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The Coast of Utopia: Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage Paperback – November 6, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
compared to the "genius" of Stoppard's past work.I could not finish reading it and I love great plays. EAN
From one play to the next, I have no recollection of an outstanding act, scene, character, conversation, analogy, vision, or subtext. If I have to remember something from these works it is the presence of Turgenev. It might also be the study of Pushkin. In other words, the connection this play makes to me is only the mention of writers I have enjoyed, so a little bit of a cheap trick. To me, a good play can’t be rapid exchanges. To have written these conversations, Stoppard could have written a novella instead where it is conventional to hide dialogue in the bulk of what is otherwise written, scenery and action and flashbacks, philosophy. A play relies almost entirely on the articulation of unnatural speech, spotlighted speech, but Stoppard basically goes a line and a half at a time. How would characters grow character if not be an emphasis on speech that is more than routine? I am amazed at this trilogy’s capacity to make money.
As far as the content, I am turned off by the rich aristocrats advocating for the revolutions. Although inevitable is Dostoevsky too, matchmaking has its limits in what is supposed to be the visual performance of a play. There is Koyla the deaf kid. There is epilepsy. I don’t know if this makes for authentic Russian plot or if these are the plays of a man who has just read his Dostoevsky, Pushkin, and Turgenev. There is Herzen and Natasha, Herzen and Natasha. I don’t think I should have to review the dramatis personae every time I need to figure out who they are. I should just be able to read their lines. This is a very tiresome historical travelogue. I thought this would be a book about one place and one time and characters who did not have children. Kids just make all the action about whom to marry.