Long Day's Journey into Night
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Long Day's Journey into Night

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  20,643 ratings  ·  470 reviews
Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical play Long Day's Journey into Night isregarded as his finest work. First published by Yale University Press in 1956, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 and has since sold more than one million copies. This edition includes a new foreword by Harold Bloom.
Kindle Edition, 196 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1941)
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Jason
From Act 1 Eugene O'Neill jerks away the patchwork veil from the face of a family to reveal the anatomy of the skin, every pustule, all the carbuncles, discoloration and scars, the embarrassing halitosis, wax and hairs—the attributes that, up close, make us ugly human beings. Long Day's Journey Into Night is a naked insight to the brutal, unyielding properties that trap families into dysfunctional, vengeful, malignant relations.

Guilt, criticism, paranoia, competition, blame, hate, distrust, add...more
Carol Storm
It's really sad to think that kids in high school are forced to read junk like DEATH OF A SALESMAN and THE CRUCIBLE when a great play like this one is almost forgotten.

The thing I love the most about this play is that it really feels like the story of a family where there is no hope. I know just what it's like when one parent is permanently checked out on drugs, or alcohol, and the other parent is trying to keep up a false front, and the kids are always either acting out or just pretending noth...more
Laura Leaney
Mar 17, 2014 Laura Leaney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Joe Kocks
The first time I ever saw Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf I could not quite believe that people could drink that much and live. And I thought this despite the fact that I come from a drinking family. The alcohol in Albee’s play operates not so much as a numbing agent, but as an alchemic incendiary to the verbal abuse that transforms four intelligent people into harpies of the worst kind.

In O’Neill’s play, the focus is also on four people, members of an Irish-American family – a father, m...more
Don Incognito
Don't read this play if you or your family have a history of drug addiction and/or alcoholism and you don't want to be reminded of it. This play is about the disintegration of a family whose members are, variously, addicted to drugs or alcohol; tormented by the failure of their dreams; or dying from disease on top of the other problems.

That said...this is a fascinating play with a explosive end. The first three acts are so quiet in comparison, in their depiction of the Tyrone family's individual...more
Christopher Rush
It's hard to really "like" this play, considering it's so painful, especially knowing what happens and reading it again and seeing how genuinely happy things are (or at least seem to be) on the first page. Literature isn't often as "courageous" as people say it is, but O'Neill's play is a remarkably courageous act - I doubt I'd be willing to memorialize my worst memories and experiences for all time for all to see. Not that my experiences were anywhere near as tragic as his ... which makes his w...more
Momina Masood
Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually.

What an utterly beautiful play! This is my second of O'Neill and I am completely won over. Where naturalist and realist fiction takes on life with the sharp gaze of the one who doesn't cringe, symbolist literature says:

Don't look at me as if I'd gone nutty. I'm talking sense. Who wants to see life a...more
Headcount
You wont like this book unless you have some stodgy English professor explain all the allegorical motifs that come at certain times. However, I found this to be a masterpiece. Not to be a spoiler, but the wife is addicted to Morphine and her sons are alcoholics. Uplifting story it isn’t, but the way it is crafted and acted out was way ahead of it’s time. This might be the one time you can watch the video and then read it. Either way, this was one Eugene’s best including the Ice Man Cometh.
AB
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Frankie
I had the opportunity to read this in World Drama class years ago, but I admit shamefully that I skimmed it. Now, knowing the autobiographical context and the actual accuracy of O'Neill's family history portrayed here, I couldn't help but feel emotionally invested. In the dedication to his wife at the beginning, O'Neill describes it as "this play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood." Sounds melodramatic, and the first half may indeed seem so. But for me this play carries a sucker punch. Th...more
Moira Russell
Shattering as ever. Just like rereading Oedipus Rex for the nth time. I always think, "This time I'll be objective, I'll be able to analyze it just as a work of art," and no, I'm purged and limp by the ending as always.
Anastasia
A volte è sorprendente in quali vicoli ciechi ci può portare l'inerzia. Come nella famiglia Tyrone, in cui nessuno fa nulla per uscire dal circolo vizioso che si crea a rivangare e rivangare e pensare a se stessi, gli altri, passato, presente e futuro sempre seduti su una sedia, mentre fuori regna la nebbia.
In realtà la riflessione che diventa paralitica è stato un argomento trattato in maniera trionfante in Amleto, non ho ancora letto un libro che ne parlasse meglio. Ma qui siamo ad uno stadio...more
§--
Wow, these people were messed up. But, like any writing, the autobiography here is not relevant to the play as a work of art.

As far as that goes, this is brilliant. One gets the sense that, as it was said of Chekhov's plays, nothing happens and everything happens. All of the important action has already happened by the time Act One happens; the rest is just re-telling it and re-living it. The audience is given no reason--other than that there is a play about it--that this day is any different f...more
Samantha Mccoy
I had to read this for my 20th Century American Drama Grad class..the play (which I also watched actors play in movies via YouTube--I especially liked the one where Jack Lennon is playing James Tyrone and Kevin Spacey is playing Jaime Tyrone) was interesting because each on the main characters comment on the others addictions but are blind of their own, until the very last act where the three men acknowledge their own issues. Mary Tyrone, the mother goes from present to past, high to low, unhapp...more
Katie
*4.75

5 stars...that's kind of rare. And decently unexpected. I didn't know what I was getting into[though Blatz had called him America's greatest playwright]. On a side note, for class, I plan to reenact the final scene, starting from Mary's entrance - it should be interesting.

When I think about it, I'm not altogether sure why I chose to give this five stars. A good many times, I tend to say it'd be better onstage, and leave it at that. But while this would be, indeed, amazing onstage, it was a...more
Bruce
This play explores the dynamics of family and communication. Every bit of dialogue is indirection, insinuation, causing tension and denial and accusation that then circle around to apology, retraction, and temporary reconciliation. Lives are woven together in history, personality, and pathology, and they can never be fully disentangled. Conversations become dances, minuets of caring and hurting, love and pain. As years pass, each family member becomes so well known to the others that language ca...more
John Doe
I read a book a few years ago about "God is Dead" theology. As a Christian, I understand this crisis to be a fact of life for many individuals. O'Neill was given as an example as someone who writes from the perspective of someone for whom god has died. The dad in the play is incredibly cheep and won't share his whiskey with his sons who are having a rough day and need to lighten things up. So they take drinks of the whiskey but they add water so their dad will never notice. Unfortunately, the wh...more
Jil
Apr 29, 2009 Jil rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: August: Osage County lovers; theatre enthusiasts
Recommended to Jil by: every theatre book/teacher ever
Shelves: play
I’ve been telling myself for the past three years, “It really is about time that you read some O’ Neill, Gillian…”, because not having read any O’Neill signified a huge and gaping flaw in my theatre self-education.

So I decided to fix this tragic problem, picking the play that is so often compared to one of my faves, August: Osage County. Let me tell you, reading Long Day’s Journey into Night made me think of Tracy Letts as a big ol’ copycat, though still a talented one. The similarities of the c...more
Sourav Bangotra
This is considered to be Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece work - a semi-autobiographical play about his own family which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1957). Being a play about himself and his own family (in which the three men are alcoholics and the mother a morphine addict), O'Neill has beautifully written the four main characters with in depth insights about their thoughts and feelings. This play is undoubtedly a classic but has a little too much of family drama for my liking which I felt dra...more
Ayne Ray
Considered Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece, this play was, at the request of the author, not to be released until 25 years after his death due to its brutally painful insight into a dysfunctional family that was modeled after his own. (However, since his immediate family died several decades before the author, his wife allowed its publication a few years after his death.) The story takes place in a single day, following a mother, father, and two sons as they deal with the emotional fallout of their...more
Katy Rosenthal
Similar to that of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" or "August: Osage County", this play burrows deeply into family dynamics and relationships in an isolated, stifled environment. A very intense read.
Tom
There is a story that after Eugene O'Neill died, as they were cleaning out his room, they found the typewriter that he used to write this play. Its keys were worn down to the numb, numbs that were filled with dried blood.

