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Bug

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  684 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken Gulf War drifter introduced to her by her lesbian friend, R.C. Agnes stays at a hotel in hopes of avoiding her physically abusive ex-husband, Jerry, who was just released from prison. At first, she l ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 4th 2006 by Northwestern University Press (first published June 30th 2005)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Best Plays Ever
156th out of 532 books — 671 voters
Angels in America by Tony KushnerAugust by Tracy LettsArcadia by Tom StoppardThe Pillowman by Martin McDonaghThe History Boys by Alan Bennett
Best Plays Since 1990
29th out of 124 books — 77 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,276)
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Robert Beveridge
Tracy Letts, Bug (Dramatist's Play Service, 2005)

Before even considering Bug, flip to the back page if you picked up the Dramatist's Play Service version. (The only one extant, as far as I know, but that may change.) The list of new plays they have for sale says that 2005 was indeed an amazing year for Dramatist's Play Service; sitting one above the other are Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, one of the best plays I've ever read, and John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, which of course everyone and thei
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Ash
I was not happy to see this movie with Ashley Judd back in 2006. When I heard the title Bug, I thought of a man turning into a giant sized bug; a updated or poor man's The Fly. That's what my mother thought too when she dragged me to go see it with her.

After we saw it, my mother was disgruntled. It wasn't like she envisioned it at all. I, on the other hand, loved it precisely because it wasn't the way I envisioned it. It wasn't an overblown sci-fi movie but a quiet movie regarding the magnetic
...more
Laura
THIS PLAY KICKS ASS. It is so creepy and horrible and funny, I can't even tell you. But any play that OPENS with somebody freebasing crack almost guarantees an interesting read.
Jil
Oct 18, 2008 Jil rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paranoiacs
Shelves: play, school
Do I relate to the idea of a serious mistrust and fear of the government's knowledge of my personal life? Yes. Does that mean I want to read a freewheeling, grotesque play replete with freebasing white-trash, tooth extractions, and a creepy character named Dr. Sweet? No.

I just have beef with a certain breed of modern play that is unsettling and confusing with very little benefit (see: my review of As American As); unlike Letts' masterful August: Osage County, these characters are not particularl
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Chloe
Tracy Letts is one author I can call a mad genius. Letts plays show how relationships between certain people deteriorate and crumble. Tracy Letts' 'Bug' is no exception. In Tracy Letts play 'August: Osage County', he writes about a crazy deranged family that, as the play goes on, falls apart. In Tracy Letts' 'Bug' , the deterioration is in the characters minds and their sense of reality. In 'Bug', both characters Agnes and Peter are at a rock bottom time in their life. As the play continues, Pet ...more
♥ Sandi
A Tracy Letts play. Less violent than Killer Joe, but still deals with drugs and insanity. Premise is a young man who feels he is being controlled by others through bugs and implanted bug sacs.
Letts has been extremely lucky getting his sordid plays turned into movies. A Tracy Letts play is not the average play - expect unique and gutteral.
Daniel
This took me a little while to get in to it, and for a few pages, I considered putting it down. It just didn't hold my interest. But as i read on, the entangled relationship and the paranoia had me interested.

"Psycho-thriller" is a great term for this play (it's used on the back cover of my edition) and one of the things that I found exciting was the possibilities of the way to play this.

