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Eugene O'Neill : Complete Plays 1932-1943 (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1988

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

O'Neill specialist Bogard gathers together for the first time the full canon of O'Neill's drama50 plays plus his only short story, "Tomorrow." The texts, arranged chronologically by the year they were written, incorporate O'Neill's final revisions and contain notes and a chronology of his life. No serious literature collection is complete without the full set of O'Neill. Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) is one of the most significant forces in the history of American theater. With no uniquely American tradition to guide him, O'Neill introduced various dramatic techniques, which subsequently became staples of the U.S. theater. By 1914 he had written twelve one-act and two long plays. Of this early work, only Thirst and Other One-act plays (1914) was originally published. From this point on, O'Neill's work falls roughly into three phases: the early plays, written from 1914 to 1921 (The Long Voyage Home, The Moon of the Caribbees, Beyond the Horizon, Anna Christie); a variety of full-length plays for Broadway (Desire Under the Elms; Great God Brown; Ah, Wilderness!); and the last, great plays, written between 1938 and his death (The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, A Moon for the Misbegotten). Eugene O'Neill is a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1936.
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America
  • Hardcover: 1007 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (October 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094045050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940450509
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This collection of work gives the reader O'Neill, America's greatest playwright, at his most powerful. The two earlier collections are likewise great, but this third one contains his two strongest works: "The Iceman Cometh" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night."
In "The Iceman Cometh," O'Neill creates a world of happy derelicts. They spend their nights and days in Harry Hope's saloon, living through today by drinking and believing in the "pipe dreams" of tomorrow. That is until Hickey comes to town. He forces them, for the first time, to look honestly at their lives. This dose of reality has devestating affects on the patrons of Harry's.
Also included is O'Neill's masterpiece, "Long Day's Journey Into Night." This play, not published or produced in his lifetime, painfully tells the story of his own dysfunctional family. The play's action is one calendar day, but O'Neill, through dialogue, takes the reader back to the origins of their problems. The emotions displayed, which include guilt, envy, pain, cynicism, and love, tears the family apart, while strangely holding them together. Even though the emotions run high, O'Neill does it without employing sentimentality. He is honest without becoming melodramatic. A rare accomplish in literature. A more emotionally rendering work would be hard to find.
These two works are not the only jems the collection contains. "A Moon for the Misbegotten," now running on Broadway, continues the story of his brother, Jamie, who appears in "Long Day's Journey . . ." "Ah, Wilderness!" is a fine coming of age story.
The others also bare the mark of O'Neill's genius.
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By A Customer on February 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy this collection of plays from Mr Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953). He is considered the first dramatist from the US and is also the first to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. First, I must write that this edition from the LIBRARY OF AMERICA is beautiful. It has a sewn binding, flexible yet strong binding boards covered with a closely woven, rayon cloth and a ribbon bookmark attached to the spine. This volume covers the period 1932-43, marking Mr O'Neill's most well-known work. My favourites are A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT and THE ICEMAN COMETH. I also enjoy the the Irish flavour of A TOUCH OF the POET. ALDJIN is auto-biographical, as is also A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN. ALDJIN benefits from an eye-witness perspective which makes the characters extremely poignant. I feel an eery shiver as I read the drama, knowing the playwright's life. Like his character Edmund, Mr O'Neill left Princeton after his first year; went to sea, searched for gold in South America and haunted the waterfront bars in Buenos Aires, Liverpool and New York. He drank heavily. The other characters reflect his life also. His father was a successful actor who played but one role, the Count of Monte Cristo, and never became a more serious actor. His mother used morphine and his older brother was an alchoholic. All three died between 1920-23. This play is such a vivid "photograph" it sometimes is painfull for me to read, but at the same time a great reward. If you are interested in dramatists from the US, or in gritty, realistic plays about characters on the the margins of society, this collection will be interesting to you.
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Format: Hardcover
The final volume of 3 in the LoA with O'Neills plays contains a diverse crop of 8 full length plays and some smaller things. His latest plays are by a long shot his best. He had his fourth and last drama Pulitzer awarded posthumously.

An observation after reading all three volumes: EON gave very specific descriptions of his people, not just style and general type, but detailed physiognomies. Does that make sense for a stage writer? Can stage productions and their casting do more than match types?

`Ah, Wilderness', of 1932.
While the play has its humorous aspects, it is certainly not mainly out for the laughs. Still, maybe the only real comedy in O'Neill's work.
A middle class family sit com type of mild fun. Maybe he wanted to try if he could do something normal. He could, but it doesn't fly very high.

`Days without End', of 1933
Maybe O'Neill's only Christian play. A man writes a novel. It starts with a youngster fighting against his Catholic upbringing. The young man moves through various shapes of radicalism to Eastern religions, then finds love as the ultimate religion ...
But there is temptation and betrayal and guilt... And the irrepressible urge for confession. And forgiveness and redemption and return to faith...
All the while he struggles with his alter ego, his own personal Mephisto. His body double is always present, and says the bad things.
Not a great play.
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