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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (original 1962; edition 2006)

by Edward Albee

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3,063361,852 (4.05)127
Member:littleturtle82
Title:Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Authors:Edward Albee
Info:NAL Trade (2006), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:fiction, reference, play, adult, American

Work details

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (1962)

  1. 20
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (JenMDB)
    JenMDB: They're both American classics and both depressing
  2. 00
    The Cocktail Party by T. S. Eliot (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two plays of dysfunctional marriages
  3. 01
    Hay Fever by Noël Coward (thatguyzero)
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» See also 127 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I found it rather funny to read this book right after reading “Three Guineas”. Why I didn’t read it sooner I’m not sure considering how big a fan I am of Virginia Woolf but who knows why I do the things I do.

Anyway, this play is now on my top 5 list of plays alongside “Streetcar Named Desire” and “No Exit”. I constantly find myself amazed at just how much story can be told by just having people sitting in one room and talking (or in this case yelling) at each other.

Essentially, this play is about four people who get together after a faulty party at a university and proceed to lie about their lives, not just to each other but to themselves. None of their lives are the way they say and throughout the play we get to see these lies crumble before them.

In fact, their allusion to Virginia Woolf is really quite amazing and in my opinion a nod to her fearless insight into the reality of things. The question, “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” comes up often in the play, mostly in the form of a song. This question forms the basis of the play by cryptically asking the question, “Who’s afraid to live without false illusions?”

It is an absolutely brilliant play that I will probably read multiple times and would love to see performed. Adding that to my growing bucket list. This play becomes a lesson in how the illusions we make about our lives do not only affect the people that we tell them to, but will in the end be our undoing. The best way to go is the way of no illusion. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
Have you ever been out with a couple whose relationship is reaching its end and they spend the night trying to, not so subtly, demoralize each other? Well that's what this whole play is like. Just reading this was pretty uncomfortable as both the couples are constantly doing their best to inflict the biggest emotional wounds on their partners. I can't imagine trying to sit through an actual performance of this. I'd be squirming in my seat the whole time. However, I can see why this is considered a classic. There's a lot going on under the surface between both couples and watching them slowly destroy each other is somehow just as fascinating as it is unsettling. ( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
Pretty much a masterpiece in the excruciatingly awkward. ( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
ugh, this was simply painful. of course it was supposed to be, but honestly I don't think this play stands the test of time. I'm sure it was very brave in the early 60s to show how brutal and cruel married people can be, but we all know that story now. a modicum of nuance or tonal variety might have been nice... ( )
  amydross | Jul 27, 2013 |
I felt like I had been up drinking all night by the time I finished the book. Can't really say there is anything I liked about the play - certainly not the characters or their mind games. ( )
1 vote JenMDB | Apr 19, 2013 |
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For Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder
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Set in darkness. Crash against front door. Martha's laughter heard. Front door opens, lights are switched on. Martha's enters, followed by George. MARTHA: Jesus...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451218590, Paperback)

“Twelve times a week,” answered Uta Hagen when asked how often she’d like to play Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In the same way, audiences and critics alike could not get enough of Edward Albee’s masterful play. A dark comedy, it portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By the evening’s end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years. With the play’s razor-sharp dialogue and the stripping away of social pretense, Newsweek rightly foresaw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as “a brilliantly original work of art—an excoriating theatrical experience, surging with shocks of recognition and dramatic fire [that] will be igniting Broadway for some time to come.”

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Drama focusing on one couple's bond and mutual bondage which is played out in their interactions with a younger couple.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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