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My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies Hardcover – May 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840368
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #915,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Allen Zadoff is a former theatrical director who now works as a writer, teacher, and magazine columnist.  His debut YA novel, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have was published by Egmont last fall and won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award given by the SCBWI.  He is also the author of an adult memoir, HUNGRY: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin.  He is a graduate of the  Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theater Training, and currently lives in Los Angeles.  You can visit him online at www.allenzadoff.com

More About the Author

Allen Zadoff is the author of the thriller series THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN (I AM THE WEAPON #1, I AM THE MISSION #2) which debuted to starred reviews and was a 2014 YALSA Top Ten Pick for Reluctant Readers and a finalist for Best YA Novel in the 2014 International Thriller Awards. He was born in Boston and went on to live in upstate New York, Manhattan, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. A former stage director, he is a graduate of Cornell University, the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theater Training, and the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop. His novel Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have received the Sid Fleishman Humor Award and was a YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults.

Visit Allen on the web at www.allenzadoff.com.

Customer Reviews

Very well written, touching and funny at times, I loved it.
Tina
The ending was a little over-the-top-tear-jerker for my taste, and the bow wrapping everything up was a bit too perfect.
Tabitha
The book is episodic in nature, perhaps a little predictable, but otherwise entertaining.
Bitsy Bling Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams VINE VOICE on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Adam Ziegler is a sophomore at Montclair High who has immersed himself in the technical side of theater since his artist father was killed in an accident two years ago. This semester, spring of his sophomore year, he is a lighting technician for the school production of "Midsummer Night's Dream," as redesigned by fellow student Derek Dunkirk.

During a break, Adam sees one of the bit actresses, Summer, dancing in the hall and finds himself attracted to her. This violates one of the Montclair drama students' cardinal rules: Techies and actors don't mix. This sticky situation is made even worse by the fact that the actress who had been given the lead part leaves the play -- three days before opening -- and Summer ends up the replacement.

The play does go on, but there is a major problem shortly after the play starts. Read on and see who saves the play -- and who really loves Adam.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tabitha VINE VOICE on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought this was a cute book. Quiet, interesting, and a good coming of age story. Nothing really new here, though. And it wasn't funny like Zadoff's first novel, which was a bit disappointing. I think I had really high expectations regarding the humor, though, so I felt the lack of it much more than if I'd read this book first. Newcomers to Zadoff's work may not feel the same way.

I got frustrated with Adam for letting everyone walk all over him, even though it was clear why he was withdrawing into himself. I think that, since this is a concept often used, and the way it's used here isn't really unique, I lost patience with it a little too soon. That's not to say Adam isn't an interesting character. He is. The reasoning in his head as he tries to figure out Derek was fantastic. I think that's exactly how a teenager thinks, and his reactions to the complexities of high school are wonderfully realistic.

The ending was a little over-the-top-tear-jerker for my taste, and the bow wrapping everything up was a bit too perfect. The story was still solid and enjoyable, but it didn't have that polished feel, where everything is connected from beginning to end. Again, I think I had such high expectations from his previous book that I didn't enjoy this as much as I could have. But I can see teens galore loving this story, boys and girls alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Theater geek Adam Ziegler lives and breathes lighting design in his high school theater, which is large enough to have a catwalk for the lights, and filled with back-biting and intrigue between the actors and the techies. Lots of clever, snarky comments (the kind of one-up retorts I could never think of when I was in high school myself) and a teacher with a lax sense of boundaries, who shares his feeling of failure with the students and then basically abandons ship. On a serious note, Adam is dealing with frequent nightmares and he tries to work through his father's death in a car accident. A good mix of repartee and romance, with a side of seriousness. Pretty heavy on the "insider" theater talk and probably will be enjoyed most by those already a part of the high school show crowd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard LeComte VINE VOICE on August 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This backstage novel uses some conventional YA riffs to tell a story about a teenager in love with the theater -- particularly in lighting design -- who must prevail over depression (the result of his father's death), his mother's grief, high school cliques and love. The novel has something of a cardboard bad guy, and the line between techie and cast member is a little too neat -- certainly not my experience in high school. Zadoff's prose is serviceable, and the main character feels genuine pain. Also, I liked the chapter heading references to Shakespeare (it's four days to a potentially disastrous production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream").
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ilovebooks VINE VOICE on July 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read the summary for this book, I thought it would be interesting. I like theater. I like young adult novels. The title and cover looked good. What could go wrong?

This book is a case where the summary, title and cover are far more interesting than what's inside. Basically, Adam, a high school sophomore, is dealing with his dad's death and new love while working on a school show. I found the narrator very dull and the story extremely slow-moving with far too much detail about how high school theater works and far too little detail given to the narrator's personality. This just feels like it's climbing on the whole Glee bandwagon. Boring.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scave31 on May 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Only darkness was left behind when 15-year-old Adam Ziegler's dad died. In his attempt to dispell the shadows, Adam joined "techies," working the lighting for his school's drama department. He finds that he has a real knack for lighting, but with his older brother unavailable and with Adam's attempts not to further upset his mom, he finds himself unable to fully enjoy his life again.

But when a new girl arrives at school, breaking the "rules" about technies not associating with actors becomes very tempting for Adam. If only he didn't feel like such a loser. If only his best friend wasn't adamantly against breaking the rules. If only he didn't have to let down another friend to pursue the new girl.

I really enjoyed this book and it's realism. Zadoff's teenaged characters seem very realistic. I think teen boys and girls alike will find something to enjoy about this book!
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