- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Soft Skull Press (November 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593762941
- ISBN-13: 978-1593762940
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gruesome Playground Injuries; Animals Out of Paper; Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo: Three Plays Paperback – November 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I performed Gruesome Playground Injuries as Doug last year and the play captured my imagination completely. I had read it before auditioning and found it to be a completely engaging read. Quick, easy, and memorable. Doug and Kayleen's relationship is so beautiful and easy to relate to that I defy anybody to feel like the story does not apply to them. It's a story that the audience (and the reader) will absolutely care about. Doug, particularly, is a character you instantly fall in love with, which makes the rest of the story so terribly crushing. Kayleen isn't quite as loveable, but you recognize and empathize with her pain. Joseph does a wonderful job of morphing his characters throughout their youth and adulthood. It was a complete pleasure to not only perform this play, but read it as well. It's my favorite of the three.
Animals Out of Paper is more traditionally written. Gruesome jumps around, but Animals Out of Paper is one fluid story. All three characters are incredibly well-written. The story is engaging start to finish and you feel for and understand every single character. There are some great monologues for men and women here and this is definitely worth the read.
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo is probably the most abstract of the three, but once the concept clicks for you, it's a wonderful trip from there on out. The Tiger is wonderfully crafted, mixing all the facets of the human condition.Read more ›
My favorite of the three is "Animals Out of Paper", which focuses on an angry artist and her brilliant, cocky, yet insecure teenage protege, brought together by a love of -- or compulsion with -- origami. "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" is the most fantastical of the three, with the ghosts of a tiger and Uday Hussein shifting in and out of the lives of two young U.S. servicemen during the American occupation of Iraq. It is the most ambitious of the three, and is largely successful, if a bit hard to fully grasp on the page.
Bengal Tiger has everything. It will make you think, laugh, cry, squirm... you name it.
Bengal Tiger also gets into politics. The play focuses on the Iraq War and some of the questions that should've been asked by both governments.
The characters are very colorful. In order for a play to be successful, you need to have uneven characters. Bengal Tiger accomplishes that.
We’ve been conducting play readings at our local theater and I’m responsible for orchestrating them, so I read a lot of plays looking for ones an audience won’t know but will enjoy. These three plays, by young playwright Joseph, were the best I read.
My favorite of the three is the newest, Gruesome Playground Injuries (2010), but all three are first rate –imaginative blendings of reality and fantasy that expose the hopes and hurts of their characters in powerful imagery and poetic prose.
Injuries traces the lives, from eight to thirty-eight, of Doug and Kayleen. Kayleen’s a self-abuser, Doug’s an injury magnet. They’re sad types but somehow you care about them, especially Doug, who has a goofy sense of adventure to him—how many eight-year-olds do you know who would ride their bike off the edge of a roof in imitation of the daredevil feats of stuntman Evel Knievel? Or climb a telephone pole in the middle of a rain storm, lightning crackling all about him? The play’s a bit like Love Letters, A. R. Gurney’s famous dialogue play, but a Love Letters written on Qualudes. By the last meeting of these two damaged creatures, you understand the gift their relationship has given them. The trajectory of their lives may be sad but there’s something positive about it as well.
Animals is a three character play about an origami master who isn’t folding paper any more; a high school teacher who is a fan of her work and is falling in love with her; and a young Indian who is a genius with anything dealing with numbers or planes. There’s been a tragic death in the boy’s family and he has lost interest in school and math.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written. Used it for my competitive speech and did very well with it.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A great look at the effects a war can have on the human condition. This play is moving, funny, and well paced.Published 19 months ago by DC
No joking, I have cried every single time I have read this book. It is excellent.Published 22 months ago by Caitlin Mosher
On reading two of the three plays, I have seen this collection as Imaginative, powerful, well constructed and a very easy read... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Tariq Anis
Great contemporary playwright, and one on the rise. Certainly three of his best works.Published 23 months ago by Adam Kern