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A Soldier's Play

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  261 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A black sergeant cries out in the night, "They still hate you," then is shot twice and falls dead. Set in 1944 at Fort Neal, a segregated army camp in Louisiana, Charles Fuller's forceful drama--which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 and has been regularly seen in both its original stage and its later screen version--tracks the investigation of this murder. A Soldier's Play ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 1st 1982 by Hill and Wang (first published January 1st 1982)
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Lee Ann
Mar 22, 2017 Lee Ann rated it really liked it
I read this for my class and I LOVED how the author used lighting and flashback throughout the play. This play examines different avenues of avoiding stereotypes within the black community at a time when social advancement would be more accessible after WWII. The contrasting attitudes of Sargent Waters, Peterson, and CJ were extremely thought provoking as each thought the other were the problem and themselves the solution. I liked the mystery element of the play, and I was surprised by the endin ...more
Mar 17, 2017 Josh rated it liked it
A good read and probably not a fair rating, as I read it 35 years after it was first performed. That said, it feels like it was groundbreaking at the time, and there's some nice, nuanced characterization here. To my modern eyes and ears, it felt a little rigid, but still a clearly vital, important text in the history of American drama.
Sep 14, 2010 Michelle rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
1982 hardcover of this just retrieved from bookstore trash.

This play won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize and was made into an exemplary 1984 movie, "A Soldier's Story," that just about kicked ass on every level, especially for Adolph Cesar's unforgettable, haunting Oscar-nominated performance as the hard-ass and troubled sergeant. A cool feature of this first edition hardcover from 1982 is the inclusion of photos from the 1981 original stage production starring Caesar, Denzel Washington and several othe
Chip Starr
Sep 02, 2013 Chip Starr rated it really liked it
A Soldier's Play depicts a mystery surrounding the murder of Sergeant Waters who was shot twice by an unknown man. Captain Davenport has been sent to investigate and this sparks controversy within the small community about why a black lawyer has been sent to an army base to investigate a murder. The play showcased a lot of racial conflicts going on during the time. I feel it was a difficult read but worth it.
Isaac Timm
Jun 20, 2008 Isaac Timm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, 2008
A play about hate, and all its levels, I had seen parts of a movie based on this play on TV, but really didn't get an idea of what the story was about. Its play that is seems to be nothing more then a simple mystery, but is, in fact layered with subtext and complexity that is missing from most modern plays. The conclusion left me shocked and saddened but with a great deal to give thought too.
Sep 16, 2011 Brett rated it really liked it
I decided to read this in it's entirety because I was incorporating a performance of the play into a script I'm writing. The play itself is great which made for some pleasant research. I tend to have less interest in art that deals with race relations, usually finding it too corny, preachy, or obvious, but I had no such reservations this time around. Good stuff deserving of the Pulitzer it won.
May 29, 2011 Nicki rated it liked it
Reading this play, as opposed to seeing it, was powerful in the sense that I wasn't able to keep track of who was black and who was white, which is the essence of the play. Knowing that a simple visual of skin color would change the entire perspective of the action was a heart breaking realization.
Feb 06, 2016 Marc rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, drama
Excellent. Did also see the movie based on the play... Denzel, Adolph Caesar (received Oscar nomination for this role), and Larry Riley played same roles they played in stage version. Samuel L. Jackson, who played Henson on stage, was replaced in movie.
Jun 22, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it
At an army base during World War II, a black soldier is found murdered, an event that could ignite the era’s racial tensions. Winner of the 1982 Pulitzer, A Soldier’s Play – at least on paper – is an uneven examination of the complexity of racial relations in America. Quasi-recommended.
Matt Carton
Oct 25, 2014 Matt Carton rated it it was amazing
A little Saturday afternoon reading. A great, and it seems nearly forgotten play. It is constructed beautifully. And, damn, wouldn't it have been great to see Adolph Caesar, Denzel, and Sam Jackson all in the same production?
Apr 01, 2009 Roy marked it as to-read
One of my favorite movies. I must get around to reading the play one day, and seeing it on stage would be awesome as well.
May 31, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
A very well crafted play. Fantastic characters, great story, nice mystery. Everything about it is wonderful.
Feb 27, 2011 Andy added it
not just a good source of samples for immortal technique
Jacques Bromberg
Dec 18, 2006 Jacques Bromberg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
This was a tough play to read, but dealt honestly and bravely with race issues in mid-20th-century American military.
Worth reading but, I didn't love it.
Stephen Bess
Jan 04, 2011 Stephen Bess rated it it was amazing
I just wish I could've witnessed this on stage. Great play.
Oct 26, 2013 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Wasn't the most exciting book but it was still good. All the characters kind of got confusing after awhile though.
Amber Brown
A really decent play. I was lucky enough to see it performed before I read it, and both media were exceptional.
Dee's Reading Zone
Dec 17, 2016 Dee's Reading Zone rated it it was amazing
excellent play!
Max rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2015
Timothy Tyson
Timothy Tyson rated it liked it
Oct 22, 2012
Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2014
Arthur Camara
Arthur Camara rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2010
Nikolas rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2017
Peter Senkbeil
Peter Senkbeil rated it it was amazing
Jan 17, 2016
David Hurner
David Hurner rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2017
Ed Lehman
Ed Lehman rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2017
Yuthika rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2016
David rated it really liked it
May 20, 2011
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