Lost in Yonkers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Lost in Yonkers

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,090 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Neil Simon’s inimitable play about the trials and tribulations that test family ties – winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for DramaWhat happens to children in the absence of love? That is the question that lies at the heart of this funny and heartrending play by one of America's most acclaimed and beloved playwrights. Debuting at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 1990, Lost in...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Plume (first published 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lost in Yonkers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lost in Yonkers

Hamlet by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeMacbeth by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Best Plays Ever
100th out of 508 books — 649 voters
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee WilliamsThe Crucible by Arthur MillerDeath of a Salesman by Arthur MillerThe Glass Menagerie by Tennessee WilliamsWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
Best American Plays
65th out of 180 books — 242 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,736)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Megan
This funny and wrenching Neil Simon play will win your heart. Two teenage boys are forced to live with their tough, cranky German grandmother and other dsyfunctional relatives. Some memorable lines:
"Ma always knew what was goin' on. She could tell if there was salt missin' from a pretzel."
"Did you know you could love somebody who died before you were born?"
"I'm afraid of her Jay. A horse fell on her when she was a kid and she hasn't taken an aspirin yet."
☯Emily has reviews on Booklikes
I'd love to share with you why I thought this play was a great play by Neil Simon. However, as I'm not sure how I might step over Goodread's invisible line for appropriate, on-topic content, I will refrain until such time as the guidelines are made clear, easily accessible, and announced to all members.



http://emilyg.booklikes.com/post/6757...
Eli
The paperback "Lost in Yonkers" is not quite as immersive as a staged performance would be, but don't let that fool you... Neil Simon's play is still a well-executed portrayal of a dysfunctional family. Even more impressive is Simon's ability to balance good news and bad news, keeping his play equal parts comedy and tragedy.

In "Lost in Yonkers," Jay and Arty Kurnitz's broke father is forced to leave them with their formidable grandmother while he travels the country to repay his debts. Readers a...more
Boni
This is the 1991 Pulitzer Prize's winning play.


After his wife dies, Eddie is stuck with loans spent for hospitalization. To pay his loans, he has to accept a job that necessitates him to travel to different southern states. He has one problem: he needs to leave his two boys, Jay and Arty Kumitz, to his stern and imperious mother in Yonkers, NewYork.

His mother is a strict disciplinarian because she of the atrocities she experienced in Germany. This causes for her children to be dysfunctional. G...more
Albert
Well...

It was worth reading, it had some weak points though.

Where Simon excelled in good chemistry and emotional writing

I think he did not do so well in action.
The whole play takes place in one house.
Which is good, but he has to know how to use that one place and not make it get boring fast

Ibsen and Checkov have both done similar settings but the plot is so good that we do not care.

This one has some jokes and some tears, but all in all, you can't really classify it as a tragicomedy, not ev...more
Christian Engler
First and foremost, Neil Simon is a brilliant playright, and Lost in Yonkers is another feather in his cap. Set in Yonkers, New York in 1942 during the second world war, two children-Jay and Artie-must stay for one year (while a debt is being cleared by their father) with their cold-hearted, inflexible, emasculating and miserly Grandmother Kurnitz, a hardened survivor and also a woman whose own inner emotional "icing up" (because of her own uncommunicated tragedy) turned her own kids into a pett...more
Haley Kane
One of my favorite things about Simon's writing is his ability to create a classic period piece that, through it's wit and brutal honesty, remains relevant in the lives of readers today. This trait is beautifully exemplified in Lost in Yonkers, a play I read in one sitting (and about two cups of tea). Looking forward to re-reading it a number of times in the near future :)
Victoria
This play was pretty good, but really the only reason I read it is because I had to for a class. I feel like watching it be preformed would be a lot better than just reading over it. You could get some of the emotion that was suppose to be in the play, but not all of it. If you like plays, go ahead and read this, if not, then don't spend the time on it.
Stacey
Interesting play I read. I hope to see this in theatre one day. Will the two brothers influence their quirky and dysfunctional family for the better? What does Jay and Arty learn by living with their harsh grandma who has suffered great loss and a bitter and cold attitude? Will these boys bring the love and life into their grandma's life?
Braeden Udy
"Everything hurts. Whatever it is you get good in life, you also lose something."

