throw you off what he's really doing. The ending is fabulous and unexpected. Definitely recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars important 21 Mar. 2016
By tom clancy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
plays about families in crisis have fallen by the wayside..williams, and miller,for decades ,exposed us to the complications and roadblocks for people who love each other..this play has it all..nuance,smart dialogue,great characters and an unexpected reveal.
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