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August Wilson Century Cycle Hardcover – October 2, 2007


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Hardcover, October 2, 2007
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155936307X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559363075
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

August Wilson is the most influential and successful African American playwright writing today. He is the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences, The Piano Lesson, King Hedley II, Ma Rainy's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running, Jitney and Radio Golf. His plays have been produced all over the world.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful August Wilson play, full of great characters and with a strong story.
Lee Oleson
On the first five I believe that I ran out of fulsome praise for his work and particularly for his tightly woven story and dialogue.
Alfred Johnson
Radio Golf is another great snap shot in the African American Experience by August Wilson.
Ms. Lud

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Plotkin on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
5 stars for one of the most significant literary/theatrical endeavors of the last century, August Wilson's cycle of ten plays, a decade-by-decade chronicle of ordinary African-American family life from 1900-2000, elevated to the extraordinary by some of the most powerful poetic diction ever to grace the American stage; Wilson was the successor and peer of Eugene O'Neill and Tenessee Williams, refracted through the sensibility of James Baldwin. The bars, the churches, the backporch, the white-picket fence front yard, the crack-vial strewn alleys, the jails, the recording studios, the ballparks, this was the terrain Wilson took us through, no place was alien to him, every character, old , young, male, female, upwardly mobile, downwardly spiraling, or just holding on, saint and sinner had their gospel and blues-drenched monologue/moment in the spotlight. These ten linked plays are essential reading, and bear in mind Wilson kept himself alive while through sheer force of will while in the throes of a terminal illness to make sure he finished the cycle. And for the first time ever, all ten have been housed in one volume.

So why oh why has the tome been priced in the three figures, beyond the scope of the very people who would most benefit by reading it? A sin and a shame...one star to the publisher, Mr. Wilson's estate, whoever thought this gouging was necessary.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Blinkn on December 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a proper finale to Wilson's century cycle, I read this play and the nine others as part of a college class and it wraps up the saga with Wilson's usual brand of honesty that makes his work so compelling. It speaks with sharp tongue about the ills of the black community but it all has the cathartic ring of truth. It is a bit slow to start but is an engaging story of redemption that is as funny as it is thought provoking.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David C. Greer on May 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read all these plays as they emerged in print, having seen many of them on stage over the past 23 years, and having just had the ecstatic experience of witnessing all ten plays in the cycle performed in chronological order at the Kennedy Center in Washington, I confess a strong bias in this review! I believe that every literate American should have this set on his or her bookshelf. It will provoke laughter and tears, stir the mystic chords that bind all people together regardless of race or status, and provide the satisfying recognition that -- while life is an inscrutable mystery -- it is also a rich and rewarding adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Antigone on August 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This ten-volume set of plays, August Wilson Century Cycle, is a fitting tribute to arguably the finest African-American playwright to date. As a college professor who regularly teaches drama, I have read and taught the plays in separate editions, so the quality of the writing/theatre in August Wilson was not new to me.

Wilson's brilliant idea (fortunately completed before his untimely death in 2005 at age 60) was to write a play depicting each decade of the 20th century from the African-American perspective. This idea is fittingly captured here in a handsome boxed set, making the full range of plays available at a per-play cost below single- or three-play editions. Beautifully designed and planned with room for easy access as well as sturdy boxed protection, this is a set ideal for gifting--self included.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dao Deglemar on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most interesting and brilliant plays I've ever read. If you haven't ever read August Wilson, then do yourself a favor and pick up this play. It's fast paced, so even if you're not coming to the play with literary expectations you will still be entertained.

It's hilarious and dramatic at the same time. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times reading Radio Golf while I was out in public, reading it in a cafe.

Radio Golf touches on our differences. One of the themes is the assimilation of two different cultures, (white, black). The main character is running for mayor, a clever plot element, because in the process he needs support from everyone, across gender and culture. In the beginning, the play focuses on our differences, in the end we realize the prejudices only exist in our heads.

Pick this up.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donna F. Dumke on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
My students and I read Radio Golf in preparation for a video conferences in which professional actors were rehearsing a scene from the play for a show. The main character, Harmond Wilks, dreams of becoming the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, and it looks as if he has a good chance of doing so, but when he is confronted with evidence of an injustice that he can't ignore, and tries to right it, he stands to lose it all. A true, heroic figure, he soon realizes the ugly truth that "what is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right."
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shazzar Kallie, M.A. on December 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this collection once it came down to its current price and I must say it's worth every penny, especially when you consider how much it would cost to buy these books separately. The quality is excellent and you get all ten plays in the century cycle. This is a must for every home library, especially if you appreciate the "greatness" of August Wilson. I find myself reading one of these books before I experience an August Wilson's play. The last theatrical performance I experience in person was "Gem of the Ocean", and right in my palms inside the theater with me was "Gem of the Ocean" hardcover book from this collection. It was wonderful having it during intermission, because I could go back over past scenes upon the stage for further understanding and get some insight for what was expected once intermission was over. Before this collection I had to settle for the paperbacks, which always showed signs and use like most paperbacks, but this hardcover collection is to be treasured and there is nothing out there that can even compare. The case keeps all ten hardcover books perfectly together and it's something that will bring enlightenment to any home! God is Love!
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