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Six Degrees of Separation

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  5,779 ratings  ·  104 reviews
The extraordinary tragicomedy of race, class and manners.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published November 14th 1990 by Vintage
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,779 ratings  ·  104 reviews


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Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
First things first: read this play in one sitting.

Seriously. You've got to read it all at once. There are no acts or scene breaks and the dialogue and action is continuous, plus it's only 55 pages, so read it in one sitting.

Onto the play itself. It's brilliant. Or at least I thought it was. It's clever—very clever—but it never becomes pretentious or crosses the line into self-indulgence. The dialogue never seems separated from the action, in fact it conveys the action, it is the action. It's int
...more
Courtney
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
I watched Catch Me If You Can and wanted to read this because this play is also about imposters. I am going to also read the true story of Clark Rockefeller called "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit." I can't really blame people for wanting to be different people. We are ingrained from birth to want to be different people by the ads on television and billboards saying "look like this." I know I get super uncomfortable sometimes in my role in life but I think I'm finally getting to a comfortable sp ...more
Valerie Cunningham
Feb 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: play
I found the narrative style to be really interesting, but the actual story was terrible. All the characters were so stupid, and then the ending was just awful. At first I wanted to like it, but then there was so much language and sexual things that I completely lost all that I had liked from the very beginning.
Peter
Feb 28, 2009 added it
Shelves: tutoring
Sneaky! Trust and Deception, Wealth and Poverty, Friendship and Loneliness, Generosity and Greed—this play has a little of them all. But the way it moves through them feels a little unsettling, a little paranormal, like all the characters are floating around in the ether, and not in New York City. (But then again, good chunks of New York City really aren’t all that connected to reality.) In this play, the subject is mostly upper class, East-Side/West-Side Manhattan.

In Six Degrees of Separation,
...more
Evan
I had to dump someone whose only contribution to my newsfeed was that she was adding a new friend at least four times a day and by which time she had accumulated more than 1,000 on her way to that apparently much desired and exalted 5,000-friend limit imposed by Goodreads. This made me ponder the theoretical idea of what might constitute the ideal number of Goodreads friends. Then, I remembered this play and the concept implied in its title, and thought that perhaps the number might be 6.

I'm not
...more
Christopher
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good read I liked how it was constant all the way through and how the stage directions faded in and out characters constantly jumping to each scene. Very much liked the style of writing
Realini
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Six Degrees of Separation, written by John Guare, based on his play



There are some interesting, provocative, erudite segments in this like able, very good film.

Donald Sutherland, Will Smith and the rest of the cast are magnificent in their roles.
The former plays Flan Kittredge, married to Ouisa, living in an expensive apartment in New York, overlooking Central Park.
Ian McKellen has the role of rich Geoffrey Miller, a South African who owns a gold mine and other assets and he is supposed to go out
...more
Michael McClain
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Six Degrees of Separation in preparation for an upcoming Broadway revival starring Allison Janney as Ouisa, the role made famous by Stockard Channing, the character that leads us through this definitive experience she's just had and would love to tell us-the reader/audience-about it. In a New York City filled with people failing to listen or connect with each other, it's an unlikely pairing between Ouisa and Paul, the black, poor, gay con man who bamboozles his way into her family (along ...more
Taylor Devonshire
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
At first I was kind of unsure whether I liked this play, mostly because it had a gay, black boy/man/youngster as the 'villain' but I think that's the point. Like, I might be trying too hard to save this play in my mind, but due to expectations there is the simplifying of Paul due to these characteristics, but as those in the play experienced, he is smart and likeable and not evil. Flan passes him off at the end, growing angry, but Ouisa sees someone that could be amazing if only those 'negatives ...more
Varun Kainth
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
A short engaging read.
Hmm.. well.. the longing, the despair, the Baghban...ish themes put me in a state of discomfort.
Wonder what was going on in John Guare's mind! Besides the catchy title which teases you to research (and get distracted for a long time), I got a few laughs, thanks to the unbounded wit and the unique narration.
Yeahh, the story telling is quite Quirky and I would love to play the lady character (Ouisa) in the play.

However my search for that elixir of a play continues...
Robin
Lots of snappy banter in the play Six Degrees of Separation, but I’m not sure that there’s much of a point. It’s not really believable that a savvy New York art dealer and his wife living near Central Park would be duped by a poor black hustler who tells them that he knows their children. It’s true that in 1990, when the play was written, there was less stalking and identity theft, leading the average person to trust strangers more than today. But in New York City, among rich art businesspeople? ...more
Lauren
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enthralling but somewhat misses the mark.

