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God of Carnage - Acting Edition Paperback – June 4, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0822223993 ISBN-10: 0822223996
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (June 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822223996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822223993
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. T. A. Oliveira on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
"[Are] we interested in anything but ourselves? Of course we'd all like to believe in the possibility of improvement", says poor Alain, one of the four characters in Yasmina Reza's play "The god of carnage". He may be naïve for a single moment saying this, but deep down he - and probably the French dramatist - do not believe in the possibility of improving the human being.

Alain, his wife Annette, and the couple Véronique and Michel, are clear example of the well meant bourgeoisies whose blindness do not allow to see beyond their belly tummy. The answer to Alain first question is: not. No, they - and for extension we - are not interested in anything but themselves. The excuse for the gathering is each couple's child behavior - one of them has hurt the other with a stick. This is said in the first lines of the play, but what arises after a couple of minutes is the inherent nastiness that inhabits the inside of each of us.

Reza's strong dialogues - translated with pitch perfection by Christopher Hampton - exposes above all her characters' moral fragilities. They are like a quartet playing a game whose winner is the one who best betrays his/her companions. For that they pair up with somebody else from the other couple, but, in the end, each is playing for on his/her own.

What is it to be a parent? What is it to be half of a married couple? Are there rules for one live in society? How to fulfill other people's expectations towards us? Or, as a matter of fact, should we? There is a lot of irony in "The god of carnage" because we behave as others expect us to, and rarely show our true colors. They criticize the children's behavior and are hoped to teach them how to behave. But how can they do that when they themselves behave worse?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Born in 1960, Yasmina Reza is perhaps best known for her wickedly funny ART, a satire on the intellectual pretensions of both the art world and its detractors. Produced in New York in 2009, GOD OF CARNAGE is similar in that raises the question of how civilized we supposedly civilized westerners are and then bites the head off every possible response. It is sharp and clever and interesting stuff. It is also, at least in my opinion, in the theatrical minor leagues--not because of the author's skill, but because of the short span of time she allows herself in which to set up the premise, develop the characters, and send them flying at each other.

The play concerns two married couples. Alan and Annette are well-to-do, upper-middle-class rather than rich, with Alan owning and managing a home supply-type store. Michael and Veronica are flatly rich, Michael an attorney who represents drug manufacturers and Vernonica a self-styled author who works part time in a specialty book store. They might easily have met at a cocktail party, or a book signing, or a similar venue, but it is their sons who have bought them together. Both are boys, both are about eleven years old, and they recently had a playground scuffle in which Alan and Annette's son took a stick and hit Michael and Veronica's son across the face, with a cut lip and two broken teeth the result.

The two couples have met at Michael and Veronica's home to discuss what should be done. Both Alan and Annette feel their son should take responsibility for his act; Michael and Veronica are slightly more diffident, but they too feel the boys should meet and an apology should be given. Everything is very friendly, all four give the impression of head-shaking bemusement, and within minutes the covert stabs begin.
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The God of Carnage was recently filmed by Roman Polanswki in a state of the art set outside of Paris with a cast of four oscar winning actors. The film follows Hamptom's script verbatim and Hamptom's translation of Reza's play is as brilliant as the three preceeding it.

What began as a typical, almost natural scrape between two ytoung boys in a pllayground has tuirned into an uncomfortable meeting between two sets of parents, both yuppies, both certain that this is an issue that defines themselves and both unaware that their boys have likely forgotten the issue entirely. This is a play that gives us the oportunity to study culture and the ways in which our culture has changed. The behavior of these four adults is far more disgistiung than the behavior of the boys who brought them together. As the play prgresses- without interval- each character is stripped of his or her armolur, truths come out, allegiences change and even teams change, starting as couple against coupole and then turning to gender against gender.

This is a play that will be seem again and again, in repertoire, on Broadway and the West End in many summer stocks and equity houses and even in many community theatres. It doesn;t belong in the high school or college unless fore the sake of study. This is a script that is easily missed and I wouldn;t be surprised if many read it, watch it or listen to it and gloss over the details, the meaning and the brilliance.

If you enjoy studying drama, this is a script well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lucia Frangione on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This play is a good study on loyalty shifts and character foils. It loses its momentum at the end but some of me wonders if that is due to translation. An elegant play.
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