This is one funny play that turns into something much darker, before it finishes with warmth and heart.
Joan
I am not a major fan of the play, and it was a read to organize for a production. I'd have to reread it to decide if I really liked the story line.
But I do love Mama.
Chris
The original production of this must have been amazing or just came out in a slow year theatrically. How else did this play win both the Tony and Pulitzer? In written form at least it is a rather straight-forward, plain play. This falls into the more "heartfelt" category of Simon's plays so humor isn't at center stage. This is one of those plays that explains why everyone is the way they are with a simple one-sentence explaination and complexity is thrown aside. This could be fixed with some goo...more
Laura
I remember this play being performed at my high school, and I remember it being a very good play. I credit the interesting and quirky characters and the outstanding actors who played those characters. Reading this play as an adult left me disappointed. By the end, I thought, "Really? That's it?" There are a ton of serious issues that flit by on the surface in this book, but nothing is really resolved at the end. Sure, Bella establishes some autonomy and confronts her ragingly narcissistic mother...more
Brittany Petruzzi
This is an exceptionally well-written play. You could check off all of Aristotle's elements of theater: it's got well-structured action, three-dimensional characters who have their own unique voices, a distinct theme having to do with the effects of love an loss, and room for stirring visuals. It's even funny at points.

And yet.

It just doesn't work. There are no real bad guys and the only good guys are the kids who haven't had time to become screwed up yet, though you sense that it is inevitable...more
Emma Iadanza
Let me say - I played the German grandmother and I loved yelling at everyone with an accent!

It was a very nice play. It was fun to read aloud! I don't really have anything else to mention... it could have been better; I mean, nobody actually gets lost in Yonkers...
Brenda
Two young boys must stay with their grandmother while their father travels for work. They learn about family and family secrets as their authoritarian grandmother, mentally-challenged aunt and shady uncle interact.

