Six Degrees of Separation
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Six Degrees of Separation

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,372 ratings  ·  56 reviews
The extraordinary tragicomedy of race, class and manners.
Paperback, 136 pages
Published November 14th 1990 by Vintage
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I watched Catch Me If You Can and wanted to read this because this play is also about imposters. I am going to also read the true story of Clark Rockefeller called "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit." I can't really blame people for wanting to be different people. We are ingrained from birth to want to be different people by the ads on television and billboards saying "look like this." I know I get super uncomfortable sometimes in my role in life but I think I'm finally getting to a comfortable sp...more
L'immaginazione è il posto in cui tutti stiamo cercando di arrivare

Ho acquistato questo testo teatrale solo per un monologo. Sì, proprio così. Il protagonista, un impostore, si fa amare per le sue capacità dialettiche e avvince l'auditorio attraverso il più bel monologo sulla letteratura che io abbia mai letto in una storia. La sua tesi parte dall'analisi del libro Il giovane Holden e si conclude con Il signore degli anelli e lega l'idea della paralisi degli esseri umani a quella relativa alla m...more
You never lose sense that you're in a play with this book but in a good way. The dramatic entrances & exits, the dialogue, the antagonism between the parents & their children, and how this translated into opportunity for Paul; a desperate, lost, young man to squeeze himself into their lives. The image i have is of a square trying to fit into a round hole but.. succeeding. The 6 degrees of separation theory is brought into sharp relief when they realize they've all been duped by the same...more
Feb 28, 2009 Peter added it
Shelves: tutoring
Sneaky! Trust and Deception, Wealth and Poverty, Friendship and Loneliness, Generosity and Greed—this play has a little of them all. But the way it moves through them feels a little unsettling, a little paranormal, like all the characters are floating around in the ether, and not in New York City. (But then again, good chunks of New York City really aren’t all that connected to reality.) In this play, the subject is mostly upper class, East-Side/West-Side Manhattan.

In Six Degrees of Separation,...more
I had to dump someone whose only contribution to my newsfeed was that she was adding a new friend at least four times a day and by which time she had accumulated more than 1,000 on her way to that apparently much desired and exalted 5,000-friend limit imposed by Goodreads. This made me ponder the theoretical idea of what might constitute the ideal number of Goodreads friends. Then, I remembered this play and the concept implied in its title, and thought that perhaps the number might be 6.

I'm not...more
This play was amusing to no extent. It was simply insane, there is no better word for it. The beginning of this book is a bundle of confusion, the ending a culmination of the confusion that leads to a muddled action. You understand everything yet nothing.

The first time i read this, I didn't see any thematic merit, and I wondered how this book could possibly be considered classroom literature. But the thing is, I couldn't stop thinking about this book for hours after I read it initially. Faced w...more
Christian Engler
Based on the true story of a wealthy, well-meaning liberal couple in the upper echelons of New York society's upper crust, we have Flan or Flanders Kittredge and his wife Ouisa or Louisa; the former is a standoffish but deep down good-hearted art dealer in the private sector who has a penchant for the works of Kandinsky and Cezanne; the latter is his wife, articulate and intelligent who is in need of something of greater meaning and depth other than money, art, fancy restaurants and wealthy frie...more
P retty quick read, play. I can see how it would be very funny for the audience.
It now makes me wonder how the movie went. It's been so long, I can't remeber. But I can see Paul is actually quite brillient, being able to adapt so quickly into these people's Friend, and mentioning how he knew their children. The gay twist was a suprise, but this was written in the early 90's so it shouldn't have, I guess.
A good story tho. Amazing how trusting these affluent families were, from the beginning.
Nicholas Montemarano
Terrific play, sharp writing. I saw the film years ago and liked it. The play is funnier, more madcap, frantic, caffeinated. For a while I worried that it wouldn't move me, but in the end it really did. And perhaps the best thing about it is that I can't quite name the feelings it evokes and can't say exactly why it moves me. I have a feeling that this play will grow richer with multiple readings.

Favorite lines (from the character PAUL):

"The imagination says listen to me. I am your darkest voice...more
A young African-American man, a college friend of their children, he says, crashes into the lives of a rich couple with effects that reverberate through the play. Original and rich in ideas, actions and characterizations, nothing is underlined, much is implied.
It isn't a play that tries to tell you anything, it's one that shares some odd/amusing/heartbreaking anecdotes and leaves it to you to ask and answer the questions. marvelous as a film, too.
Oct 06, 2008 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Katie
Recommended to Becky by: Charlotte
This play is a mystery in a very unusual sense, and in a way that I appreciate very much. I love these characters and this story. And it came to me in a way that really befits it-- Katie mentioned the movie to me ages ago in vague but intriguing and memorable terms, and I was watching it on TV years later, and decided this had to be the movie she was talking about. And it was.

