Customer Reviews


21 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty Translates Itself
I felt moved to add a review of Translations after reading several of the reviews other readers have left. Brian Friel has a feel for language that is nothing short of miraculous. This play in particular is a delicate and wonderful portrait of the universality of human experience. If you care enough to read these reviews you owe it to yourself to read this play. I am...
Published on April 1, 2001 by Arthur from Brooklyn

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not expedited at all
Ordered this book EXPEDITED shipping on a Wednesday and did not receive it until the following Thursday. Definitely a waste of several extra dollars. It was for a school paper and I was so panicked I ended up borrowing someone else's who was already done. Good thing I did, since the book didn't even arrive until the night before the paper was due!
Published on May 2, 2012 by bendork13


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty Translates Itself, April 1, 2001
By 
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
I felt moved to add a review of Translations after reading several of the reviews other readers have left. Brian Friel has a feel for language that is nothing short of miraculous. This play in particular is a delicate and wonderful portrait of the universality of human experience. If you care enough to read these reviews you owe it to yourself to read this play. I am a long time admirer of Mr. Friel and I saw a remarkable production of this play in London several years ago. There are times - rare times - when a person leaves a theater and doesn't feel the ground under his feet because of the transport of the experience. That was one such performance, and this is that fine a play.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Good, I Directed the Play, November 28, 1999
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Over the past few nights I have directed this play at my college. I am studying the book as part of my English 'A' Level course, and you'd think I'd get bored of it, but no, I love this book. Being Irish, I feel that it captures the very essence of Irish culture, and the hatred portrayed by Manus toward the English soldiers, is caught so well by Friel. Definitive and Encapsulating, I love this story. Tragedy or no, it's one of the best books I have read about the fall of one's culture through Language. It challenges the typical stereotype of the Irish, and shows how pompus the English could be! BUY IT!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Incisive, May 5, 1998
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
What a wonderfully light read for such a potentially heavy topic.
As a native of Ireland that is constantly reminded of the legacy of the crass 'Anglosizing' of our country, I found this a very incisive read. It is a wonderful snapshot of a period in our history which has scarred our language and lanscape forever. An example would be a town built on the site of an old monastery 'Mainstir na Fir Maoi' or The Monastery of the Yellow Men was translated to Fermoy, a meaningless name with no relevance to the look or history of the area. Or even the fact that I am more comfortable writng this review in English than in Gaelic.
Yet this is not a bitter book but a clever 'fly on the wall' account of the subtle changes being stamped on Ireland. This book of the play has developed wonderful characters which give us a great insight to what it must have been like for all the people who lived through that time.
There is no agenda in this book. It is a nicely humorous account of the times from an accomplished playwright and author.
If ever you plan to visit Ireland or if you live here and have wondered where places like Donegal got their names then this is book will give you enlightenment woven subtly into a wonderful story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing is Believing, December 13, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
I had the privilege of performing in this play, and I must say that it is one of the most unspeakably beautiful pieces of theatre I have ever read. It challenges the reader/actor with its language, seduces him/her with its emotional power, and teaches an amazing lesson of love and change. I think it must be seen to be appreciated, but every time I read it I am staggered by its intelligence and poetry. (I did see a terrible production of it on Broadway, but a true interpretation of the play reveals it to be the masterpiece it is.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is language immortal?, October 29, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Usually I pay scant regard to books which raise fewer questions than they answer.It was then with some surprise that I found myself giving this book 4 stars (even more surprising that I nearly gave it five). However anyone who dares to delve deep enough into this book will be rewarded with the desire to meet the author personally.I say that because even now weeks after I read "Translations", I find myself wondering how much Friel really meant. Without going too far into the plot (how important is it?) I can say that this book is about the Anglicising of Ireland.However it goes much deeper than this, investigating the very origins of culture and language. In this hectic world it is easy to do things just because your use to them, but in this book I personally have rekindled the desire to analyse what it means to be human.In terms of its prowess as a piece of literature Friel's style is exceptional, wonderfully caccooning his deeper message in the modern tragedy which is Ireland. It would be impossible to simply list the points he wishes to make, but for the purpose of summary I would say that two of the most important themes are: 1)What is culture, and how does it come about? 2)How does language concur with that culture, and what happens when it doesn't? This superb book has left me realising that a word does not qualify existance, and infact many of the truths (immemorial or otherwise) that we hold dear, are intrinsically twisted by reality and myth. All of that and a damned fine read too, what more can you ask? How do I change it to FIVE STARS?!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocative dramatic essay, October 8, 2004
By 
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
I'll admit I had expected this play to be another political statement about disappearing languages and the hegemonic powers that threaten them--either that or a celebration of Irish Gaelic (I'm more with Joyce than Yeats when it comes to provincial sentimentality about a nation's older tongue). But Friel manages to make the reader/spectator ponder the seriousness of what can be lost in the translation of the marginal language into the majority discourse. In some instances, the signifer and signified, the sign and its referent are irrevocably separated. In such cases, the resulting loss is not merely to the "richness" of a country's culture but to human consciousness itself. What we can't say we can no longer know or even think.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the loss of languages, April 25, 2003
By 
Kate (New York, NY, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
an eloquent, moving play about the love of one's native language (Irish) and the plight of lost languages (Latin, ancient Greek, and so on). Of course, it was written after the largely successful revival of the Irish language. There's your delayed "happy ending." (It's not the same, though, not by a long shot.)

the nice thing about friel's play is that he conveys the machine of colonialism with the appropriate complexity--it isn't "bad Englishman, good Irishman," but something much more complex. sometimes people like Owen, unwittingly or not, sell out their own. Sometimes others, for example the English soldier here, are part of the colonial apparatus, but not consciously or intentionally--and such people may end up being the colonized culture's greatest champions.

I liked it better than Dancing at Lughnasa. It reads well--and a lot of plays don't.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phlisophy hits home, January 29, 2004
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
I enjoyed reading other reviews, but i was constantly getting the feeling that there was a real ingorance to the underlining theme of the play. On the surface it is about human emotions and the trials a change in culture can have on a society. Friel also challenges the sugnificance of language itself and forces us to seek the relevance of the communication we use. It is thought provoking causing us to realise that everything is subject to human perception, making us questionwhether any liguistic source is reliable, is language just a guise for the truth? Must read for anyone challenging the relevance of everything we know to be real.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book with many hidden meanings!, June 22, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
I have studied this book as an A-level text and like previously reviewed found it very boring to begin with, however once you have started to delve deeper into the content of the book you realise that it has many morals and many themes, mainly about language. The book talks of a universal language and the death of languages, having made the Irish language a parallel with the Greek language. The book has romance and loss and deals with many of the problems that language can bring about. It is very cleverly written even though it is written in english it expresses itself as though written in English and Gaelic, this aids the readers understanding of the troubles that they are having in communicating. It is a very interesting book and would appeal to most readers!, a must in my opinion to people interested in language and history!.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sublime play..., February 13, 2003
By 
Jim E. "jim" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Friel does a wonderful job of using the beginnings of the
Irish Potato Famine and the callous attitude of the English
government as a backdrop for the far more interesting issue
of language and history- more specifically, how the words
we use can only imperfectly capture the feelings and connections
we feel about the object itself; and how the stories we
tell about history can be more important than what actually
happened. What is most poignant and touching to me is
the relationship between Maire, who speaks only Irish, and
Yolland, the British soldier who attempts to learn Irish
as they fall in love.
The politics that undo their relationship seem almost to
happen as an afterthought- the moments they share, and
their ability to communicate beyond language, make the
play sad and joyful.
Although this to me is certainly a very Irish play, its
impact and meaning(s) cannot be confined to Ireland. It
poses questions to all of us and the worlds we inhabit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks)
Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) by Brian Friel (Paperback - March 16, 1995)
$13.00 $10.58
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.