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Stuff Happens

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  273 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"Stuff happens . . . And it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

Such was Donald Rumsfeld's response on April 11, 2003, following the infamous looting and pillaging of Baghdad. In David Hare's powerful new play chronicling the extraordinary process leading to the American invasion of Iraq, this state
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sam Haddow
Oct 06, 2009 Sam Haddow rated it it was ok
Robert Fisk, commenting on Colin Powell’s appearance at the February 2003 UN Security Council Meeting, said that Powell seemed quite unsure of himself, halting and unconvincing, as he delivered his now infamous fairytale justifying the US’s subsequent invasion of Iraq. Conversely, Fisk noted, when he saw David Hare’s Stuff Happens in New York, three years later, the Powell on stage was much more forceful, more charismatic, and a good deal more sure of himself.

I mention Powell, because Hare has
Apr 17, 2012 Phillip rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
I thought this was an ok play. I mean, its approach was interesting and the quasi-documentary style challenged the way we think about current events and contemporary politics. But I just wasn't interested in the basic substance of the play. 9/11 and the build up to the Iraq invasion simply aren't interesting subjects for me.

This play does challenge us to think more deeply about what has become a political platitude--that politics is more show than substance. This play performs the disjunction be
Bobby Sullivan
Sep 14, 2016 Bobby Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This play made me so angry. Dubya and his chicken hawks, flouting international law to invade Iraq and topple a sovereign government under false pretences. Hundreds of thousands dead. Was Saddam a horrible despot? Yes. Was he worse than Bush? I honestly don't know.
Mar 14, 2015 Leonie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
Despite being aware of the events that occurred following the 9/11 attacks, I had never taken a strong interest in the political events and the relationship between Britain and the US at the time. This play opened my eyes to the realities of Bush and Blair's motives, and presented the facts in a way that was utterly transparent. I thoroughly enjoyed the play, despite at times finding it a little dense. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an introduction to modern political t ...more
Calum Parfitt
Jan 07, 2013 Calum Parfitt rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this polemic, it takes an unsentimental look at the events leading up to the outbreak of the Iraq war. Funny and sinister, the play is a scathing attack on the Bush administration, though some 'characters' get it a lot worse than others. Although the figures are in essence acting out a plot to which we already know the final picture, the play is still thought provoking and exciting.
Hannah Jarzombek
Dec 16, 2016 Hannah Jarzombek rated it really liked it
Really, really, really interesting execution. Best read with annotations if unfamiliar with events and people in the scope of politics in the early 2000s. The set-up was really amazing though. Hare brings documentary to stage and gives fiction without sacrificing truth. Well executed and enjoyable read.
Michael Gardener
Jan 26, 2013 Michael Gardener is currently reading it
while reading this (now in small increments, a scene at a time while on the toilet) i must keep in mind the good intentions of the play write to provide us with a dramatization of what he imagines may have taken place in those undocumented private meetings. suffice to say it was probably uglier then this play depicts.

Jun 19, 2008 Ramsey rated it liked it
An exercise in taking quotes and events (nonfiction) from the press and other sources, then writing a piece of fiction. Or is it? A historical play. That's what it is. Very recent history. Overall, good read.
Aug 16, 2009 Gretchen rated it it was amazing
An incredible and unlikely page-turner. You actually see the play in your head as you read. The second I was done reading it, I started at the beginning and read it all again a second time--something i don't ever remember doing with any book or play before. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Incredibly interesting play. Makes you question what you already know about the events leading up to and during the war in Iraq. I'd be interested to see how it was done in the original production and how it was received by the original audiences.
Dec 15, 2016 BurntOrangeOwl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished, 2016, play
No less infuriating today than ten years ago. Hubris has consequences. Pawns die when chess masters err. Loyalty is not such an endearing virtue in the long run. Powell, Blair.... We're still living in the age of deception.
Jan 21, 2009 Yourfiendmrjones rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-drama-rama
Making the fall of Colin Powell as the arc in this play was a very smart choice. If anyone lost their soul in this administration, it was Powell, if only by virtue of the fact that he was the only cabinet member who had one to lose.
Michelle Lynne
Nov 09, 2012 Michelle Lynne rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
Not something I'd normally read, but I did enjoy the fact that it outted the government as a group of individuals who don't really understand what it is they're saying, or the impact of world events.
Beth Younge
Apr 05, 2015 Beth Younge rated it liked it
Its a play of the time. I think it was good but it just reminds me so much of the attitude growing up surrounding Iraq.
Talia Smart
May 26, 2015 Talia Smart rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2007 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, soulfood
I saw a production of this play in Los Angeles two or three years ago. What is said about the recent history of the United States actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were deeply insightful and poignant.
Aug 01, 2011 Playwright42 rated it it was amazing
Everyone involved in any way in the war on terror must read this play.
Jan 28, 2016 Roya rated it really liked it
And you are still thinking about it ....
Tracy Lowe
Feb 16, 2016 Tracy Lowe rated it it was amazing
Newly relevant in the light of Chilcot. A really good read
Mar 14, 2008 Brynn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Disappointing. No great insights into the people involved, just a retelling of the whole disaster in play form. What was the point?
Natasha Dyer
Stunning. Terrifying.
Andrew rated it liked it
Mar 25, 2008
Travis rated it it was ok
Jan 30, 2008
Alex rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2007
Amanda Waters
Amanda Waters rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2017
Sam Taylor
Sam Taylor rated it liked it
Jun 29, 2015
Megan Swailes
Megan Swailes rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2016
Benito rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2013
le bricoleur Boyle
le bricoleur Boyle rated it really liked it
May 11, 2008
Al rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2016
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Sir David Hare (born 5 June 1947) is an English playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director. Most notable for his stage work, Hare has also enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing The Hours in 2002, based on the novel written by Michael Cunningham, and The Reader in 2008, based on the novel of the same name writte ...more
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“On September 11th, America changed. Yes. It got much stupider.” 2 likes
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