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Death of a Salesman (Viking Critical Library) Paperback – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140247734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140247732
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972) and The American Clock. He has also written two novels, Focus (1945), and The Misfits, which was filmed in 1960, and the text for In Russia (1969), Chinese Encounters (1979), and In the Country (1977), three books of photographs by his wife, Inge Morath. More recent works include a memoir, Timebends (1987), and the plays The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1993), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season, and Mr. Peter's Connections (1998). His latest book is On Politics and the Art of Acting. Miller was granted with the 2001 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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DO NOT read the title of this book if you plan to read it... Total spoiler.
Modevs
This is a staggering realization, one that most of us would lack the moral courage to face honestly or directly.
Ed Brodow
Again, this book was ordered for my son as part of his reading requirements for the IB curriculum.
Danny L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
When you get down to it, really, the only reasons for buying one version of a play are 1) price, 2) readability (i.e., the font, size of print, etc.), and 3) accompanying analysis/essays. As for myself, the third reason is the most important. This version is the best I've seen for accompanying analysis. It has a number of essays and an interview by Arthur Miller himself and reviews of the play by others. The works written by Miler were of the most interest to me, but there is plenty here. Admittedly, if price is most important to you, there are cheaper versions out there, but you won't get what this version offers. To me, though, this version is worth the money.
And do I need to mention this is a damn good play? But, as I said, you'll get the same play regardless of which version you pick up (at least, I would hope...).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on June 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
DRAMA
Real vs. Virtual American Dream
By Kevin Biederer

Arthur Miller�s 1949 drama basically revolves around the American dream of a father who makes many mental errors that lead to his downfall.
The inner life of the father, Willy, is presented by the use of monologs in his head. He is a washed up salesman that does not realize it, and tries to rub off his overwhelming cockiness on his two sons.
Biff, one of his sons, transforms from a cocky, young football player into a doubtful, young man. Biff understands the reality of life through the falseness of the American dream, which ultimately, destroys his father who is living a virtual American dream. If Biff had listened to his father his whole life, he would still just be a cocky, young football player. Instead Biff realizes what a, �ridiculous lie [his] life has been!� (104). He

Death of a Salesman
By Arthur Miller
139 pages
realizes he does not want to follow in his father�s footsteps and become a washed up salesman. Biff just wants to live a normal life where Willy is not pressuring him about everything. Willy is one of those fathers who think their child is the greatest at everything no matter what. That is good in some cases, but not when Willy sets unrealistic goals for his child.
This drama portrays how many parents treat their children. Most parents try to push their children, but some go over the line, as seen in this drama. But what Willy has truly failed in is his family life and his married life. That is the corruption of the true American dream.
This drama deserves five stars because it always keeps you on your feet just waiting to see what will happen next.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
of "Death of a Salesman", this is the one to get. In addition to the play itself and some introductory remarks, this version includes a good variety of reviews, criticism, and essays concerning "Death of a Salesman". Of particular interest (in my view, anyway) is the essay "Tragedy and the Common Man" written by Arthur Miller himself (there are other writings by Arthur Miller and part of the transcripts of an interview with Arthur Miller, too). It's true that this version is a little more expensive than others (clocking in at about $13), but, if you like to read what others (and even the playwright himself) have had to say about a particular work, I strongly suggest that you buy this version in favor of a cheaper version with less criticism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Chell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The novel, the theater, and cinema--perhaps the three most popular and enduring arts of the 20th century, with the last practically an indigenous American invention (with all due apologies to the Lumiere brothers, George Melies, and France in general). And that never-exhausted, always relevant and topical subject (suddenly seeming more controversial than ever), the "American Dream," has at least one essential, archetypal text in each of the three media. "The Great Gatsby" is still the leading contender in the novel; "Citizen Kane" is the acclaimed, indispensable film text (notwithstanding a maverick's personal preference for Altman's "Nashville"); "Death of a Salesman" cuts right to the heart of the grand national illusion with a surgical precision that O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, William Inge or any other playwright simply can't match.

If you've read or seen the play, you may wish to start at the end this time--the Requiem. After seeing it as a college freshman (performed by the Guthrie in Minneapolis), I experienced the full effects of an Aristotelian catharsis before even knowing what it was. At that time the easiest character to identify with was Biff--the straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is, loving but self-analytical son who pronounces his father's the "wrong" dream, a lie that had poisoned family relations for his entire life. But as you continue reading through the Requiem you take seriously the eulogies of the remaining three characters, and as the years go by, each has the potential to become the definitive judgment upon the life of Willie Loman, the American dream, and even one's own life-story.
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