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Curse of the Starving Class Unknown Binding – 1977

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Unknown Binding, 1977

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: New York Shakespeare Festival; First Edition edition (1977)
  • ASIN: B003FJAYL8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I had not read Shepard in many a moon, and it was good to check back into his strange version of America. This was written during his peak period (his recent stuff, most of which I have not read, is not as highly regarded), and like many of his other good ones, it concerns a squabbling family in the Southwest. The title and some of the dialogue indicates that Shepard viewed the travails of this clan as symptomatic of being part of the great white working class - and travails there are: alcoholism, violence, living with poverty breathing down their necks, smart alecky kids, a confused mother, a drunken, headstrong father. Parts of it are absurd and funny, but ultimately this is no comedy.

The play begins with the son Wesley, trying to repair the door his father, Weston, has smashed to bits in a drunken rage. The refrigerator is empty - there is a lot of action concerning the refrigerator and food. This is clearly a family in disarray. Both the parents are trying to sell the house out from under each other. The father is tough and dynamic, but seriously cracked, and much of the play concerns the other characters tiptoeing around and trying to figure out how to handle him. Most of the dialogue is standard American white trashese. There are a couple of monologs which, for me anyway, were not as effective. This was a good one. I would like to see it performed someday. It might be a little difficult though - the script calls for a live lamb.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really just don't prefer this kind of play. It is very well written and I'm sure if you like the dysfunctional family type you will love this play.
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By A Customer on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sam Shepard has created a beautiful story of a poor family struggling to keep their home, relationships, and sanity. His amazing symbols keep the reader thinking, and this proves to be a play that is much more than surface deep. I especially enjoyed his themes on class and destiny, as well as his ideas on family and rebirth. For me, this book was amazingly written and intriquingly complex; its tragedies make the reader reevaluate his/ her own life. It made me laugh out loud, but in addition to being funny, it was enlightening, symbolic, provocative.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a horrible play, but it is a horrible play to see on a first date. I made that mistake. I saw it back in the 80s off broadway in New York. I scored great tickets, first row. The theater was small and the stage was not set in an arch or elevated.
One of the charactors/props in the play was a live orphaned baby lamb kept in a baby playpen at the front of the stage. The lamb kept licking our fingers during the play and was very cute. So far so good, this first date was going ok. I was scoring points with the girl I was with.
Then the drama started. The family portrayed is disfunctional and under incredible stress. The violence increases and increases. Yelling, fighting--I don't want to spoil things for you, but things don't turn out well for the lamb at the end (for you PETA folks out there--through the use creative F/Xs no living lamb was hurt in the production). End result for me--not a very good first date. It was a better read.
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By Katie on February 5, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you!
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