This is the third play I've read by Tracy Letts and I think he's definitely a gifted theatrical voice. I'd g
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Megan Wenng
modern. a twilight zone episode. decent into the power of the human mind.
Ethan
Genius. Quick read, witty dialogue, and attention to detail.
Travis
Tracy Letts is crazy good!
Neil
hated the movie, was about to turn it off, until i realized it was a play.
after recalibrating my expectations, it was still kind of annoying to watch...
but that's kind of the point, and i found myself thinking about it afterwards,
as i am wont to do with plays. now i think it's great. kinda like how sugary
music you love at first listen, but wind up never listening to again, then
there's music that you didn't like at first listen, but grew to appreciate.
Stephanie
I want to write an essay on this comparing Peter to Gregor in Kafka's Metamorphosis. I love plays that stay in one place for 3 acts. I'm no Jeanne Dixon, but I think this play is a winner. Letts had me from Agnes' opening scene, when she sees something in the mirror she doesn't like. I'd love to be a sound designer for this play - all the mentions of helicopters got me thinking about the X-Files. It's a great play to read on the bus.
Sarah
Mar 31, 2012 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
A disturbing look at how a psyche cracks once it has found the right fixation. The characters in Bug seem intent on heading towards their destruction, finding solace in insane answers to life's disappointments and tragedies. It's well-crafted work by Letts, and while his brand of gross-out theatre isn't a pet favorite of mine, I was thrilled by the circumstances and character choices he showcased here.
Marie Farrell
I LOVE THIS PLAY! Nothing like August Osage County- it's short, straight forward yet when it turns left you are thinking the whole time it'll go straight and that you know where it's going but you really never do, so it keeps you on your toes. I got to do a scene from it with a great friend & it was really fun getting all that insanity out on stage... Oh, but for some people it's disturbing...
Reece Roberts
Wow.
Really nicely written and contained to one location. Like most of Tracy Letts plays.
This one focuses on an unlikely relationship, and the parnoia of the modern generation.
There's a lot going on in this play, and it grips you from the opening scene.
Stephanie
Dec 27, 2009 Stephanie added it
Recommended to Stephanie by: Peter Shippy
Shelves: drama
Kind of violent, but I loved how Bug sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia. A gripping depiction of the conspiracy theory mindset.
Also saw the movie, which was pretty faithful and pretty good (not flashy and high-budget, but that would destroy the atmosphere).
Smredfox
Oh man. This play is intense. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. My favorite thing about this is that you do not know how much of the story is reality and how much of it is all in the characters' heads. Letts does a brilliant job.
Leah Engle
Great play, it's creepy and filled with paranoia. It is very subtle in the way that the ending kind of sneaks up on you. I had to read this for my college lit class and I was so glad my teacher assigned it, I'm filing it into my favorites
abby
please please please try to see this play. there is a movie version (starring the original cast) coming out sometime this year, but nothing beats watching a man pull out a molar with a pair of pliers on stage.
Steven Smidl
This would be a great play to work on character analysis and for scenes. What a crazy, crazy play. I'm curious to watch the film and if they have a lot of the humor or just make it highly grotesque.
Brent Eickhoff
Wow.
A fast-paced and turbulent page turner that kept me guessing until the very end. Rich characters and an engrossing and twisted plot make this one of the most exciting and brutal plays I've read to date.
Litbitch
Like Killer Joe, I'm left thinking, "well written, but so what?". I'll have to pick up August:Osage County at some point, but (because?) I'm having a hard time believing it's as good as the praise merits.
Lorma Doone
I'm not a fan of weak women in entertainment - and I felt like Agnes, the main character, was an uninteresting victim. Not as suspenseful as August: Osage County and Killer Joe.
Reb
fun play. sensationalistic in a way that i don't usually like on the page. i'm an understationalist... but sure fun to think of staging.
Seth
Nothing what I expected. A completely satisfying read and an interesting script. Riveting and terrifying.
Mary
I don't know why I read this right before bedtime. Now I'm too scared to sleep ok
Natalie
Really intense play. I couldn't put it down once I started. Well done.
Chambers Stevens
What a wild ride!!!
So much fun.
Lots of great scenes for actors.
Nada
Not as good as August Osage County, but stil very readable.
Elizabeth Pietrangelo
A perfect example of what theatre can do that film cannot.
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341903
Tracy Letts is an American playwright and actor who received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County.

Letts was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to best-selling author Billie Letts, of Where The Heart Is and The Honk And Holler Opening Soon fame, and the late college professor and actor Dennis Letts. His brother Shawn is a jazz musician and composer. He also has a brother Dana. L
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More about Tracy Letts...
August: Osage County Superior Donuts Killer Joe Man from Nebraska Bug: A Play

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