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Pygmalion & Major Barbara

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
George Bernard Shaw was the greatest British dramatist after Shakespeare, a satirist equal to Jonathan Swift, and a playwright whose most profound gift was his ability to make audiences think by provoking them to laughter.

In one of his best-loved plays, Pygmalion, which later became the basis for the musical My Fair Lady, Shaw compels the audience to see the utter absurdit
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 1st 1992 by Bantam Classics
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J. Aleksandr Wootton
Skip the introduction, which is little more than pages of tired old academic drivel about Shaw's "importance" to English literature (with no defense of the assertion, typical of such introductions) and a bit of Freudian commentary on Shaw's childhood.

Don't skip Shaw's own "First Aid to Critics" introduction to Major Barbara, which arms you well with his perspective and helps you pick up on subtleties. You can read it after reading the play - it IS longer than the play itself - but you'll enjoy i
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Dr.J.G.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it
Pygmalion -

This is the original play that the very famous and popular "My fair Lady" is based on, except that was more of a sweet version, and this retains the original English, perhaps British or even Irish, taste - not sweet, not sour, not bitter or hot, but a little salt and some of that sixth taste that is called "kasaila" or "kashaaya" which means tea in the old sense of medicine.

Here at the end there is a very well written epilogue that explains why the professor does not propose to any
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Elisa
Nov 21, 2014 Elisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
This is the first time I read Shaw and I was surprised. Not exactly pleasantly surprised but the fact that these two plays of his are about socioeconomics was unexpected yet refreshing. Also, there are no silly, impossibly romantic conclusions. On the contrary, as Shaw himself sets out to explain at the end of Pygmalion.

This is a tendency of his: explaining himself, as he does not only at the end of Pygmalion (where he doesn't exactly finish the play but goes on to write a sort of essay about w
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♥Xeni♥
Dec 07, 2010 ♥Xeni♥ rated it liked it
I have always loved musicals, but I have yet to watch the entirety of My Fair Lady. There is something so off-putting with the way that the story starts, that I can just never get past it.

And yet, I never really had that problem with reading the novel! Instead, I would lose interst as soon as the main character started talking more 'normal'. All of a sudden she wasn't as interesting anymore.

What I like most about this is how classic (almost cliché) the whole idea of a low-class girl created int
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Lorraine
Oct 11, 2008 Lorraine rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Shaw does a great job in demonstrating Eliza's trastic change and not to mention Higgings. Hinggins, in my opinion is one of the best characters I've seen so far! He is a very complex person in terms of his personality, his emotions and way of thinking. I believe Higgins motives are misenterpret by many. He's one worth to examen at a closer lense. Pygmalion drew my attention through its ending. Shaw does not give us what we want or expect; the pro ...more
Cathy
May 04, 2008 Cathy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: Rory Gilmore Book Club
Shaw had such a specific vision of this story!His stage direction and set description were very detailed.And who writes an epilogue for a play?Did they print the epilogue in the program when the play was performed?If not, how many people did he think would actually read the script?Certainly not near as many as would see the play.
Elizabeth Brewer
Mar 14, 2010 Elizabeth Brewer rated it it was ok
This is a pretty good play. It was definately not my favorite play that I have ever read but it was still enjoyable. There are some places that drag on and on but then there are some sections that keep you wanting more.
Mindy
Sep 18, 2008 Mindy rated it it was amazing
Before My Fair Lady there was Pygmalion!!! I love My Fair Lady, so if you do this book is worth it!
Steve
May 02, 2007 Steve rated it liked it
Shaw's take in Major Barbara on poverty, the greatest evil we seek to overcome.
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
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