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Showing 1-10 of 188 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 347 reviews
VINE VOICEon May 30, 2016
There’s a strong drive and passion in many of the characters in A Streetcar Named Desire. A definite rawness in emotion and complexity is within many of the scenes and situations.

I had read A Streetcar Named Desire once before, but never really caught on at how so much is working underneath the surface of the dialogue. In many estimations, Blanche is a character deeply rooted in pathos and tragedy. Her vision of what the world should be, as opposed to what it truly is, is at the center of her unhinging. Arriving to her sister’s apartment in New Orleans, she has taken a leave of absence from her teaching, and there are more undercurrent issues that have taken hold of her, most notably losing Belle Reve, their childhood home. At her opposite, Stanley, Stella’s husband, represents the brute, harsh, realities of the world.

I think that, in many respects, Williams creates an intensity that builds as the play moves forward until the dramatic final scene. There is a power in Stanley and Blanche’s confrontations, especially in the final scenes as we learn more and more about Blanche’s past. These moments are written so eloquently, so human, clearly by someone who has experienced, witnessed, and reflected on the impact of human sufferings and failings. In short, clearly Williams was a man who could project real human situations into dialogue in such a clear, convincing way.

A Streetcar Named Desire is a very powerful and thought-provoking play, with characters who breathe strong emotion throughout, making the scenes really come to life. It is no wonder that this epic play was made into a fine classic 1951 film with Marlon Brando as Stanley and Vivien Leigh as Blanche.
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on April 13, 2013
Williams is an expert of dissecting and analyzing complex personalities and he does it expertly in his classic "A Streetcar Named Desire." The book was very easy to read with simple dialogue. The plot starts with Blanche Dubois coming to New Orleans to visit her sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski. The sisters both grew up in a place called Belle Reve and had not seen each other in years. Throughout the book, readers start to see Blanche go a little insane as she tries to forget the loss of her former husband who killed himself years before. (Stella feels guilty over her husband's suicide.) Stanley starts to harass Blanche and beings to accuse her of lying about her past. Towards the end, Blanche gets physically overpowered by Stanley and tries to tell Stella but she failed to believe her. In result of that, Stella sent Blanche off to a mental hospital because of her strange behaviors and because she thought she had made up everything. Stella continued to stay with Stanley even though, in reality, he really did hurt Blanche. The readers are left off to figure out why Stella chose to side with Stanley and not with her own sister. This book also leaves readers to form several different opinions about each of the characters. Overall, the book was very well written with a very interesting plot and characters.
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on September 4, 2015
A true classic. A quick read as well. Read in one day while my boyfriend steam cleaned the carpet and I was confined to our bed for a couple hours amongst all our overturned furniture. Reads like a short story which was great because I dislike plays quite strongly. A little slow to start but push through and prepare to be engrossed in Blanche's jaded view of the life, invested in what happens to her and her sister and surprised by some of the developments along the way! Also, a great vocabulary booster. Would strongly recommend for a moderate reader who wants to increase their skill. This book is not suitable for children due to content (13+).
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on August 7, 2017
People tend to dismiss the male protaganist of the play, it is ofcourse easy to single out a person and place the blame on a single individual. I think what Williams was trying to do was to show that there is rarely a perfect individual and often enough it is the combination that mixes best. Another underlying theme that it often comes to mind is the basic instinct of survival, if civilization and modern gadgets are taken away from us we will be reduced to the one common law that is always constant... The Law of Survival... those who adapt the fastest survive as in the Darwinian theory of evolution. AND THIS BOOK IS NOT BORING !
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on April 6, 2017
A masterpiece. Tennessee Williams may be the best contemporary playwright America has ever seen (may he rest in peace). The story is flawless, and the stage directions are so specific and meaningful. Every word is filled with intent, every color is painted through the text, and the message is timeless. The relationships the characters share are well flushed out and highly sophisticated. Williams even describes the music playing during scenes. I hope you read this over and over again, just as I do. A timeless classic, a masterpiece of American Theatre.
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on November 17, 2015
