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The God of Hell Paperback – April 12, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Startling.... Apocalyptic.... A confident and unsettling scenario of surreal doom.” –The New Yorker

“A robust new farce that shows Mr. Shepard’s gift for finding deadpan surrealism in bucolic speech.” –The New York Times

“Deliriously entertaining and deeply scary.... A shivering work of existential mystery.” –Newsday

About the Author

Sam Shepard is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of more than forty-five plays. He was a finalist for the W. H. Smith Literary Award for his story collection Great Dream of Heaven, and he has also written the story collection Cruising Paradise, two collections of prose pieces, Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon, and Rolling Thunder Logbook, a diary of Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Review tour. As an actor he has appeared in more than thirty films, and he received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for his performance in The Right Stuff. His screenplay for Paris, Texas won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, and he wrote and directed the film Far North in 1988. Shepard's plays, eleven of which have won Obie Awards, include Buried Child, The Late Henry Moss, Simpatico, Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love, and A Lie of the Mind, which won a New York Drama Desk Award. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shepard received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992, and in 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400096510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400096510
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,746,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Shepard was born in 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He moved to New York from California just as the off-Broadway theatre scene was emerging. He has written more than forty plays, of which elev en have won 'Obie' awards, besides collections of stories, prose writing and screenplays. His plays include Buried Child, The Late Henry Moss, Simpatico, Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love, A Lie of the Mind, and States of Shock. His screenplay for Paris, Texas won the Golden Pa lm Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and he directed his own screenplay, Far North, in 1988. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shepard received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992, and in 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aco on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am now feeling very thankful for the existence of Sam Shepard. Here is someone aware and in touch with the current state of American pseudo-Patriotism, and it's appropriation of the essentials of American "values."

Frank and Emma are Wisconsin farmers, raising cattle all alone in the Heartland. Though Frank has taken in an old friend, Haynes and let him stay in the basement. After Haynes arrives, Welch shortly appears, full of eerie entitlement, red, white and blue cookies, American flags galore and a suspicion of Haynes presence. Much to the chagrin of Emma, Welch thinks nothing of the house, the front door, the property and the conventions of any social etiquette (i.e. civil liberties). Haynes meanwhile is on edge and frightened at the static charges he emits when touched, the mention of an institution from which he recently left and The God of Hell.

What The God of Hell is I'll not mention, but the implications of the government, specifically the Bush Administration's willingness to advocate torture, the heightened disregard of the common man and his home, and the insanity of nuclear production and the decimation our own land are thick and clear.

Shepard has created a swift one act, three scenes, in one setting, a kitchen/living room of Frank and Emma's home, which itself radiates a tension of menace and: "We're suddenly stung by our duty to a higher purpose. Our natural loyalties fall in line and we're amazed how simple it is to honor out one true heritage."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Bell on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
While it cannot compare with Shepard's other works, i.e. 'Buried Child' or 'True West', it is still a great play. I picked it up one evening and simply couldn't put it down. A dark comedy that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I am a republican and do not agree with the ties this play makes with the Bush Adminstration, but I think this play is about the dangers of an ill-informed public and abused power, even though the play was written to reflect present day politics. No matter what your political affiliation may be, there is something in this play for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. G. Harpster on July 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked the play so much, I talked a producer into making it

happen on stage at the Community College of Southern Nevada, Las

Vegas. We're having a lot of fun in rehearsals with THE GOD OF

HELL! But be warned, this play is NOT suited for everybody's

taste!!!
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By Amazon Customer on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This play by renowned playright Sam Shepard was entertaining enough. However, it's anti-war political agenda was too obvious and not enough to vault this play to a lasting level of literary greatness. All that aside though, the storyline carries the reader/viewer along and reads fast enough that it might be worth picking up.

-- Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Clark on August 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was really looking forward to reading this play because the title sounded so great. This play has a silly plot and asinine characters. I am so happy that this play is short because if it would have taken me a long time to read I would have been really unhappy with the time that I lost to reading this play. If you really want to read a good play then read Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg.
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