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Radio Golf Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

August Wilson is the most influential and successful African American playwright writing today. He is the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences, The Piano Lesson, King Hedley II, Ma Rainy's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running, Jitney and Radio Golf. His plays have been produced all over the world. One of the contemporary American theater's most innovative wordsmiths. Her plays include: Topdog/Underdog (2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer-nominee), Fucking A, Venus (OBIE Award), The America Play and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (OBIE Award, Best New American Play). She is also a screenwriter, novelist, and MacArthur "Genius" grantee.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group; First Thus edition (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559363088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559363082
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Blinkn on December 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a proper finale to Wilson's century cycle, I read this play and the nine others as part of a college class and it wraps up the saga with Wilson's usual brand of honesty that makes his work so compelling. It speaks with sharp tongue about the ills of the black community but it all has the cathartic ring of truth. It is a bit slow to start but is an engaging story of redemption that is as funny as it is thought provoking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dao Deglemar on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most interesting and brilliant plays I've ever read. If you haven't ever read August Wilson, then do yourself a favor and pick up this play. It's fast paced, so even if you're not coming to the play with literary expectations you will still be entertained.

It's hilarious and dramatic at the same time. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times reading Radio Golf while I was out in public, reading it in a cafe.

Radio Golf touches on our differences. One of the themes is the assimilation of two different cultures, (white, black). The main character is running for mayor, a clever plot element, because in the process he needs support from everyone, across gender and culture. In the beginning, the play focuses on our differences, in the end we realize the prejudices only exist in our heads.

Pick this up.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donna F. Dumke on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
My students and I read Radio Golf in preparation for a video conferences in which professional actors were rehearsing a scene from the play for a show. The main character, Harmond Wilks, dreams of becoming the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, and it looks as if he has a good chance of doing so, but when he is confronted with evidence of an injustice that he can't ignore, and tries to right it, he stands to lose it all. A true, heroic figure, he soon realizes the ugly truth that "what is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
_Radio Golf_ is is the last play in August Wilson's "Century Series" set in 1997 Pittsburgh and, after The Piano Lesson (The August Wilson Century Cycle), it is his most powerful piece. In concluding his magnum opus, Wilson ends where the series began, at 1839 Wylie St. (the setting of Gem of the Ocean (August Wilson Century Cycle).) The Hill District has become derlict - a run-down part of the city where crime is rampant, poverty is endemic. Harmond Wilks, a candidate for mayor, and his business partner Roosevelt Hicks see an opportunity to redevelop the Hill District - gentrifying it and making millions for themselves. Their plans go awry, however, when it becomes apparent that the center of their redevelopment, 1839 Wylie, was illeagally purchased by the development company and the rightful owner, Elder Joseph Barlow, refuses to let his family home be torn down. A crisis of conscience follows: should Wilks proceed with the development? His position in the city and candidacy would allow him to illeaglly proceed, but he is morally conflicted; Hicks has no compunction.

The play is powerful for a number of reasons: unlike many of Wilson's plays, the plot only obliquely addresses race - the conflict here is one of social class rather than of race directly. It also raises the question of how much responsibility does a society have to its underprivlidged? It was the issue of gentrification that resonated most strongly with me, however.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Lud on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Radio Golf is another great snap shot in the African American Experience by August Wilson. It tells an excellent story of what happened after urban renewal to neighborhoods and the people who are trying to hold on to its rich heritage and move into the future. Leaves plenty of room for discussion throughout the book if you are a teacher.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on January 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
By the time that this review appears I will have already reviewed five of the ten plays in August Wilson's Century cycle. On the first five I believe that I ran out of fulsome praise for his work and particularly for his tightly woven story and dialogue. Rather than keep following that path for the next five plays I would prefer to concentrate on some of the dialogue that makes Brother Wilson's work so compelling. For those who want to peek at my general observations you can look at my review of "Gem Of The Ocean" (the first play chronologically in the cycle).

In all previously reviewed plays I noticed some piece of dialogue that seemed to me to sum up the essence of the play. Sometimes that is done by the lead character as was the case with Troy Maxton in "Fences" when he (correctly) stated that there should been "no too early" in regard to the possibilities of black achievement and prospects in America. Other times it is by a secondary character in the form of some handed down black folk wisdom passed on as means to survive in racially-hardened America. In "Radio Golf" this task falls to Roosevelt Hicks, a man who has been a beneficiary of some affirmative action by the white establishment (as always not directly present in the story line as it unfolds), when he candidly and ironically notes that when heading to the golf club with his white associates he has to pass out business cards so that others do not think that he is the caddy.

That says more in a couple of sentences about a central aspect of black experience in America than many manifestos, treatises or sociological/psychological studies.
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