Favorite play! Its commentary on illusion vs. reality through Blanche's disillusionment throughout the scenes is riveting! The characters are exasperating but I found myself REALLY wanting the best possible outcome for them. SPOILER: no one gets that beautiful and desirable ending, and Stella, who resented Blanche for embracing an easier-to-swallow fantasy, hypocritically embraces her own jarring illusion of "everything is okay, life goes on" that is meant to help her move on and continue living a stifled life of repression and suffocation with Stanley.
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on July 9, 2017
Excellent product, a good purchase and , price excellent quality recommended
Thank you
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on July 22, 2009
Tennessee Williams is one of America's finest playwrights, and his 1947 Pulitzer-Prize winning "A Streetcar Named Desire" is his undisputed masterpiece. "The Glass Menagerie" moves us to tears and "Suddenly, Last Summer" is luridly fascinating, but "Streetcar" remains in, and haunts, our souls. Sam Staggs, in his definitive history of "Streetcar," correctly describes the play as "a root canal on the soul."
The production of "Streetcar" recorded here played at the Vivian Beaumount Theatre in New York from April-July, 1973. The plot, in brief, concerns Blanche DuBois, who arrives in New Orleans seeking refuge from her troubled past in her sister Stella's small apartment. Blanche hadn't counted on her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, being so brutish and intensely sexual, however. She hopes to find a measure of happiness and peace with Stanley's friend Harold Mitchell (Mitch). A lesser playwright than Williams may well have given Blanche, and the audience, a happy ending with Mitch. But neither Williams nor his characters are that easy or simplistic. His characters are not all good or all bad. They exist in a morally gray area; with Williams exposing the harsh realities of life. When the truth of Blanche's sordid past is crudely, relentlessly exposed by Stanley, Mitch cruelly rejects her. Blanche and Stanley have a final, violent confrontation; which in turn leads to one of the most soul-shattering conclusions in theatre history.
The big question here is: how does the 1973 Lincoln Center revival compare to the excellent ensemble cast of Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden in the 1951 film version? Of course, the 1973 cast does not have to contend with the censorship issues that plagued the otherwise outstanding 1951 film version. So, here we have the full text and content of Williams' original play. If you are not familiar with the play, however, I strongly advise you to have a copy of the script with you as you listen to this recording. Otherwise, you might not understand the important actions that occur in several key scenes-- including Stanley's violent actions during the poker game and, more importantly, Stella's exact reaction to it.
Rosemary Harris is often her own worst enemy as Blanche DuBois. Her powerful performance is undermined by her own unfortunate penchant for over-acting in several scenes where a more subtle approach would have been much more effective. Harris totally goes over the top in the scene just before the newspaper boy arrives, ("Ah, me...") and the scene where Blanche describes the suicide of her gay husband; completely ruining the beautiful end line of the scene, when Blanche says to Mitch, "sometimes, there is God-- so quickly!" While she does not match or equal Vivien Leigh's definitive and devastating portrayal, it is truly heartwrenching when Harris' Blanche loses her tenuous grip on reality. Elsewhere, while she is not exactly mis-cast, Patricia Conolly is a rather odd choice, and makes some rather odd acting choices, as Stella. Robert Symonds is merely adequate as Mitch. The most startling surprise here is James Farentino as Stanley. As Sam Staggs shrewdly observes, Farentino "does what few actors can: he makes you forget (Marlon) Brando. To do this, he discards nuance in favor of hustler directness. You hear the price tag in his voice."
The genius of Tennessee Williams and the power of "A Streetcar Named Desire" remains undiminished. This CD recording of one of the greatest plays is essential in the library of every fan of Tennessee Williams and every serious theatre aficionado.
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on July 14, 2017
A classic, must read. Enjoyed the book very much and will want to read it again.
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on November 25, 2013
Although I haven't read much of Tennessee Williams other works, A Streetcar named Desire managed to reel me in from the moment I picked it up. Even though I did watch the movie before reading the play I would recommend this to others out there. Or for the most part if you're a young reader like me I would recommend following me in my foot steps. Watching the movie before reading allows you to picture most of the situations occurring while still managing to give you a different perspective when reading the descriptions and characteristics of the area, you're able to compare the look and feel the director was going for in comparison to what Tennessee himself was going for. With this said, it's an American classic that I am very hopeful will continue stand the test of time.
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