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A Lie of the Mind

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  834 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Dramatizes how individuals misperceive the world.
Paperback, Acting Edition, 101 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (first published 1986)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Best Play Ever
332nd out of 432 books — 380 voters
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Goodreads Top 100 Stage Plays of All Time
246th out of 317 books — 286 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jan 09, 2012 Brixton rated it did not like it
On pg 38, Tonto meets Snoop-Dogg (please mentally add as many [sic]s as grammatically necessary): "You-- You a love. You-- You are only that. Only. You don' know. Only love. Good. You. Mother. You. Always love. Always. But he lies to me. Like I'm gone. Not here. Lies and tellz me iz for love. Iz not for love! Iz pride!"

It is dialogue like this which contributed to me taking a full month to read something which, if seen in the theatre, would have played out in two hours. I must conclude that atte
Aug 28, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
A Lie of the Mind opens on both side of a phone conversation between Jake and Frankie. During the course of their phone conversation, we learn that Jake and Frankie are brothers, that Frankie has beaten his wife to death (or so he thinks), and that Frankie is trying to locate Jake before he does any more damage (to himself or someone else).

Jake's wife, Beth, is not dead, but hospitalized with severe brain damage. She is joined by her brother, Mike, and later by their parents. Jake and Frankie ar
Jun 13, 2007 علی rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-plays
Love, honesty and pain, but not hollywood cliche at all!
Reading what so ever written by Shepard means going through a shortened social history of America after ww II, and up till the end of 20.century. Plots are so simple and dialogues are not very much sophisticated. Maybe some of works by Shepard are not as interesting as the others, but for those whom are interested in sociology, and drama as writing-art, will enjoy reading or watching works by Shepard. Reading simple and plain plays by Shep
Melissa Luna
Feb 12, 2012 Melissa Luna rated it did not like it
These people are so awful that I actually felt physically sick after reading this play. That said, it has some wonderful lines.
Sep 12, 2014 Jillian rated it really liked it
Shelves: depressing
Compelling and super depressing. The whole play is about the addiction to attachment and avoidance people have when they haven't resolved their childhood demons. Sad and imaginative. Shepard is a genius.
Spencer Korey
Feb 07, 2014 Spencer Korey rated it liked it
Wasnt the biggest fan of this play. Perhaps it hut abut too close to home? Perhaps its because none of the characters changed? Its a great play that gives insight into the trap of family and unhappiness.
Aug 31, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
As usual, a troubling exploration of love and violence and identity. Not sure about the ending, but I'm still thinking about it.
Mosa Bolas
Dec 18, 2014 Mosa Bolas is currently reading it
It is a great play of sam shepard
Jan 23, 2016 Lauren rated it it was ok
not my cup of tea.
Jul 20, 2007 Greg added it
This is one of my favorite Shepard plays, from 1986. It has those signature things we love about Shepard: intense, desperate characters who experience the pain of love; brilliant, honest, raw, fluent dialogue; incredibly eccentric behavior that still seems plausible; and a sense of mystery or underlying menace.
Justin Hudnall
May 29, 2012 Justin Hudnall rated it it was amazing
Out and out my favorite Shepard play, and I'm a big Shepard fan. He should be credited for coining the phrase, "lie of the mind," as this is the best work I've read to capture the act commited by reality changers, the willful blindness to the undesirable.
Gabriela Urquia
Jan 23, 2015 Gabriela Urquia rated it it was amazing
Beth broke my heart in two! Shepard has a way of writing only what news to be said. It's a great, fast read. I read it three times in a rowans each time found something new in it.
Nov 21, 2011 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I loved the dysfunctional families laid bare throughout this story. The use of empty space between different locations was visually engaging even though I only read the play.
Nov 06, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: play
I am going to see my son Nate play the part of "Frankie" in November! So, I thought I would read the play ahead of time. It's a very absorbing & tragic tale well-told.
This is the first play I have ever liked more on paper then on stage. On stage it is too over the top. When you're just reading the words it seems more down to earth.
Feb 25, 2013 Shaan rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2012 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Fantastically dark play that is an amazing commentary on domestic abuse. Absolutely loved it.
Jan 24, 2013 Ian rated it it was ok
Headstrong extrovert overly dramatic American dialogue and acting, lacking finesse or charm.
Feb 09, 2008 John rated it did not like it
I have to admit, Sam Shepard may be a great playwright but he just doesn't do it for me.
Isaac Timm
Jul 25, 2009 Isaac Timm rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, 2009
Maybe it will grow on me, It was enjoyable but just not as good as True West
Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)
The play's that I am picking this year are not my favorite...
Jul 13, 2013 Terry rated it it was ok
Started out good, but fizzled out.
Diana Stevan
Oct 12, 2010 Diana Stevan rated it it was amazing
A shocking portrayal of a family.
Bobby Sullivan
Apr 23, 2016 Bobby Sullivan rated it it was ok
Pointless. I'm depressed.
Fauzia Lakh
Oct 09, 2013 Fauzia Lakh rated it liked it
Dark, different, disturbed.
Jul 08, 2013 Becca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-books
Abhijit Sen
Abhijit Sen rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2016
Jesper Eriksson
Jesper Eriksson marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Dasha Guliaieva
Dasha Guliaieva marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2016
MD Grimm
MD Grimm marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2016
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Sam Shepard is an American artist who worked as an award-winning playwright, writer and actor. His many written works are known for being frank and often absurd, as well as for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. He is an actor of the stage and motion pictures; a director of stage and film; author of several books of short stories, essays, and ...more
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