A solid work from Neil Simon. I saw it several years ago in Los Angeles and enjoyed it. I think, personally, I've just been exposed to too many plays that push the envelope to thoroughly appreciate this type of work. The one scene that still holds up for me occurs late in the play, bet...more
Justin
Neil Simon has a tremendously acute ear for language, particularly in the colloquial sense; he is a sort of Jewish Steinbeck for the American stage. The delicacy with which he develops his characters, relying on very little in terms of dramatic devices or driving plot, is evocative. Here is poetry in simplicity, power in the familiar––a great play overall, and some particularly juicy roles for women (read: icy, emotionally cauterized Grandma, and Bella, full of wonder and regret.)
Jane Mcneil
Lyrically, it's perfect. Simon is known for his comedic timing, but with LIY he demonstrates his serious side. The depth of his characterizations is what makes this play his best and Pulitzer-worthy.
Mohammad Mirzaali
از نمایش‌نامه‌های غیر-طنزِ سایمون که پولیتزر و جایزه‌های مهمّ دیگه‌ایُ اَم برده. حکایتِ دو تا برادر که باباشون اونا رو پیش مادربزرگ‌شون می‌ذاره تا بتونه یه گوشه‌ی دیگه‌ی امریکا پول درآره. محیطِ خونه‌ی مامان‌بزرگ و بچه‌های دیگه‌اش جالب‌ان و شخصیّت‌پردازی‌ها دقیق از آب دراومدن؛ از همه بهتر «عمّه بِلا»ـه که تضادّش با پرسوناژ دیکتاتوریِ مامان‌بزرگ داستان رو از نیمه به بعد جلو می‌بره. واقعاً خوب و روونه قلمِ سایمون
Jillaire
I decided to re-read this Pulitzer Prize-winning play a decade after it was given to me by an actual resident of Yonkers. I expected it to take longer, but I read it one day and enjoyed the tale of how each family member faced the harsh coldness of Grandma Kurnitz and to still feel love in their lives and relationships. Funny and moving.
Shayda Salaravand
باید بگم انتظارم از نیل سایمون بیشتر از اینا بود. نمی دونم «گمشده در یانکرز» چرا پولیتزر برده به نظرم نسبت به نمایشنامه های دیگه ش مثل «دختر یانکی» و «شایعات» و «کله پوک ها» که این اواخر خوندم چیز زیادی برای عرضه نداره. البته این دلیل نمی شه که آدم دیگه نیل سایمون نخونه چون هر هنرمندی توی کارنامه ش بالاخره یه کاری داره که خیلی چنگی به دل نمی زنه.
James
Jun 19, 2012 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
Well, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this play. I'm very fond of the 1940s as an era and I was pleased with how the German culture and history was woven throughout the play. My only complaint is that it was too short, but perhaps it wouldn't have been what it is if it had been longer. Perhaps it is better left alone as it is.
Anna Rose
One of my favorite plays, "Lost in Yonkers" focuses on a broken family. Artie and Jay, two young boys, live with their grandmother as their father earns money in the army. Harsh and cold, their grandmother seems awful and unloving. Slowly, the family of misfits opens up to each other and learns to work together.
Natasha
When we were younger, my sister and I saw the play. Afterward, we would sit and read from this for hours acting out all the character voices. A touching story about emotional healing during WW II and finding ones self in the process. In my opinion it is one of Neil Simon's best books/plays.
Joshua Lear
I didn't think it was particularly funny, the whole dialogue was pretty campy. The redeeming part of the play for me was the climax, which gets a tad darker than the rest of the story. Of course, it has a happy ending, all problems resolved. I gave this a whopping "Meh."
Rsaal2021
This is a quick read, mostly because I couldn't put it down until I'd reached the end. Neil Simon writes for the average person, and it is easy to relate to the various characters with understanding and compassion. The book is filled with plot-twists and humor.
Natalia
This play was cute. My favorite characters were Uncle Louis and the Grandma. To be honest though, I expected a little more then cute. I had heard such great things about Neil Simon and this play had won awards. The play was cute but I expected more to be frank.
Lindsay
Aug 05, 2008 Lindsay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those wanting a drama
Recommended to Lindsay by: Maryann Kimball
This is a very different Simon play. It is a very serious play that deals with some difficult moral dilemmas. I particularly like Bella. She is a complex character who delivers a very powerful monologue near the end of the play.
Charlie
Somewhere between a four and a five. It was very funny, but also moving in parts. The characters were likeable and vividly rendered, and I had fun attempting everyone's various accents in my head.
Carolyn
Jun 26, 2007 Carolyn added it
Recommends it for: high school readers
This is a book about 2 young boys trying to find connection and compassion while living with a very cold grandmother. The search for love where it is absent is beautiful.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 91 92 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sunday in the Park With George
  • Torch Song Trilogy
  • Anna in the Tropics
  • Dinner With Friends
  • Clybourne Park
  • Three Tall Women
  • Crimes of the Heart
  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You & The Actor's Nightmare
  • The House of Blue Leaves
  • The Heidi Chronicles and Other Plays
  • Beyond the Horizon
  • I Am My Own Wife
  • Picnic
  • Ruined
  • 1776
  • The Piano Lesson
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • Private Lives
60047
Marvin Neil Simon is an American playwright and screenwriter. He is one of the most reliable hitmakers in Broadway history, as well as one of the most performed playwrights in the world. Though primarily a comic writer, some of his plays, particularly the Eugene Trilogy and The Sunshine Boys, reflect on the twentieth century Jewish-American experience.
More about Neil Simon...
The Odd Couple Brighton Beach Memoirs Barefoot in the Park Biloxi Blues Rumors

Share This Book