The theory being that while O'Neill finished his last full realized (there were others discovered and published posthumously) and most personal play, he was chewing through his nails and pounding on the keys, a mere glimpse into the depth and pain which he so brilliantly reveale...more
Bethany
O'Neill's insights into the troubled human mind is brilliantly on display in this play. I cannot dispute its masterful composition, but I can wish such plays were not necessary. There is so much conflict and brokenness among the family members in this play, and knowing that these characters were closely modeled after O'Neill's own family leaves me aching inside. I understand it was part of O'Neill's playwriting style to absorb the audience into emotional sympathy with his characters even as thei...more
Evanna
'Long Day's journey into Night' by Eugene O'Neil is truly an amazing play. Though I would not have read it if it had not been on my required reading list for school, I am happy to have it in my possession.

I thoroughly enjoyed the depiction of the troubled 'Tyrone' family through remarkable and intense dialogue. In addition, the realistic aspects of a family plagued , scarred and immensely affected by their past in their present lives were engaging and heart-wrenching.

I really loved it!:)( Th...more
Ali
This play was beautifully complex and intriguing. I enjoyed slowly discovering the past of each other characters and their conflicting ideologies. The end, however, was anti-climactic, which to me, is always disappointing. The writing was clear, enough for a simple, fast read. But personally, I found nothing outstanding about this work. There was a lack of emotional release other than anger and Mary pretty much represented my own mother. Unless you're into highbrow classics, I wouldn't recommend...more
Cathy
Drunk and high people preaching and arguing are annoying in real life and they aren't less so because Eugene O'Neill wrote them. I found the inebriated, incessant alternation between fighting and sentimental musings (which make up the entire play) to be tiresome and boring. That being said, the characters are kind of interesting and despite the extreme nature of the family's issues, I think most readers can relate to the notion of love/hate relationships in family and the fear/regret in missed o...more
Realini
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill

This is an outstanding play. And that should have been the end of the “review”.

What more can you add, and why waste someone’s time with some words which cannot possibly contribute to an already established, acclaimed work. I am not sure who, if anybody reads past the first two sentences, but my original plan had my family in mind: daughter- not wife- she never listens to me when I talk, why would she go to the trouble of accessing goodreads or my bl...more
Susan
Reading (rather than watching) a play is always hard; reading a play that's deemed to be a classic, even perhaps the author's finest work, is doubly so. It's difficult not to veer from paying attention to the work itself into questions of why it's considered to be such a great work. And, in this case, since commentators have said O'Neill's strength lies particularly in his stage directions, I found it even harder. I wonder whether I should give it more than 3 stars. But perhaps it would deserve...more
Gregorio
Although it isn't as good as The Iceman Cometh (though that is in my opinion, as this is still a masterful play), it is full of so many heart rending speeches and creates a feeling of overall meaninglessness of life that it is worth anyone's read. Truly, it is a reflection of what we want at the beginning, and how it has evolved by the end.
Nick
I read this lengthy play for a class. I have read many many O'Neill plays before and loved most of them. For some reason I had not got around to this one until now. It's not my favorite O'Neill. But it is a great representation of archetypes in a modern setting.
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Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright who won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature "for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy." More than any other dramatist, O'Neill introduced American drama to the dramatic realism pioneered by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwr...more
More about Eugene O'Neill...
The Iceman Cometh Mourning Becomes Electra A Moon for the Misbegotten Three Plays: Desire Under the Elms / Strange Interlude / Mourning Becomes Electra The Emperor Jones

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“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.” 126 likes
“It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must be a little in love with death!” 84 likes
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