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The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway Hardcover – January, 1969

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace & World; 1st edition (January 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151799237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151799237
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.9 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Goldman (b. 1931) is an Academy Award-winning author of screenplays, plays, memoirs, and novels. His first novel, The Temple of Gold (1957), was followed by the script for the Broadway army comedy Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole (1961). He went on to write the screenplays for many acclaimed films, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and All the President's Men (1976), for which he won two Academy Awards. He adapted his own novels for the hit movies Marathon Man (1976) and The Princess Bride (1987).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By clutchhitter on June 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having lived in New York for so long it's scary how accurate "The Season" is, although written over 30 years ago.
Broadway has become a tourist trap with very little to offer serious theatergoers anymore except spectacle shows.
Each chapter in this book shows how Broadway was crippled with each passing season...and it makes sense that this is what it's come to.
But the book is very funny (especially the chapter on critics where he launches an all-out assault on then-New York Times reporter Clive Barnes) and explains everything you'll ever need to know about how plays and musicals are put together.
Oh, yes: there's plenty of dirt, gossip, anecdotes and name-dropping...Neil Simon, Carl Reiner, Tennessee Williams, David Merrick and NBC Reporter Edwin Newman drop in for cameos.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr Robin B O'Hair on March 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book. It is written by an author with a first class mind and genuine curiosity about his subject. Whilst one may not agree with all of it, the writing is a delight and he does not shirk dealing with controversial issues such as the influence of homosexuality on the stage and the corrupt financial practices in relation to theatre tickets, etc. Even though it was written for the 1967-1968 season, it still resonates and viewed in retrospect, it provides crucial evidence relative to the aetiology of the culture wars.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Murray on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
William Goldman's groundbreaking book The Season is all it's cracked up to be and more. Though a number of the people he deals with are no longer with us, many of the shows have been forgotten, and the ticket prices are quite a bit higher, it's astonishing how much the Broadway of the late 1960s resembles the Broadway of today. The same problems, the same headaches, the same disappointments, and the same triumphs are all still a part of the Great White Way. No Broadway enthusiast should be without this book; The Season is a stunning history--and current events--lesson on Broadway theatre.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though this was written about a Broadway season back in the mid-'60s, Goldman's lively, opinionated writing makes this as fresh as ever. You may not agree with all of his conclusions, but he backs everything up with compelling facts and anecdotes. A great piece of journalism and one of the best books I've read all year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DUSE on March 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book when it came out and it is, without a doubt, the best, most complete and sometimes hilarious book on the theater you will ever read. Can't wait to read "What Lie Did I Tell"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Munch on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
William Goldman is not only a great screenwriter, but a wonderful writer of prose/criticism, as evidenced by "The Season," probaby the smartest, if not funniest, book ever written about the (sorry) state of Broadway. Here he tells you all you would want to know about the making of a Broadway show--all the compromises, betrayals, fits of ego, and under-the-table deals that keep the "fabulous invalid" (a phrase, by the way, that makes Mr. Goldman want to vomit) alive for another season. As a lover of theater, you may become depressed at the cynical machinations that go on to get what is, after all, usually pretty mediocre material to the stage; however, Mr. Goldman's prose is so crisp and entertaining that your spirit is ultimately lifted by his keen analysis. Although the patient is very sick, here's a doctor who has a prescription to offer. And all through the book, he does offer suggestions on how Broadway can better serves us, the theatergoers. Alas, the advice wasn't followed then (the late 60s), and it's not being followed today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
"The Season" is a revelation, the best book on theater I've read so far. It's foremost quality is that it demystifies the glitter-world of Broadway (and theater in general) and shows how theater really works (and, of course, how it doesn't). The audience normally only sees the result of combined efforts of many artists on a stage, but doesn't know how a play is composed and why some productions work and why some don't. Mr.Goldman succeeds wonderfully in showing how both the art and business side of a Broadway play contribute to its success or failure. And what's more: Goldman is witty, cynical, never boring - and so honest it almost hurts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Robbins on December 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinated book on the backstage world of Broadway but I suspect it is a little out-of-date. The Times Square revitalization has changed Broadway a lot and most theater goers obtain tickets online. However, as an aspiring playwright, reading this book did get me to thinking that I ought to know more about how plays get produced and how theaters are run. I have no idea why some people are running festivals and producing plays without a permanent facility. Regional theater and Off Broadway must have completely different sources of funding and artist cultures.

William Goldman does not describe how musicals go on tour around the country and the world. That whole system must have developed later but it is probably a big factor in how shows continue to make money long after they close on Broadway.
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