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Buried Child

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  6,212 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
A newly revised edition of an American classic, Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize winning Buried Child is as fierce and unforgettable as it was when it was first produced more than twenty-five years ago.

A scene of madness greets Vince and his girlfriend as they arrive at the squalid farmhouse of Vince's hard-drinking grandparents, who seem to have no idea who he is. Nor does hi
Paperback, 120 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by Vintage (first published 1979)
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“You can't force a thing to grow. You can't interfere with it. It's all hidden. It's all unseen. You just gotta wait til it pops up out of the ground. Tiny little shoot. Tiny little white shoot. All hairy and fragile. Strong enough. Strong enough to break the earth even. It's a miracle.”
Sam Shepard, Buried Child


I recently reread this for the first time in many years. I had assigned it to some of my acting students for a script analysis class, and wanted to revisit it. Revisiting it as an adul
Joe Valdez
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
This month's literary jack-in-the-box to pop out of the reading group I participate in (The Dive Bar Book Club OC) is the play Buried Child by late actor/playwright Sam Shepard. First produced at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco on June 27, 1978 and in New York City at the Theatre for the New City later that year, an off-Broadway production in 2016 featured Ed Harris in the role of Dodge, an old timer withering away on a sofa while his hen pecking wife Halie (played by Harris' wife Amy Madigan ...more
Reader: "Book? Hey, book?"

Book: *dozing on the couch* *waking up* "Huh? Who are you? Why are you in my house?"

Reader: "YOUR house? Book, you are in my house."

Book: "Who are you? What're ya doing here?"

Reader: "Oh, stop fooling around already."

Book: "You're the one who's fooling. Where are ya from?"

Reader: "Hamburg, as you well know."

Book: "Dumb country."

Reader: "It's a city..."

Book: "Even dumber."

Reader: "Book, where's your bookmark?"

Book: "Bookmark? What bookmark? What's it to you?"

Reader: "I'm
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've heard about this play a while ago when a friend went to watch it and left the theatre perplexed about it. I read a little about Sam Shepard's work and it all started to fit.

Buried Child is a dark and twisted play which talks about adultery, betrayal, murder and even incest. Deeper than this subjects, the dysfunctional family has a secret buried, one which will soon be revealed after so much plough of the arid terrain in which it was buried.

An incredible play for anyone who wants to be sho
Maryam Hosseini
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
.موضوع نمایشنامه راجع به زندگی آمریکایی و یک خانواده از هم پاشیده س
و نویسنده خیلی خوب فضای این خانواده و مشکلاتشون و سردرگمی شخصیت ها رو ترسیم کرده
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Illinoisians
Shelves: drama, borrowed
December of Drama 2015, day fifteen

"The other night we went to see Sam's play,
(Doin' the things that we want to)
It was very physical. It held you to the stage.
(Doin' the things that he wants to)
--Doin' the Things that We Want to, by Lou Reed

Alright, so maybe I will start using relevant lyrics to open my reviews. I'm pretty sure that song is referring to a different Sam Shepard play but it nevertheless applies to this one. You just can't look away. Buried Child is poetic and surprising, brutal a
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have to say- this play is MESSED up. This play shows the destruction of a family from the inside out, and I was relieved when I finished it, not because it was bad, but because I couldn't wait to get out of these characters' minds.
Gregory Knapp
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Sam Shepard will have to slug it out with Lanford Wilson for Best American Playwright of the last quarter of the 20th Century.

Whatever the outcome Shepard is in contention for his startling ability to delineate the various degrees of obscene psychic cruelty that family members are capable of inflicting on one another, and to put this on the stage in a way that's not only palpable, but riveting, and even comic -- without ever diminishing our comprehension of the horrors being perpetrated.

I have n
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read this play about seven or eight times. I used this play for my final script analysis project in college and kept finding more and more bizarre qualities hidden in the text each time I read it. I am a huge fan of dark plays with twisted characters.
This is some scary, crazy, awesome sh*t.
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Sam Shepard was an American artist who worked as an award-winning playwright, writer and actor. His many written works are known for being frank and often absurd, as well as for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. He was an actor of the stage and motion pictures; a director of stage and film; author of several books of short stories, essays, a ...more
More about Sam Shepard...
“VINCE: I was gonna run last night. I was gonna run and keep right on running. Clear to the Iowa border. I drove all night with the windows open. The old man's two bucks flapping right on the seat beside me. It never stopped raining the whole time. Never stopped once. I could see myself in the windshield. My face. My eyes. I studied my face. Studied everything about it as though I was looking at another man. As though I could see his whole race behind him. Like a mummy's face. I saw him dead and alive at the same time. In the same breath. In the windshield I watched him breathe as though he was frozen in time and every breath marked him. Marked him forever without him knowing. And then his face changed. His face became his father's face. Same bones. Same eyes. Same nose. Same breath. And his father's face changed to his grandfather's face. And it went on like that. Changing. Clear on back to faces I'd never seen before but still recognized. Still recognized the bones underneath. Same eyes. Same mouth. Same breath. I followed my family clear into Iowa. Every last one. Straight into the corn belt and further. Straight back as far as they'd take me. Then it all dissolved. Everything dissolved. Just like that. And that two bucks kept right on flapping on the seat beside me.” 0 likes
“VINCE: We'd never make it. We'd drive and we'd drive and we'd drive and we'd never make it. We'd think we were getting farther and farther away. That's what we'd think.” 0 likes
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