Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Three Plays: Desire Under The Elms; Strange Interlude; Mourning Becomes Electra

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0394701653
ISBN-10: 0394701658
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$3.49
Condition: Used - Good
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book is used, fast shipping and great customer service.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
133 Used from $0.01
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
More Buying Choices
9 New from $4.72 133 Used from $0.01 7 Collectible from $2.98

There is a newer edition of this item:

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

These three plays exemplify Eugene O'Neil's ability to explore the limits of the human predicament, even as he sounds the depths of his audiences' hearts.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (November 12, 1959)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394701658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394701653
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,344,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One of these three great plays by Eugene O'Neill is Strange Interlude which was written in 1923 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928 when it originally ran on Broadway. Its running time is over four hours and it is usually performed with a dinner break. It is a family chronicle, of sorts, following the life of Nina Leeds and her family in a small university town in New England - from her early days as a young woman mourning the loss of her ideal lover during WWI, through her middle age years. It is the story of a family's secret and their determination to keep this secret unknown by others, and sometimes even to themselves. The play's most unusual quality, though, is found in the words that each character speaks. Not only do they converse with each other using naturalistic dialogue, but they also voice their subtext, which is unheard by the other characters in the play, but is heard by the audience. This device brings to the surface the secret life that each character in the play carries with them but is not willing to reveal to others. It creates, in the audience, as if it were another character in the play, a "sharer" of these stage characters' secrets. Through it all we view the lives of these characters with a fondness, and we root for them. Perhaps we root for them because we know, very much, why they are doing the things they do to each other.
The two other plays are well worth the experience of reading and/or seeing on stage. Mourning Becomes Electra, based on the Greek Electra myth, is especially wonderful. Its set in post civil war america and like Strange Interlude its length makes it a rare theatre treat to see performed on stage.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
O'Neill was actively channeling Greek Drama when he churned out these plays, which explains why they're so monumental and deliberate (the unkind would say occasionally stilted), and laced with sins and expiations greater than most mortal lives can contain.

This much I remember from my high school English classes, but it would have been nice had this edition included a little critical introduction discussing the playwright's influences - or explaining just how in holy hell anyone ever managed to stage Strange Interlude when it's nine bloody acts long. That's 185 pages, boys and girls. Unless showrunners trimmed the thing by removing all the dialogue asides, sitting through that must have felt like sitting through Les Miserables...twice.

Still, you have to give O'Neill credit for having the stones to tackle a complete re-working of Aeschylus's Orestia and create the intermittently fabulous Mourning Becomes Electra, which was easily the highlight of the three plays collected here. It's fascinating to read MBE immediately after its source material, if only because it makes you speculate what the Orestia will look like two thousand years from now when the next talented guy decides to retell it to reflect the hang-ups of his day.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for school reading (Is it just me or do books seem to cost so much more now?) and it was used, but inside was free of any highlighting or annotating. Cheap price for a book that you're only going to read once.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on April 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
I'm new to reading drama, but I have never seen anything quite like "Srange Interlude." In this experimental work, O'Neill actually takes the reader into the thoughts of the characters, by not only thier dialogue or gestures, as in most works, but by letting the characters think their streams of thought aloud.
The plot is extremely well developed, though it's tinged with cliche at times. It centers around a mentally unstable woman groping for happiness and the happiness of her four lovers, each lovers in diffferent senses of the word. The first is her high school sweetheart, killed in the war. The second is her lifelong friend. the third is her husband, and the fourth is her doctor. Each have their quirks and instabilities, which make this play a strange interlude, indeed.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
O'Neill's "Mourning Becomes Electra" is astounding. The plot is timeless, the characters are amazingly drawn, and the dialogue is as brilliant as anything he ever wrote. The only problem with the play is that, like everything he wrote, his themes are exhausting because they're so heavy. This play is no exception.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had to get this for an honors college course. Mourning Becomes Electra is a great story. Have not had a chance to read the others however.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
This is one of these books that I had bought (second hand) thinking distractedly that O'Neill was a pretty big gap in my theater reading and that I should eventually read something that he has written. I've actually only ever seen The Hairy Ape staged, and that by The Wooster Group. If you've ever seen a Wooster Group production, you'll understand that while it is bound to be an experience, it isn't generally an experience which is not necessarily going to tell you much about the play itself. Or, more accurately, it is not going to tell you the usual things about the play itself.

In any case, O'Neill.

First I read Desire Under the Elms. My reaction was (honestly) a shrug and a mental het zal wel Interesting play, kind of typical melodrama from the period. (I am positive that there are O'Neill scholars out there who can explain to me why this is Not So, and why I am an unlettered barbarian. But there you go.) Insight into the Desire of Woman. Father-son epic struggle. Death. Despair.

But then I got to Strange Interlude. Oh, I hated it. I hated O'Neill. I hated the coy technique of sharing the Real Innermost Thoughts of the characters. It was like he took Nina who was already in a cage-- the cage of her time, the cage of being written by a creep of an author-- and then he squared the cage by pretending to have access to her real thoughts. It is a *long* play, and reading it was like having fingers scraping on a chalkboard for its length. I hated it so much that I thought that he did Oona a favor by disowning her.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews