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on 11 May 1999
These four plays by Sartre are all very different in style if not tone, but they all cut to the bone of meaning in delivering their sobering messages. The best play is also the most famous, No Exit, filled with brilliant language and dramatic fire. The situations and questions posed within aspeak directly to our age. Next, The Respectful Prostitute, which shows how funny existentialists can be, and how gut-wrenching comedy can be both funny and chilling. The Flies is a wonderfully inventive play that one can picture just by reading, with its harsh words, though in the guise of classical language, never missing a stab at the characters--or the audience. The weakest play, Dirty Hands, is still a compelling but rather cliched drama which is a little too ponderous for theatre, but dead on with its analysis of the human condition. Overall, a very worthwhile collection and a great introduction to Sartre, and existentialism.
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on 8 April 1998
I picked this book up and read it, on a whim, and suddenly realized that I was entranced and couldn't put it down! I was hypnotized by No Exit (Huis Clos), and was thrilled and jarred by it. After I finished it, it really affected me. It is an unforgettable play! Each of the characters were so complex, and so real. The structure was infinitely ingenious, and infused with a brilliance that only Sartre could give. Usually, I don't like existentialism, but this is one play that no one should pass up. After I read it, I have been talking about it to all of my friends, raving and ranting, because it insuperable good. A great read, if you want to be transported to another world.
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This is the best lit that Sartre produced. He was one of the first "intellectuals" who I dutifully followed like I did Rock Stars once their original groups broke up: once I found something good, I sought more and was continually disappointed. That is not a criticism of the plays as they are here, but of the man in a wider context.

No Exit is a great masterpiece of European literature, with echoes of modernism, surrealism, and the theatre of the absurd. I did not think it was all that deep, but it is a wodnerful theatrical experience and full of potential for later analysis. Like the best of Brecht, the viewer is left in a state of conflict and ferment, ready to talk after the work of art is over. Sartre's work meets this standard, and is very close to first-rate literature.

Warmly recommended as a quintessential link in leftist, existential literature. It opened a world to me.
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on 26 March 2006
The play "No Exit" is fantastic... a kind of psychological thriller about how people can get inside other people's heads and torment them through their weaknesses. A strange portrayal of hell that is truly hellish. However the translation from French to English is really poor. I believe it is "transliterated"; translated almost word for word, which overlooks the meaning or expression of certain phrases. For ex., "That's so, isn't it?", from the French," C'est ca, n'est pas?" Is that correct English? Shouldn't it be.. "Isn't it so?" or maybe, "Is that so"? Another ex., "We use to go"...", instead of we USED to go. It is "translated" like that all the way through the play. I found it very distracting, at best, and ultimately quite confusing. I found myself guessing at what Sartre was really trying to say.
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on 15 April 2003
For those of you (myself included) whose French abilities are not nearly adequate for enjoying such demanding, guilt-ridden dramas as 'Huis Clos'/'No Exit' in Sartre's original language, I strongly recommend this translation. Although I am personally at odds with certain aspects of Sartre's particular brand of Existentialism, I have to admit that he was in fact a rather good dramatist, and since his philosophy is quite tangible in all four plays, this collection should serve as a nice general introduction. I give this edition five stars for translation and for not coming apart after numerous re-readings (unlike so many of its brethren).
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on 2 November 2010
4 very readable plays which can be enjoyed and understood by any English reader. However, you can tell that the book has been translated from French into English. Indeed there are some sentences which you will have to read twice in order to understand what the original French text actually meant because certain sentences are not written in a way that English people would say them. Nevertheless, this book is well worth the buy if you are interested in Sartre or merely looking for the plays to read in English.
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on 11 March 1999
I like existentialist writings, because they are almost always thought provoking, but I seldom agree w/ the thoughts or ideas presented. No Exit is of course the famous one. Since I know someone who considers being stuck in a room w/ me to be hell, I guess it is at least partially valid, though I personally would go crazy just as easily stuck in the room alone. I used The Flies for my Senior term paper in high school, comparing it to the classic Oedipus story [it was a contrast of style]. The Flies is Sartre's version of Mourning Becomes Electra. This play explores ideas of guilt, authority, and repentence. I think my favorite of the bunch was the Respectful Prostitute, because it brought to light contrasts between what we expect of people and who they actually are [the prostitute is more honest than the respectable people she finds her self around.] All the plays have the theme of a character trapped in a situation in which they must give in and compromise their beliefs/ standards, or suffer the consequences imposed by those in authority.The characters choices, and their reasons, are quite interesting. This summary merely touches on the ideas in the plays; you must read them to understand the thoughts and ideas of Sartre's philosophy.
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on 5 August 1998
'No Exit' was easily the best play I have ever read and it totally blew me away. It was engaging, thought-provoking and truthful. I am not much of a reader and am easily bored, but this play was nothing short of brilliant. The characters are so real, so human, and the messages expressed in this play will speak volumes to ANYONE who lives. Pick it up and read it, you won't regret it!
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on 14 October 1998
No Exit is a great play. The people are not incredibly evil or anything, they are just like us, with the same hopes and desires. They also make the same mistakes. One does wonder that if hell is other people, what is heaven?
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on 3 March 2016
Finally I read the play that quote came from.
The content here is not Sartre's best but it's good enough to justify the purchase.
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