54th out of 100 books — 6 voters
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Four Plays: Summer and Smoke / Orpheus Descending / Suddenly Last Summer / Period of Adjustment
This anthology contains four of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright's most brilliant works: Summer and Smoke, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer and Period of Adjustment. "The innocent and the damned, the lonely and the frustrated, the hopeful and the hopeless . . . (Williams) brings them all into focus with an earthy, irreverently comic passion."--Newsweek.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published August 1st 1976 by Signet
(first published 1956)
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(showing 1-30 of 953)
Apr 11, 2008 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like funny plays- not hilarious, but pretty funny
I picked this book because I read Period of Adjustment, not because I read this whole book, because I didn't;). Anyway, I loved Period of Adjustment. It was funny and unique and pretty much the only thing I read for AP LIT that didn't have a super depressing ending.
While I have not read this particular volume, I have read all of these plays and have seen all of them in some form or another - Suddenly was made into a rather good film, Period of Adjustment was also filmed with good actors, but was not as inherently good a play as the other three. Orpheus Descending is really difficult to stage, but on those few occasions when it is well cast (though Chance is almost impossible to cast adequately), designed and directed it can be powerful - and very dark inde ...more
I read the first three of the four plays and now we're needing to break from it (it's Cherie's and my latest book club book) so I'll concentrate on school books, except for on my commute, now. Suddenly Last Summer was definitely my favorite, just so shocking and surreal, I don't think you can trust any of the characters as narrators, and it's just brilliant. I wasn't so into....oh, Summer and Smoke I didn't feel sympathy for any of the extremely self-centered characters. And I really liked Orphe ...more
With Williams, it's always flesh and spirit, body and soul, in exquisite conflict. That persistent theme runs through this collection like a vein, with varying results. To my mind, Suddenly Last Summer is easily the best of the bunch. (Though I'll give a shout out to Summer and Smoke, which I liked better as On the Eccentricities of a Nightengale.) There's no such thing an unreadable Tennessee Williams (well, maybe The Rose Tattoo), though, so even the lesser known here are worth reading to see ...more
Mar 22, 2009 Anne Thessen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Tennessee Williams, southern lit or drama
Recommended to Anne by: Ricky
I love Tennessee Williams, so of course, I loved this book. The only play in this book that I hadn't already seen was SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER. I still loved reading the plays even though I had already seen them either on stage (SUMMER AND SMOKE, A PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT) or in film (ORPHEUS DESCENDING). I don't have the time or the qualifications to go into a full critique of TW plays, so I'll leave it at this. They were good and worth reading.
Summer and Smoke was definitely my favorite of these four Tennessee Williams plays, but they each have their own charm. All four of these plays were also made into films, and I think Williams translates particularly well to film. I especially want to see Suddenly Last Summer (Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift? Sign me up!)
Feb 24, 2016 Terence Carlisle rated it liked it
From one of the great American playwrights, major works from a long-vanished Broadway: tales of sexual repression, adultery, castration, pederasty and cannibalism. May I see your ticket, please?
Apr 30, 2009 BurgendyA rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has or hasn't read Tennessee William's plays.
Recommended to BurgendyA by: No one. I am a huge fan of the playwriter
These plays were excellent. I loved them all. Tennessee Williams was a brillant playwriter and I truely miss him. Now one write like how he did. So I give this book 2 thumbs up, and would recommend anyone to read it. =)~
Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ...moreMore about Tennessee Williams...