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Nocturne Paperback – May 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Nothing can nullify the horror contained within this play's opening sentence: "Fifteen years ago I killed my sister." One hot summer afternoon when the narrator was driving home from work, he noticed a small creature run out into the street. Then he heard a thud. When he returned to the scene of the accident, he discovered his little sister lying dead in the street. The rest of the play portrays how grief can unravel a family. The narrator takes a job in New York City and refers to himself in the third person, perhaps in attempt to assuage his grief and dissociate himself from the person who caused the accident. His parents eventually separate. His father dies of testicular cancer in a dingy room, and his mother enters a mental institution. The play is really a monolog in which the narrator quotes other characters' words. Rapp, winner of many awards for his plays and young adult novels, has created a poignant and sensitive play about lost lives. Recommended to any collection, specifically in public libraries. Bob Ivey, Univ. of Memphis
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Best known for his spare, lyrical young adult novels The Buffalo Tree (1997) and Missing the Piano (1994), Julliard-trained Rapp also has a growing reputation as a writer of sometimes uneven, nevertheless powerful plays. His latest is an odd hybrid, published in the style and format of a short novel but produced as a two-act play in October 2000 at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Performed as a solo piece in early workshop productions, Nocturne is a beautiful, moody work about a man reflecting on a life marred by the accidental killing of his sister, and it does have the feel of a long dramatic monologue, in which Rapp's gift for exquisite, well-balanced sentences serves him well. It isn't clear how the folks at ART were able to divide the monologue up among five actors, or even why they would want to. That hardly matters. On the page, it is delightful. How well it works on the stage is someone else's problem. Jack Helbig
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 60 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Play Pub (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881453110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881453119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Fifteen Years ago, I killed my sister..."
From the visceral opening statement to the hopeful final moments, Mr. Rapp envelops the reader in a journey of tragedy and triumph. The young protagonist, the "resiliant narrator" of this story has decided that this is the place, and now is the time to recount the past fifteen years of his life. From the horrible accident involving his sister, his mothers emotional disconnect and his father's violent actions, we see a downward spiral of events prompting the young man to relocate to the East Village in New York City. Having found comfort and solace in the used works of literature his job at the bookstore allows him, our hero begins to make a life for himself, writing the events that led him to his current state. The pure hope and will of the story effortlessly comes out of his failed relationship with 'the beautiful red headed girl with the grey-green eyes' and his father reaching out for an intimate connection to his diparate son. I am a director who believes one must love a play for what it is and what it says in order to effectively direct it. I am directing this play right now.
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Format: Paperback
An absolutely gorgeous monologue, jam-pack with symbolism and heightened language. Some would say this piece may work better in a different medium, as a short story or novella. I disagree. Though the language does sound a bit too elevated to be interpreted aloud with ease, "The Son" (the single character delivering this hulking monologue) is a complex individual, and provides any actor (and reader) with a serious challenge. Worth every second I read. And I've read it probably five or six times. There's too much underneath the words to explore, so many deep, dark secrets Rapp has hidden in the corners of his mind.
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Format: Paperback
A fluid horror story of a young man's efforts to get out from under the death of his own sister, at his "hands."

The play leaves no doubt-it's the first line, and on the back of the book that "Fifteen years ago I killed my sister" is the central point in this man's life.

Though a play, it is written in such a way that one actor could do all the speaking, though a cast list features a sister, mother, father and girlfriend.

A short read, it is wondefully written, full of literary nostalgia, and images of sensational pain and wonder.

A family destroyed; a sister dead, a mother broken, a father paralyzed and a son shaken. Such a tale comes to good, as the situation and the characters are brought alive in a vivid way.
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Any show that starts off with "Fifteen years ago I killed my sister" is going to be a helluva ride. Nocturne is that.

My introduction to Rapp. And a very good introduction. I find this story to be horrifying and sad. Not for those who like happy endings and smiles. Rapp has quickly become one of my favorite playwrights. Most of his plays are pretty funny but when he sucker punches you on occasion. This is one of those sucker punches that leaves you wanting more Rapp. A must buy and see.
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