Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Seafarer” as Want to Read:
The Seafarer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Seafarer

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  280 ratings  ·  27 reviews
“Conor McPherson, who [turned] 35 in August, is one of the genuine treasures of the English-language theatre. It is absolutely intoxicating to ponder what he will give us in the future.”—Irish Echo

“The unique and extraordinary aspect of McPherson’s writing is the way in which his characters reveal themselves in tiny details which almost imperceptibly build up an extensive
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Theatre Communications Group (first published January 29th 2006)
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 The Seafarer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Seafarer

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
129th out of 563 books — 725 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
53rd out of 126 books — 85 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 480)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Christmas Eve in Baldoyle, five men play cards. Person histories are touched on, the disappointments of lives are mourned, poteen is drank, and shite is yacked. Oh, and one of these men is the devil who has come to collect a soul.

In case I haven't said it yet: my goodness I love McPherson! He is a master of speech and storytelling. In all his plays he touches upon the realities of life and how it compares to what we hoped it to be, and a good deal of his work utilizes folklore and superstitions
Of course it's not the same to read a play as to see it staged; plays come to life as they are acted and interpreted. But you can get a pretty good idea of what McPherson is up to by reading The Seafarer. It's an old-fashioned folk tale of the Devil coming to visit on Christmas Eve, disguised as an Irish kitchen-sink drama, or black comedy (which means it's not really funny at all).

These are dysfunctional people down on their luck and ready to drink what's left away. Even the teetotaler gets in
Steven Laverty
The first play I've read in a long time didn't disappoint.

Set in Dublin, The Seafarer is a ruggedly charming mx of the mundane and the magical. The engaging plot becomes increasingly exciting and ties together a bunch of lively, robust characters. The play has a strong sense of identity but flexible enough to excite a creative director, whilst the lyrical dialogue blends base colloquialisms with the subtlety profound.

Dangerous, hilarious and,above all, thoroughly memorable.

Think O'Casey mixed w
Dec 27, 2007 Frederick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers of Joyce, Eugene O'Neill's Audience
Shelves: plays, mcpherson
I saw this play performed last night (December 26th, 2007) at the Booth Theatre in New York.
So, if listening to an audio-book doesn't count as reading, then, having seen the play without actually reading the book of the script, I haven't read this book. But does reading a play count as experiencing what the playwright intended? I think seeing a play is, indeed, a legitimate way of absorbing it.
I imbibed this play!
It's two parts O'Neill, one part Joyce and as marvelous a touch of the poet as ha
Tom Romig
Few playwrights can so convincingly create unique, compelling characters. Though the point of a play is performance, McPherson's works actually read quite well. He's a master at creating mood, at melding supernatural elements into the quotidian in a completely convincing way. I've seen The Birds (yes, it's based on the same Daphne du Maurier story that the Hitchcock movie is based on) and Shining City and am looking forward to seeing The Veil, which will be performed in DC in the spring.
Matt Allen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Rose
The play is a beautiful interpretation of a theme that runs deeply through European story telling. The set is perfectly constructed to demonstrate the subtle and overt connotations of the play. The dialogue begins with very choppy language typical of the vernacular, but as the play progresses, and the characters become more intoxicated, their statements begin to gain confidence. One of my observations was the deep connection to Irish mythology in the play; it related to one play in particular. S ...more
Another in the current wave of Irish plays so popular in America. McPherson, author of "The Weir," creates another well-written, realistic series of conversations amongst working-class Irish people. Though the conversations here are absorbing, and there is one terrific surprise, the play ultimately adds up to little that the reader or audience member will remember the next day. The theme seems to be, "There's a lot of living to do, so best get to it." "Bye, Bye Birdie" said the same thing, only ...more
Ayne Ray
Irish playwright McPherson crafts a unique tale involving a crew of down-and-out Dubliners who gather together one Christmas Eve for a boozy, bleary eyed evening of cards and blarney. The evening takes an unexpected and surreal twist when "Sharky" Harkin, a rough ex-fisherman, is unexpectedly confronted by the oddly familiar stranger Mr. Lockhart, who reminds him of a previous bet they made in jail. Suddenly, Sharky finds himself playing a game of cards where the stake is his soul. Wonderfully a ...more
Chambers Stevens
Another brilliant play by Conor McPherson.
Oct 29, 2009 Jenny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jenny by: Donald's Play
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Rutledge
Outstanding, brilliant, and twisted. This book follows broken brothers and friends through what looks to be a dark and darkly-comedic Christmas and it ends with a hopeful message for even the most hopeless.

The play is by no means a children's play, but it is an outstanding play nonetheless and absolutely worth seeing if there's a company who can pull it off. Not all can...
Another home run from McPherson, as he spins a Christmas Eve fable about cards, drinking, Faustian bargains, and possible redemption. Like The Weir, this is deeply authentic and creeps up on you slowly, with a last-minute twist that would be ridiculous if not so deeply earned.
Who ever heard of an Irish play loaded with washed up drunks getting by on their wits and their will to stay drunk? Oh, me too! Here's another one where the writing is fine but the import falls short of, for example, a Martin McDonough play.
Tyler Crumrine
Irish playwriting at its finest. Like the devil comes down to Georgia but with cards instead of fiddles and liquor instead of Georgia. The second act is especially to die for. My favorite McPherson yet.
Brendan Cheney
I don't know if I would have liked reading it as much if I hadn't seen the play performed first. Even so, it is a great play. And it feels very Irish - full of drinking, cursing and a lot of heart.
I'd really love to see this play performed now, or at least listen to a full-cast recording. Great sense of place, engaging characters, a Faustian element... good stuff!
I saw this play last week in New York and was so moved by the imagery, the characterizations, the feeling of loss, redemption, and community...Very powerful and often funny.
Ana Rusness-petersen
Interesting play...dialog kinda threw me at first, but when I got past that and started seeing actors on stage (in my head) acting it out, it really engrossed me.
I saw this performed, directed by McPherson himself and with an amazing London! How could I not like this play.
Saw the play in 2009 at Steppenwolf, but this is my first time reading it. Maybe McPherson's best play that I've read.
Dec 17, 2009 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
Very dark but beautiful play set during Christmas in Ireland. McPherson is a playwright to watch!
Such a great play! Very intriguing concept. It starts a little show, but still a great read.
Atmospheric and unsettling play from Conor McPherson.
Topher Rasmussen
Lockhart's monologue in act 2 about hell is magnificent.
We went to the theatre in New Brunswick.
Dark, depressing....
Cillian Byrne
Cillian Byrne marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Via Suksantinunt
Via Suksantinunt marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Seafarer by Conor McPherson 1 5 Oct 17, 2008 05:06AM  
  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore
  • The Coast of Utopia (Box Set)
  • Stuff Happens
  • Reasons to Be Pretty
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Speed-the-Plow
  • Circle Mirror Transformation
  • Three Plays: Gruesome Playground Injuries / Animals Out of Paper / Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
  • Dead Man's Cell Phone (TCG Edition)
  • 4000 Miles
  • The God of Carnage
  • This is Our Youth
  • Other Desert Cities
  • The 39 Steps: A Play
  • Good People
  • The Miss Firecracker Contest
  • The Santa Letters
Conor McPherson is an Irish playwright and director.
More about Conor McPherson...
The Weir The Weir and Other Plays Shining City Port Authority Dublin Carol

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »