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on 15 October 2017
brilliant book
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on 23 July 2017
Stunning play as powerful in 2017 as when it was first written.
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on 15 September 2017
Great value for a good, accessible script fot these two great modern classics.
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on 11 July 2017
Delivery was fast. Saw the play and wanted to have a copy of this book.
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on 19 September 2017
great thanks
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on 25 February 1999
"Angels In America" offers us new insight on self-discovery. Throughout the play, characters talk of "Threshold of revelation." While reading this, you ask yourself, "What is this revelation they always speak of?" Tony Kushner magnificently magnificently answers this question thorough his troubled characters. Prior fights with his disease, Joe wrestles with his identity, Louis challenges his ability to love, and Harper tests her sanity. Each character is able to learn and reveal something about themselves as a result of their individual struggles. It is these revelations that set them free. It is because of each character's story that "Angles in America" touches every person that reads it. We can relate to trying to overcome obstacles that have been thrown in our way. Through their remarkable stories, we learn about true love, accepting who we are, and making sure to live life to the fullest no matter what blockades life may throw in your way. This dramatic play discusses serious issues such as AIDS and religion, but it never loses its humor in the process. Overall, "Angels In America" is an inspirational play that shows us how difficult life can be, but that should not keep us from wanting more life. Kushner's characters learn life's terrible lessons, but manage to handle them in an extraordinary way. By the end of the play, we catch ourselves saying, "I want more life" just as Prior does.
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on 16 March 1999
Angels In America, Tony Kushner's two part play was an intriguing play to read. I could not put this book down. The graphic detail kept me turning page after page. This is one of the only authors who kept me intrested throughout the whole play. Tony's attention to detail gave incite to someone like me, who has no real idea of the trials that homosexuals, may incur, in dealing with day to day life. The characters, wether homosexual or hetrosexual, all struggled with the American way of life. Each and every character seems to be content in their own way of life, their dream if you will; however, once they come to terms with their sexuality, religion, or mental state, they realize that their perfect dream world has become a nightmare. Kushner does an amazing job keeping the reader enthralled with the lives of these characters. However, the choppy scenes and constant referal to the beginnning of the book began to confuse me. Overall, I believe that this book should be read by all because it is very informative about current issues in today's world such as AIDS, death, religion, and sexuality. Kushner's main issue that he is trying to portray to the reader is that everyone, at some point in time has a rise and a fall. The life lesson is learning how to pull yourself up again.
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on 2 March 1999
Tony Kushner's play Angels in America is a look into the lives of people who at first seem exact opposities. However, as the play unfolds we see how all of their suffering is intertwined. The play focuses mainly on the character Prior, who is a homosexual man living with AIDS in the 80's, and all of the people directly and indirectly involved in his life. Not only did this play open my eyes to the horrors of AIDS, it also had a few humorous lines that were well placed. The play is not just about a man living with AIDS it also looks into feelings we have as human being. These feelings are seen through the characters such as the greedy lawyer, the Valuim addicted abandoned housewife, the ex-lover, and the mother of a Mormon homosexual. All in all this play shows how deep down no matter what differences we have on the surface, deep down we are all people who can suffer just as much as the next person.
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on 22 February 1999
Before picking up this book I had already categorized and stereotyped the plot, characters, and anticipated my reaction. I visualized a sob story featuring homosexuals who are misunderstood by society, I pictured stereotypical gay men with high-pitched voices, I knew this story would not make my top-ten list. But I have never been more wrong or judgemental about anything I've ever read.
Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" may be one of the most touching accounts depicting American society that i have ever been invited to read. Life is not "sugar-coated" in this play, rather the truth is plainly put out on the table for all to see. The characters in this play are close to the heart and teach us that only the truth will set us free. They are unlikely, yet fitting angels for our generation. We meet Prior, a lonely man dying of AIDS who is the epitome of truth, chosen to prophesize to the masses. Louis and Joe who are both so different yet the same, both realizing the power of the "threshold of revelation". Roy, whose deceptiveness is the cause of his undoing, and Harper who is trapped in a world where the truth has no existence. Yet all of their lives are interconnected by a desire to make sense of the world around them.
Amidst politics and controversy, high drama and comedic relief the characters remaining at the play's end have determined a better sense of self and what it means to be "real". I walked away from Kushner's "Angels" with a better sense of my own self and a more open mind. It was written with a compassion and sensitivity unlike any I've ever known or experienced. "Angels in America" is perhaps one of the most touching theatrical works of its day.
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on 27 December 2005
If you haven't yet read it, please read the prequel to this play, `Angels in America, Pt. 1: Millennium Approaches' prior to this one. The staging is a bit different, similar in style (rapid scene changes, minimalist set, etc.) but it starts out with the wreckage from the Angel's entry in the previous play.
Kushner described this play as a comedy, but I cannot see it that way. Except for irony and dark humour (perhaps akin to the idea of the Human Comedy, in which nothing is really funny) almost ever movement in the play is serious. And yet, in the face of death, what can be serious?
Roy Cohn is on his deathbed in the hospital, and receives prayers and rebuke from Ethel Rosenberg. Harper is gloriously insane in many ways with a Valium addiction, having lost Joe to a male lover. Harper lives with Hannah, Joe's mother now ensconced in New York City.
Louis and Prior struggle to come to terms, although Prior knows that Louis has met up with Joe. Cohn learns of Joe's marriage break-up and the cause, and throws a fit.
Oh yes, did I fail to mention the drag-queen-turned-nurse named Belize (a stage name) who attends both Cohn in the hospital and Prior at home?
There are extended scenes of Prior and the Angel, exchanging information, stories, prophecies. Back in the days when the supply of AZT was almost non-existent, Cohn manages to get some via his connexions, and Belize manages to get some away from him for Prior. Later, after Cohn dies, he steals the rest of the supply, but not before calling Louis in to recite the Kaddish in thanks for the `gift'. Of course, Louis doesn't want to.
`I'm not saying any ... Kaddish for him. The drugs OK, sure, fine, but no... way am I praying for him. My New Deal Pinko Parents in Schenectady would never forgive me, they're already so disappointed, "He's a f*g. He's an office temp. And now look, he's saying Kaddish for Roy Cohn".'
In the end, there is death, and there is life, and even the high angels cannot stop the progress, for they don't know how. But, like most mythologies, there is a hope that survives. `This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.'
Kushner's plays are remarkable statements of the culture of the times, in the 1980s and 1990s, with the growth of the AIDS crisis and the unveiling of diversity in all its suffering during arguably the most inopportune political time it could have been occurring, the Reagan/Bush era.
The characterisations are astonishing, as is the dialogue, and despite the drawbacks of play-form to more conventional narrative, this play yields fascinating results, not the least of which because it permits the reader to construct new meanings in conjunction with the play.
***
Kushner's prophetic call for a new world has not been fully answered, and perhaps never can be fully answered. Prophetic calls are interesting things - most prophets in fact fail in their mission (if you look at the Bible and other religions, you'll find out that prophets are often right, but only discovered to be right after their advice has been ignored and destruction has been the result).
The call to the world that I see is that we must all have compassion on those who suffer, for a true commitment to humanity requires that the living make amends to the dead by saving those who can be saved, and comforting those who cannot be to the best of our abilities.
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