When a young con man dupes the elite of New York City, one couple grapples with the aftermath. The conflict and the question of how, even when someone wrongs us, we can still, somehow illogically, care for them and want to believe the best of them are good. For me, though, the end undercuts this message and feels too much like simplified pandering. But part of what works about the play is that it raises these questions without settling on easy answers. De
...more
Kaitlyn
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kaitlyn by: humanities class
"I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everybody else on this planet... I am bound to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people. It's a profound thought... How every person is a new door, opening up into other worlds. Six degrees of separation between me and everyone else on this planet. But to find the right six people."
Anna Fitzgerald
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
I've read this play twice in life. Once younger where I vaguely remember being mystified and humored by the boldness of the youthful characters. This time I'm much older and I was more in awe of the blindness that self-congratulatory behavior can have on any of us. So caught up in the wonderfulness of ourselves that we no longer really see what is happening to others in our sphere.
Kaitlyn
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Had to read this for English class, and though it seems like a great play for discussions, I don't think I quite got everything the playwright was trying to tell readers. I'll probably give this a higher rating once my professor talks about it, but it was a little too abstract for me. I'm interested in hearing this through an audiobook!
Johnnayea Edmond
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked the story line as it kept me entertained. I think it shows how difficult to pin down a sociopath, and the sociopath's ability to take on different lives. There is also perception in how shallow and gullible we all can be when we think we are in the company who appears to be likeminded.
Kayla
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this. Even knowing the basics of the plot it was enjoyable to read.
David Sasaki
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've never seen it performed in a theater, but loved the book when I first read it in 2000 and then later saw the movie with Will Smith.
Lauren
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this play was so good. Such a page turner! There is so much to unpack in this and I feel like I could read it 300 times and still not pick up on everything. Lots of creepy stuff going on.
Carolyn
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
A little abstract for me, but I'm going to see if I can find a production to watch on youtube. There's probably a lot more in the play than I am gleaning on first read.
Brandon Pytel
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Paul, the self-proclaimed son of Sidney Poitier, falls into people's lives as a con-man, letting people into reevaluating their own lives and relationships. Ouisa and Flan are art collectors looking to land a Cezanne to flip for profit, when Paul comes in brutally mugged. They have a lovely evening together until a darker side of Paul is eventually revealed, and the lies keep coming. Guare tackles sex, race, and class politics, and the unity of family and structure in the otherwise meaningless c ...more
Tamesha Evans
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kind of confusing at times where there's a lot going on but it's a good read
Kara
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crackles like lightning.
Paul LaFontaine
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Did not like the characters and the end kind of hung out there for me. Give it a so-so rating.
Christian Engler
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Based on the true story of a wealthy, well-meaning liberal couple in the upper echelons of New York society's upper crust, we have Flan or Flanders Kittredge and his wife Ouisa or Louisa; the former is a standoffish but deep down good-hearted art dealer in the private sector who has a penchant for the works of Kandinsky and Cezanne; the latter is his wife, articulate and intelligent who is in need of something of greater meaning and depth other than money, art, fancy restaurants and wealthy frie ...more
Margot Lammers
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Second book of the year (I'm ashamed). 3 hours it took me to get through this play. It were the best 10 shekels I spend this week in a small bookstores in the Old Bus station in Tel Aviv.


Anyway, the book: basic setting: Imposture, A married couple, South Africa apartheid, children that are barely in the house, a stranger that is a friend of their children, race, sexuality, lies, money and all other possible sins that make God blush.

The story is simple, a couple gives a stranger that presents i
...more
Ailin Li
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Six Degrees of Separation is a comedic yet cynical exploration into the concepts of materialism, relationships, identity, and many more. The Peanut Gallery of characters with their snobby accents (at least, I imagine them with accents) and sheltered life have their worlds turned upside-down by a single man. Their air headedness is what makes their situation so amusing. Yet, the events of the play are not something to be laughed at. In the end, we understand that Paul is meant to represent those ...more
Julie Decker
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ouisa and Flan are spending an evening trying to sell their painting to a South African art dealer for a hefty sum when their party/business is crashed by Paul--a young man who seems to have been minorly wounded in a mugging. Paul has come to them because he claims he's heard about them from their children, with whom he attends classes at Harvard. Such good people they seemed like, by their children's estimation! Charmed and flattered, Ouisa and Flan feel compelled to help Paul, and maybe he eve ...more
Swankivy
Sep 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Six Degrees is a weird little play. The way the characters are directed to regularly speak to the audience to relay past events or what has transpired between scenes is really interesting--not only because that means they don't have to stage those moments, but because you can then hear the presentation of the ideas from the character's point of view (or, more often, the way it seems to the characters as they talk over each other to tell you what's going on). The character of Paul is captivating- ...more
Mike Scinto
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's weird that two-stars on Goodreads = "it's ok." But, since that's the site's rating system, I'll follow it.

Basically, it's ok.

I didn't hate Six Degrees of Separation. I didn't particularly enjoy it, either. Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of reading plays, but nothing in the story really spoke to me, so I doubt I would have enjoyed it much if it had been a book.

That's really the crux of my rating. It didn't speak to me. Nothing I read made me think, "Oh well, that's profound," or "Hmmm, I
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: page # update 2 12 Aug 31, 2017 04:23AM  

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