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Red Light Winter

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  372 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
It's totally familiar but dreamlike at the same time," observes one American of Amsterdam's notorious Red Light District in the stunning new work from Adam Rapp. Escaping their lives in Manhattan, former college buddies Matt and Davis take off to the Netherlands and find themselves thrown into a bizarre love triangle with a beautiful young prostitute named Christina. But t ...more
Paperback, 97 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Jan 03, 2008 Carla rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 20, 2015 Doug rated it it was amazing
Saw the original NY off-Broadway production almost ten years ago now, and the play has stayed with me. Would love to take a crack at directing it sometime.
Mar 09, 2015 Tim rated it it was ok
Shelves: theatre
This play (and this playwright) were getting some attention when I read this, so I was expecting something new and exciting. There was nothing really new here, however. It is pretty straitforward realism, with a fairly interesting story set-up: 2 young American friends, traveling around Amsterdam together, both get attracted to the same woman. She only likes one of them - arrogant, entertaining, hotshot Davis, who has no intention of taking her seriously. Lonely, melancholy playwright Matt might ...more
Jonathan Francisco
Oct 27, 2013 Jonathan Francisco rated it it was amazing
Well, what can I say? He broke my heart with The Year of Endless Sorrows. He broke my heart again with this one. It's like being inlove with someone who's inlove with someone else.

Feb 04, 2015 Caitlin rated it liked it
Really dug this book for quite a while, until it took a turn for the super weird. Rapp's in-depth knowledge of the East Village is appealing, and he "nails" it in terms of capturing the essence of quarter-life wanderlust. The distinction of calling an apartment "cozy" instead of "small" in terms of enhancing perceived bang for your buck is so spot-on, too.

This book made me want to drop everything and go backpack via Europe's youth hostels. Minus the prostitutes, of course.

And man, would I love
Asa Merritt
Oct 09, 2007 Asa Merritt rated it liked it
Two dudes and a prostitute. Love triangle. Powerful ending.
Daniel Grear
Jul 28, 2016 Daniel Grear rated it liked it
Shelves: 2000s
"Red Light Winter" is my first foray into reading modern plays (not that I go see them much, either), and I'm already feeling ready to make a habit of this. Adam Rapp's piece isn't long enough to really be properly impactful and he relies a little too heavily on tropes about how men relate to one another, but boy is it refreshing to sink my teeth into something where the suffocating detail of maximalist fiction is eschewed to the point where two or three characters with complicated histories are ...more
Phil Keeling
May 18, 2013 Phil Keeling rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-shelf
What does one say about a beautifully written story that they gained nothing from? Rapp's style and dialogue are absurdly good, and yet I came away from this play with a pointless bleakness that I hadn't felt in some time.

Don't misunderstand me: I do not mind sad endings. The literary world is filled with masterpieces that resolve in tragedy: and for good reason. I, however, was unconvinced as to the hows and whys of Rapp's dirge-like ending.

Rapp's dialogue is terrific--I'll give him that. The w
Dec 29, 2015 Mylissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: plays, 2015-books

The main character is clearly a stand in for the playwright who seems to have not grown up or come up with anything original at all. Every page reeks of trying to hard, whiny man child, and please think this is high art. Spoiler alert, it's not. It's another coming of self/age play for the undeveloped men around us, a story that has been told so many times that unless someone really has something new to add, it's no longer worth telling. This version is one that can be skipped. Gratuitous s
Sep 09, 2008 Lonnie rated it it was amazing

Probably my favorite contemporary play. There's a substantial amount of vulgarity that is innate to Rapp, but it's worthwhile to look past it and see how touching and smart the story is. It's the kind of story where you recognize aspects of yourself though the details are completely different.
Laura Baker
May 27, 2014 Laura Baker rated it liked it
Very male-centered - doesn't give much consideration to a female point of view. It still has it's place, I suppose. Very engaging and exciting (especially for what is essentially a story about two white dudes).
May 14, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: play-hunt
This is a play that examines the way we fill the emptiness in our lives so well that there is no way you won't be thinking about this one after you’re done with it.

Lindsay Harris
Aug 01, 2011 Lindsay Harris rated it it was amazing
It excited me and broke my heart. Read the play, then the introduction, then read the play again. The last scene will be different for you.
Stephanie Franco
Dec 16, 2012 Stephanie Franco rated it it was amazing
Tragic ending. Wicked. How could something like that happen? Why should it? I feel for each of them. Adam Rapp is exquisite. He is a great writer.
Feb 27, 2013 Mark rated it liked it
I wasn't a huge fan of this play. It was interesting and I liked it and almost played the main role, but it's not my first choice.
Apr 15, 2015 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, reviewed
Haunting and heartbreaking. This play pushes the envelope the way good theatre should, daring to ask the questions that should be asked.
Chris Gordon
Dec 26, 2013 Chris Gordon rated it really liked it
Pretty dark but I enjoyed the plot.
Nov 13, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing
Didn't actually read it, but I saw the play at Theatre Exile in Philadelphia, Pa. It was amazing. Great writing.
Jul 18, 2013 Meghan rated it it was amazing
A real heart breaker, I had to reread the ending at least three times to make sure it actually happened.
Nov 03, 2013 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
The play has a strong first act, but is absolutely lacking in the second, though I can't exactly say how.
Aug 06, 2008 Bunny rated it it was amazing
Again, great dialogue among his characters.
Apr 12, 2008 Jeremy added it
Crazy awesome
Elise marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2016
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Katie Flud marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Michael Guerra
Michael Guerra marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2016
Chris rated it did not like it
Aug 17, 2016
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Nick K rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2016
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Kristina Loggia marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2016
Doc rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2016
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Adam Rapp says that when he was working on his chilling, compulsively readable young adult novel 33 SNOWFISH, he was haunted by several questions. Among them: "When we have nowhere to go, who do we turn to? Why are we sometimes drawn to those who are deeply troubled? How far do we have to run before we find new possibilities?"

At once harrowing and hypnotic, 33 SNOWFISH--which was nominated as a Be
More about Adam Rapp...

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“I keep trying to get Matt here to cross back over into fiction, but he insists on slumming it in the theatre like some sort of third-class peasant.” 0 likes
“Well whattaya know. Frogs love Harry Potter, too. There weren't even interested in one of the most celebrated new literary American novels of last year, but they get their panties in a knot for Harry Fucking Potter. That's so, I don't know, reverse xenophobic.” 0 likes
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