Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Waiting for Lefty and Other Plays Paperback – January 14, 1994
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Known primarily as one of the great American playwrights--his classic dramas in "Waiting for Lefty" and "Rocket to the Moon--"Clifford Odets also wrote or co-wrote 18 movies for film and television.
Top Customer Reviews
It is arguable, but I think it's true that without Odets' dramatization of the plight of the common man, we wouldn't have witnessed the (admittidly more poetic and timeless) works of Miller, Inge and Williams. Odets, perhaps more than any other playwright of his time, placed "the little guy" in the center of the tragic form. As one reads these plays, one becomes aware that the rules are beginning to break right before the reader's eyes.
Odets' plays are, if one is able to check their political hat at the door, fine works of dramtic lit that prove most actable while also allowing a range of staging possibilities. His narratives are clean and direct in the sense that they give the characters a series of clear objectives and actions as well as conflicts to confront. This collection is a most welcome and necessary addition to any theatre library.
This dialectic play gives the audience an insight into the ills of American society and encourages them to change their reality. It was written and performed at a time when the legend of the self-made man held no more waters. The country was still struggling with the aftershocks of the stock market crash of 1929. Unemployment rate reached its highest peak in the United States and employers were reducing wages drastically. As depicted in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio: From the Thirties (written in the 1930s, published in 1974), workers were treated brutally by their employers. As Steinbeck showed, workers had to bond together and fight for their meagre wages which dropped even more because of the intense competition. In this fight, unionization and strikes were their only weapons.
So says Leo, soft natured, burnt out, over worked, unappreciated, hang dog Odetian father in Paradise Lost. But such sentiment could come from any of these six plays and not be out of place.
In these six plays, featuring some of the most brilliant and emotional American playwriting ever, Clifford Odets hammered and chiseled circumstances of urban American life in the 1930's. Full of hard edged people who demand it of others, and naive people who refuse to be brought down by the prevailing winds, Odets creates a world that may seem dated and bygone. But the turmoil and the choices are neither.
In Waiting for Lefty taxi cab drivers must contend with horrendous working conditions, including violence and intimidation from managment if they strike. Scenes from worker meetings, home life between a husband and wife on the edge, and between two scientists politicing towards blacklisting and espionage.
In Awake and Sing and Paradise Lost families living in small cramped apartments must strive for peace and simple comforts while income is barely enough, their children, desperate for a better life, risk their lives through crime, or take up with sordid, cynical and compromised people. Homes are taken away, suicides and paralysis grip them.
In Till the Day I Die, two brothers go from being tight excited comrades, rebelling against the Fascist Nazi encrouchment, to being torn apart and suspicious after one of them is captured, tortured, abused, compromised and released.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really love reading these plays! Awake and Sing! is in it, and I can't stop reading it over and over again!Published on January 2, 2013 by Shannon
Great seller. Item arrived quickly and as described. I needed it for a class and it arrived well before classes started, which is what I needed. I would buy from this seller again.Published on August 25, 2010 by Jacquelyn
Unrepentant agit-prop. Odets is lauded as a hero to Marxists, but he was a middle class high school drop-out who rolled over when called in front of the HUAC in the 1950s. Read morePublished on July 5, 2010 by Russell Lycan
There has always been a place for didactic political plays, like the one under review here, "Waiting For Lefty", within the left wing movement. Read morePublished on May 22, 2010 by Alfred Johnson
As a leftist, inspiring pieces of literature are not exactly few and far between - but ones this entertaining certainly are. Read morePublished on January 3, 2007 by muscovy