And I ended up reading the play because I finished the other book I was reading right before going out the door and didn...more
3.5 stars really. A good play. Quick paced and with a lot to think about. I definitely want to read more of Guare.
I'm not a director, but if I were, this is the one play I would love to stage. "Six Degrees of Separation" is a meditation on trust and friendship, as we witness a group of disconnected characters caught up in one lie that grows and grows and grows. It's a portrait of lonely people, at heart, and asks where the line is drawn between true experience, and the coldness of living only for anecdotes. The dialogue is crisp and alternates between hilarity and tears. The film - with Will Smith and Stock...more
Such a fun play to read. Great language, great class satire, and rich in details in humor.

Some of it feels slightly dated now (a live-action movie version of Cats doesn’t quite have the punch it might have 20 years ago) but the way the children talk in their over-the-top rebellious ways, and the way Paul works to hustle everyone on the upper west side; it’s entertaining and psychologically compelling.

Interesting staging too, and a good lesson in how to keep everything moving and corralled at th...more
I read this because it is a "classic". It is extremely short and promoted as "deep". It was okay. I saw it as a cynical, sad, slightly disturbing take on society. A period piece where little telephone communication and a small-town knowing one's family are tools. The flaws in society come to light in the importance of perception, trust, greed, anger and gullibility of people. It seemed to cast everyone in their worst light. This makes even a short book feel long in review.
At first, I had no idea how to tackle this. The style is a little unusual, but not impossible to understand. Once I got the swing of it I felt a good deal of interest in these characters. Some come and go, but all are given a likeable appeal to them. The ending is one of the best endings I have ever read. It's a fascinating story, that moves at a good pace. I highly recommend it.
I read this for school. In a day. And whereas the concept of six degrees of separation was not a new concept to me, I absolutely love how it played into this book - in a much more subtle way than I first assumed it would be done. I loved the story, it was cute and heartwrenching a full of pure human nature. It wasn't all lovey-dovey nor was it all nitty-gritty. It was pretty awesome, I can't wait for our class discussion.
This is, in my opinion, the best play of 90's and one of the greatest American plays of all time. Fast-paced, lyrical, funny and touching, this play has everything you want in a good drama: interesting characters, an intriguing premise, and it's all less than two hours to boot. Intelligent and unapologetic while still being compassionate, it's Guare's masterpiece and a must for any lover of American theater.
I haven't seen the film or the play performed, which leads me to believe that I'm missing out. It was a fun play to read, lots of funny blasts at the wealthy and "cultured." I have a hard time explaining what I didn't like about it, but it seemed to lack something I can't put my finger on. Overall, it was fun. I recommended it, particularly if you're one who likes reading modern plays.
A truly relevant play showing how separated people can be without even thinking about. Is there connection or is it just superficial - needing something from someone else instead of really being interested in him? There's true loneliness in this play, a theme which really resonates with me. But in this play, the loneliness is of characters' own doing.
A beautiful, captivating story, told in a beautiful, captivating way. I fell in love with the movie & decided to read the play; turns out the text is pretty much identical, but of course, it's a very different experience to read it. This is such a wordy play - I feel like I have a much deeper understanding of it now.
This play was intended to be performed quickly, without an intermission. It reads quickly, too. The dialog is snappy and fun, though some of the message is obviously lost when reading (as opposed to viewing) the play. Still, I find myself contemplating some of the dialog long after reading it.
I'm giving 5 stars to the LA Theatre Works audio production starring Alan Alda. It was VERY entertaining. This is my first experience with the actual play. I saw the movie when it came out, and don't remember enjoying it half as much as this production.

Highly recommend.
Fantastic, funny, interesting-- the play is all of those things and more. The ending is left more up to you than being a definite thing, but there is so much one can do with this play (directing wise) that it is nearly insane. Very smart, highly recommended.
A play which jolted me out of my adolescence.

Ok, no one changes overnight. But I owe a lot of my maturity to thoughts provoked by the Catcher In The Rye critique he gives.

(Also, good story overall - excellent production with Will Smith starring.)
I thought this play was rather fast paced and often confusing, though I also found it rather humorous and interesting to read at other times. I essentially enjoyed the play, but did not find it one of the better stories that I have read so far.
Gregory Knapp
For those of you in Chicagoland: I saw an EXCELLENT production of this last night (2/28/13) which is running through March 16:

Anna Darbinyan
An interesting plot of how people can actually become connected and speaking both literally and emotionally. The play shows the impact each and everyone's attitude can play a major role for someone else. A nice flow to the reading.
It was an interesting read and a great book for discussions. I don't think I quite got everything the author was trying to tell us so I want to reread it eventually. Neat concept about how people affect our lives.
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“I believe that the imagination is the passport we create to take us into the real world. I believe the imagination is another phrase for what is most uniquely us.” 35 likes
“The imagination says listen to me. I am your darkest voice. I am your 4 a.m. voice. I am the voice that wakes you up and says this is what I'm afraid of. Do not listen to me at your peril.... The imagination is not our escape. On the contrary, the imagination is the place we are all trying to get to.” 20 likes
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