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On Golden Pond

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  214 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small thing ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published December 1st 1981 by Signet (first published 1979)
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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayTime To Let Go by Christoph FischerA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Tempest by William ShakespeareThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Books About Old People
32nd out of 281 books — 101 voters
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40+ Main Characters
54th out of 224 books — 101 voters

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Community Reviews

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Cathe Niedzwiecki
A nice, relaxing read that will make you happy. There is no guff in this play. The older folks are happy as clams on Golden Pond, but the iterate theme lurking behind the easy street façade is - that - as my grandmother used to say, "getting old is for the birds."

In a poem from "If I Had My Life To Live Over," a poet writes, "I wish the loon called to me more often." - Norman who is in a humorous funk about being in his 80's and Ethel who is in a humorous stew about Norman are close to Nature;
Jul 18, 2014 Sheri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: play
So I've seen the movie (hasn't everyone), but I am auditioning for the play next week and had never read the text. I picked it up at the library for a quick perusal this afternoon.

I found it rather surprisingly simple; the movie adds a lot of action (I suppose that is required), but also adds more depth and believe-ability to the relationship between Norman and Billy.

My memory was that it was primarily about Norman's relationship with the three of them: Ethel, Chelsea, and Billy but the play foc
Ahhhh... This play is so sweet and beautiful! I loved it very much! It was a refreshing read to kick of July! I just wish it was longer than 70 pages!!! I want more of the characters, and golden pond, and Normans bitter humour! I'll have to pick up the actual novel very soon because I NEED more!
Sean Meriwether
This is one of the few instances where the movie outstripped the original text. This might be attributed to the talented cast assembled for the 1970s sleeper. I can't help but read Ethel, Norman and Chelsea as Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda and his daughter Jane, respectively. The play is about rebuilding estranged family relationships with new blood bridging the generations, and about fresh starts no matter what your age. The "resuscitation" of Norman via the 13 year old Billy might be trite, b ...more
I didn't really love the play, although I thought the film was very moving.

Library copy
Fringilla Pinson
Jul 07, 2008 Fringilla Pinson marked it as to-read
One of my favourite films, full of kindness, humaneness, lyricism and humour. So I'd love to read this book
Craig Leimkuehler
An excellent play, if you don't think about it too much. Enjoyable if not logical.
RK Byers
can a play be "quaint"? cause even if one can't this one found a way to be.
Jack Goodstein
Had the read through, continued to memorize.
Read with Portland Playreaders
Dec 03, 2012 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer by: Eric
Nice, quick read. Very touching!
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