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The Improv Paperback – December 29, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Wooded Isle Press, LLC (December 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984489843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984489848
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,988,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a powerful, riveting account of a tenured drama professor at a major university manipulating the minds and hearts of young, highly talented, impressionable undergraduates for his own sick purposes. It is a work of fiction based on actual events which took place during student "Improv" sessions, secretive, very physical, acting-out exercises conducted in a basement theatre with no windows, by candlelight. All the students are sworn to secrecy and are even forbidden to discuss their "rituals" among themselves. It reads so well you really need to set aside a day to read it and absorb it cover to cover, because you will be hooked! Also amazing is the author's courage, both in her character's decision to confront the situation, and in re-living the monumental ordeal by writing the book. If you care about our youth, our educational system, the arts, justice against evil, or just enjoy a fabulous novel, this book is a must-read for you. And if you're a child of the sixties, you will love this trip back in time to our youth.
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Format: Paperback
Non-fiction books are my real interest. I have reviewed more than four hundred non-fiction books on Amazon. The few fiction books I do occasionally review are special. "The Improv" is one of those few, special books. The author is a local celebrity (and my wife's and my favorite weather reporter). When my wife received an Evite to the author's book launch, we just HAD to attend! It was an impressive show to a full house in a local theater (when I "launched" my book, "How to Invest in Condominiums," at a local Barnes and Noble, there were only about twenty people in attendance). The reading of Chapters One and Seventeen by actors the author had assembled got me hooked. It is a dramatically told story (the last time I remember turning pages so fast was when I read "Endurance," another five-star review of mine) based on real events. It is, in the end, an unpleasant story; I am glad I was an Economics major. But it is a necessary story that brings to light a serious social problem that continues to afflict the nation even more pervasively than one might think.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely love what MJ McDermott has done in this novel -- she's told a provocative story about young love, sexual exploration, abuse of power, and ultimately, the honor of telling the Truth. If you're an artist, a parent, a teacher or a friend -- you'll want to get into this conversation at The Improv!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with my fellow reviewers whole heartedly.As a former theatre arts major, who's a big fan of the show "Hair", I found MJ captured a young actors experience wonderfully in the begining and as the novel grows darker brings to light a serious issue we still are trying to eliminate today.
MJs charm and personality are evident in her writing and she will continue to be my favorite weather personality, funny, and educational,always good for a smile in the morning. READ HER BOOKThe Improv
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Format: Paperback
"The Improv" is one of those great books you start reading and then can't put it down until it's finished. It is really two stories. One is about a college theater group's production of the musical Hair and how the "genius" reputation of the theater director allows him to basically abuse the cast all in the name of art. The second story is about one woman's courage to stand up and say "no" to this behavior, risking her future career as an actress. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it all the more compelling.
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Format: Paperback
With what has come to light about Penn State regarding Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno and all who knew of ongoing predatory sexual behavior but kept silent or dismissed the allegations, "The Improv" is a very timely book indeed. While our concern tends to focus on the youngest of children who are abused, there is plenty of evidence that similar crimes take place in other academic / teaching environments as well, couched as "games" or "improv" and implicitly sanctioned by institutionalized power structures. For young adults there is perhaps less sympathy but an equal need for speaking out.

MJ McDermott deftly illustrates the thin trapeze line that young actors navigate between trust and betrayal, creativity and repression, youth and adulthood - as her very real characters grow up in ways they could never have anticipated.

A good read indeed.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a bit stunned after finishing "The Improv". In the beginning Dr. Adler comes across like an even odder Truman Capote. By the end he becomes Charles Manson at his most depraved. My wife and I both read the book and neither could put it down. She was crying at the end and I was overwhelmed by the author's courage. I wonder how long it will be before this becomes a movie? The author M.J. McDermott must play the part of the Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities. This is a "must read" for anyone in the theater world and a "should read" for anyone that wants to help make the world a better place.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We watch MJ McDermott every morning on Channnel 13 in Tacoma each morning and enjoy her humor and knowledge. When I found her book, naturally I decided to read the book and was not disappointed. The Improv was well written and the students in her book became friends so that I wanted to continue reading. The book kept my interest to the point that I did not want to put the book down and I felt for the students because of the treatment received from their drama professor. If MJ writes more books, I am a believer, they would be a read for me.
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