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Rhinoceros and Other Plays Paperback – January 11, 1994


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Rhinoceros and Other Plays + The Bald Soprano and Other Plays: The Bald Soprano; The Lesson; Jack, or the Submission; The Chairs + Waiting for Godot (Eng rev): A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
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Product Details

  • Series: Evergreen Original, E-259
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 11, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130983
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JB on June 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ionesco is one of the greatest of the absurdist playwrights. Rhinoceros is a great piece -- an amalgam of comedy and tragedy that will have you doubled over in laughter one moment and desperately frightened the next.
That being said, this translation has some serious problems. It was very strange to read as an American in 2004, because it is written in the English spoken in Great Britain in the 1960s. In addition to serious liberties taken by the translator (i.e. simply leaving out certain lines), there sometimes crops up a lack of flow that is all too common in translated literature.
Despite the fact that it's time for a new translation, I highly recommend Ionesco's plays, and Rhinoceros in particular. If you know French, read the original!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Cisek on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Perhaps it has to do with time, but I think Rhinoceros reads better from a perspective other than the one having to do with fascism. I chose to direct it recently from a very different point of view and one, I think, that would facilitate a bristling reading. The play is not about fascism per se, but rather about the rigidity of social convention, which was one of Ionesco's concerns. Just listen to Jean's constant criticisms of Berenger's appearance and behavior. The first time the Rhinoceroses appear, Berenger has had enough of Jean and is, wishfully thinking, wishing ill upon him. Why a Rhinoceros? Perhaps because Jean is so prissy; perhaps Berenger wishes he was thick-skinned enough to shrug off Jean's derision. The first act ends, indeed, with an argument between the two. Think of the appearance of the Rhino in the second act as an unconcsious working out of his wishful thinking: Jean is replaced by the insulting and condescending Dudard. Either Berenger misfires or he is testing--through Mrs Boeff--whether love can withstand "Rhinoceritis". It appears it can. Notice his conversations with Daisy. Read Act Three as Berenger taunting, harassing, and inflicting Rhinoceritis upon Jean in a kind of coup de grace, separating himself completely from Jean and the conventions he stands for. In the fourth act, however, we see the daydream get out of his control because, as Jean told us in the beginning, Berenger's thinking is all muddled; Daisy catches the 'disease' as she tries to win or seduce him, but he himself is, ironically, immune or a coward. Ionesco, of course, is richer than a simplistic point a view; but as Jean, again, tells us in the beginning, Berenger is a dreamer, and examining Berenger's state of mind as the cause of the rampant and rampaging outbreak of Rhinoceritis makes for a comic and tragic reading and very entertainig piece of theatre.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
A mind-twisting collection of Ionesco's best drama. Incredible, fantastic and filled with originality. Add this one to your bookshelf. Best quote - ' All cats die, Socrates is dead. Therefore, Socrates is a cat'
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tatiana Eva-Marie on February 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read! It is very subtle and has many double meanings. It's very good if you want to have a laugh, but it's not only funny: It will get you thinking about the world and the people in it, the dangers of conformity.Really worth buying!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
...and blackly humourous, to boot. Ionesco displays the 'nonconformist' magnificently. Displays our innate desire to "move with the times" even when the times aren't moving in the right direction...i really hope Berenger won't capitulate, but you can never tell...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pippin O' Rohan on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You are sitting at your desk high up in a skyscraper at the office, typing briskly a draft speech by your boss who is behind closed doors. It is nearing lunch hour; the atmosphere is muted and quiet; the phones ring occasionally and your colleague, both mentor and friend, is holding the fort. Slightly isolated from your other co-workers, a commotion breaks out in the distant air and while slightly curious, you are more in tune with the task at hand.

Finally, you can no longer ignore the increasing noise volume and you decide reluctantly to find out what is happening. Your supervisor's assistant is on the phone and you both make eye contact. You get up on your feet and slowly go out to check the premises (a long labyrinth of corridors and offices), quietly passing the chairman's office, while noticing that his assistant is also occupied on the phone and not to be disturbed.

A small cluster of colleagues are gathered near the water fountain and you hear the word 'kangaroo' - one large one is actually on your floor? While you are enchanted at first at such a wondrous impossibility, you also hear that this 'King Roo' is aggressive and has just damaged the faux marble wall behind the reception desk, before leaping off in the direction of the central copying room. A hoax? A prank of some kind? This kangaroo has been seen by quite a few witnesses by now and the buzzing has begun with validity. You are able to ascertain that the security people are missing and that Mr. Rizzoli, a senior management banker, is taking control of the situation at the peril of his new Armani suit. None the wiser, you decide to return to your office and cool it until further notice.

Unfortunately, your boss opens his door on your return and wants an explanation for this noise disruption.
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