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August: Osage County (TCG Edition) Paperback – February 1, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This fusion of epic tragedy and black comedy is a bold step for Letts, whose earthy, distinctly contemporary wit flows throughout. His account of a family whose secrets and lies come spilling forth under duress ranks with the best American drama of the past decade.” –Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“In Tracy Letts’s ferociously entertaining play, the American dysfunctional family drama comes roaring into the twenty-first century with eyes blazing, nostrils flaring and fangs bared, laced with corrosive humor so darkly delicious and ghastly that you’re squirming in your seat even as you’re doubled over laughing. A massive meditation on the cruel realities that often belie standard expectations of conjugal and family accord—not to mention on the decline of American integrity itself.” –David Rooney, Variety

August will cement Letts’s place in theatrical history. He has written a Great American Play. How many of those will we get the chance to discover in our lifetime?” –Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly

“Packed with unforgettable characters and dozens of quotable lines, August: Osage County is a tensely satisfying comedy, interspersed with remarkable evocations on the cruelties and (occasional) kindnesses of family life. It is as harrowing a new work as Broadway has offered in years and the funniest in even longer.” –Eric Gorde, New York Sun

About the Author

Tracy Letts was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play for August: Osage County, which premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2007 before playing Broadway, London's National Theatre, and a forty-week US tour. Other plays include Pulitzer Prize finalist Man from Nebraska; Killer Joe, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed film; and Bug, which has played in New York, Chicago, and London and was adapted into a film. Letts is an ensemble member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company and garnered a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group; First Edition edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781559363303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559363303
  • ASIN: 1559363304
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Tracy Letts, August: Osage County (Theatre Communications Group, 2008)

I've been trying to figure out what to say about August: Osage County for a few months now, and I never really come up with anything that works. So this is probably going to be a short, disjointed review about a very long, perfectly-constructed play. It involves a family, most of whom haven't seen each other in a very long time, and most of whom don't really like one another all that well, who get together in a house in the middle of nowhere after the family patriarch, a one-hit-wonder poet who's been trying to finish another book for decades, goes missing. We meet him briefly in the opening, then his just vanishes. From there, it's what Faulkner described of the writing of As I Lay Dying: you take a family and you throw every bad thing at them you've got and see how they react. And the bad things run the gamut. I'd tell you about some of them, but I really don't want to spoil the pleasure of reading this for yourself. The less you know about this play and the characters who inhabit it before you dig in, the better off you will be. It is a phenomenal piece of work, and deserves to be read (and seen) by as many people as possible. **** ½
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When The Stern Librarian saw this show in New York recently she heard lot of debate at intermission (both of them!) about whether Tracy Letts has a written a classic to stand with the best of Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams, or whether the play is a Carol Burnett spoof of those masters. Anyone who thinks this play is nothing but a bawdy of exchange of insults and swears (and catfights about catfish) should read the published play. On the page it is abundantly clear that the poetry quoted in the lovely opening scene by the doomed husband finds its messy, human correlative in the scenes that follow, with language so memorable it deserves to be printed on t-shirts and sold in the lobby. This is a masterpiece from beginning to end, from August to tragic December. The Stern Librarian (I get a lot of reading done in the TKTS booth).
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Format: Paperback
Debuting in 2007, Tracy Letts' AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY was an instant critical success, and many compared Letts with such Eugene O'Neill and his LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT and Edward Albee and his WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF. Letts certainly has the great sense of theatre that characterizes these writers and their plays, but in truth one might better describe him as the Jacqueline Susann of the theatrical world, with AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY something like a rural VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. Alcohol, drugs, suicide, nasty divorce, ill-advised marriage, seduction, child molestation, incest, and racism are the fabric of his tale--tossed about with considerable profanity and some of the nastiest dark humor imaginable. "She smuggled Darvocet into the psych ward in her vagina," daughter Barbara says acidly of her drug-addicted mother Violet. "There's your Greatest Generation for you. She made this speech to us while she was clenching a bottle of pills in her cooch, for God's sake."

The play opens as Beverly Weston, a noted poet, retired professor, and practicing alcoholic interviews Johnna for the position of housekeeper, cook, and his wife Violet's keeper. Beverly is drunk, but not so drunk that he cannot give a mean lecture on the tendencies of Hart Crane, John Berryman, and T.S. Eliot in a stream of remarks that eventually become the intellectual key of the play--for Eliot, he has made a disastrous marriage and like Crane and Berryman he is preparing to commit suicide.
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The formatting errors in this e book make it almost impossible to read. I am terribly disappointed with the quality of this. To be fair it may not be the authors fault but maybe this with get someone to fix these problems. If the problems are fixed and I am able to complete I will be sure to revise my review.
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Format: Paperback
When I went to New York three years ago it was to see this play. I bought 250 dollar seats on line and I usually only buy at the TKTS Booth. Well as I sat there and the scene with the father and the new housekeeper unfolded I thought, "....not since Long Days Journey Into Night...not since Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf...". When it ended and I found myself on my feat screaming with the rest of the audience, I decided to come back again the next night and see it again. Rumor has it that they'll make the film with Meryl Streep and she'll be wonderful but there was nothing like that Chicago company filling the stage with blood and anger and power and all of the things that most plays lack poetry and anguish. It won't be the same thing...."on the stage not on the page".....but do yourself a favor and buy this now and enter the world of a family that is mythic and which reaches out and enters your soul in a way few works do. Does it have flaws? Yes. It has at least one plot too many but that is a minor complaint when you think of the power of this play.
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