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The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  4,424 ratings  ·  185 reviews
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Paul Zindel, author of the beloved bestselling novel The Pigman, which Publishers Weekly called “remarkable…a story that will not be denied.” Fans of modern classics such as The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher will find much to love in Paul Zindel's books.

The old, converted vegetable shop where Tillie lives
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by HarperTeen (first published 1965)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,424 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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This book shredded my very soul the first time I read it and continues to do so year after year. More misunderstood freak/effed parent and school goodness, but this one is particularly heartbreaking. Apparently I love it when books just destroy me. Ok then.
Mehdi EbrahimZadeh
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1397
قشنگی خوندن نمایشنامهها به اینه که میتونی خودت رو جلوی یه صحنه تئاتر تصور کنی و درواقع خودت نباشی که مشغول خوندن دیالوگهایی، بلکه این نمایشه که جلوت اجرا میشه.
شخصیتها میان و میرن و مونولوگها و دیالوگها ادا میشن و احساسی که در اون لحظه و صحنه وجود داره رو درک میکنی.
این نمایشنامه کاملا این تجربه رو برام بههمراه داشت. تراژدی جالبی بود، دوستش داشتم، باهاش ارتباط خوبی برقرار کردم و از همه مهمتر، از خوندنش لذت بردم.
علی‌رضا میم
بعد از دوره کتابهای آقای فوئنتس داستانی خطی و سرراست واقعا به آدم میچسبید.
کتاب رو دوست میداشتم، و فضاسازیای که داشت برای من مطلوب بود.
صاف و ساده بود، بله!
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terribly tragic play about an intellectually curious girl and her broken home and upbringing. She yearns to escape from the confinement of her small-minded and downward-spiralling family, while still being torn with love for them. One of my favorites!
Tahmineh Baradaran
خواندن نمایش نامه برایم ساده نیست . پرش فکری معمولم ، باخواندن نمایش نامه بدترمیشود. شخصیتها گم میشوند.چندبارباید برگردم وازسربخوانم . وای به نمایش پر شخصیتی مثلا" سیاوش خوانی بیضایی که درزمان انتشارش بااولین بارخواندن تقریبا" چیزی دستگیرم نشد ودومین بارش راگذاشته ام برای شاید وقتی دیگر ! بادیدن نام وکارگردان این نمایش که هم اکنون درسالن پالیز تهران روی صحنه است ، تشویق شدم که ابتدا آن رابخوانم وبعد به دیدنش بروم . نمایش کوتاه خوبی است .بامضمونی تلخ از سیاهی های زندگی و اینکه آیااگر هم بخواهی ، ...more
Elinaz Ys
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
کتاب ساختار ساده ای داره و صحنه ها بعضا من رو به یاد مک دونا می انداخت ولی آنچه اونو متمایز می کرد هم آمیختگیش با علم بود که بر موضوعات تکراری و همیشگی سایه افکنده بود.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
I picked up Zindel's play after watching the movie adaptation. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds as a film resonated strongly with me, so I figured I should read the play and perhaps even compare the literary work and the movie.

But after reading the play, I realized just how well Paul Newman had captured Tillie's situation and transferred it to the screen. The living conditions that border on deplorable, being just a few steps above abject poverty, living with an embittered
Shawn Deal
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
What a devastatingly great play. The play does show its age a bit, a little rust around the edges, but nothing that a good director couldn’t adjust. This is an emotional play about a mother and her relationship with both of her daughters. In some ways you can say there are parallels to of the mother and Willie Loman from Death of a Salesman. Both have not accomplished what they thought they would in life, and both fooling themselves to an extent, only the mother in this is so much more self awar ...more
صفحه 51:
هر اتم در من، در هر کس دیگه ای، از خورشید اومده _ از جاهایی فراسوی رویاهای ما _ اتم های دستهامون، اتم های قلب هامون
Michelle Stimpson
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've always wanted to read this play because of the title -it's a great title. One of the worst mothers in all of literary history and one of the most hopeful, sweet protagonists. I would dearly love to adopt Tillie right out of the book and bring her home with me.
برام خیلی خوشحال کننده بود که نویسنده تمام تلاشش رو برای ارتباط یک موضوع علمی و ادبیات کرده بود.نمایشنامه زیاد چیزی رو توضیح نمیداد.سرنخهایی از شخصیت و گذشته و حالات روحی افراد دستت میداد که خودت باید تکمیلش میکردی.در کل غمانگیز بود.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: purged-books, 2015
This book had been on my bookshelves for several years prior to my picking it up a few days ago. I'm not quite sure how it arrived there, although I think I may have acquired it for free at a book giveaway at my alma mater's library. To be completely transparent, I was simply looking for a quick book to read and noticed that this one was short and appeared relatively interesting, so I grabbed it and flipped through it to find out it was actually a short play, and also found the text to be quite ...more
Jori Richardson
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This heart wrenching story has to be my favorite play of all time.
Written from the innocent, simplistically factual view of a bright young middle-schooler, Tillie, we are introduced to a tense family scene where love and hate often blur into indistinguishable lines. The two supporting characters, her sister Ruth and her embittered mother Beatrice, are some of the strongest characters I have ever read.
This book is short, concise, and easy to get through, writing at the approximate level of a midd
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Claudia by: Nick M. insisted
Such an intense little play around a single mother doing the best she can, which is not very! She doesn't understand either of her daughters, she uses emotional manipulation with everyone, and seems so broken at the end. Tillie, the Zindel alter-ego, is a spunky little girl who sees a future, starting with her mutatant marigold seeds. She's a survivor we root for. I love it when students force their books -- and plays -- on me. Thanks, Nick.
Peter Derk
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mfa-palahniuk
Minus one star because I was at a meeting where everyone had to say what they were reading, and I had to spit this whole title out.
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
At the youth hostel I was staying at, I saw this slim book on a shelf, with its doe-eyed seventies girl on the cover shrouded in marigolds--and I was drawn to it. I have such a strong sense of familiarity with this play that know I’ve read or seen this one before but I entirely forget when and where--maybe I saw it as a play in the park or read it in high school when my parents would have probably lent it to me because I was in the science fair, or both.

In any case, that deja-vu let it have an
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, young-adult
I was required to read this play in Language Arts class when I was a middle school student, and I just re-read it this week as I am preparing to coach the Academic Superbowl team at the middle school where I now teach.

While I might describe the storyline as powerful and thought-provoking, I would not say that I enjoyed it (then or now). It is a depressing tale, in which the young protagonist, Tillie, is at the mercy of her seemingly-deranged mother and manipulative older sister.

Not my cup of tea
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This story hits me on a personal level. As a teacher, I've taught kids from dysfunctional families and have witnessed the uphill ongoing battle they faced. One of my students had a parent who committed suicide. Others have persevered with parents like Tillie's mother Beatrice. It's comforting to realize that many will survive and be the stronger for their experience. I can relate to Ruth's epilepsy, accurately and sympathetically conveyed by the author. I wish I had known about this book earlier ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-plays
An interesting, quirky, and devastating play. I found myself emotionally connecting to each of the characters: the daughter who experiences extreme panic disorder, the younger less-paid-attention-to nerd daughter, the scared, possibly self loathing mother, and even the awkward Janice from the science fair (although, spoiler alert, I would never, as Janice did, boil a cat.) I am not sure yet what to make of this crazy play and the messages on it. Tillie's science fair project seemingly a symbol f ...more
Hiina Shiota
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was very great. I really liked the characters in this book. Well, I was being Tillie, who is the main character in this book, at school. Among these characters, I liked Tillie. That was because she was smart, and she really loves Science. It was the same as me. Also, I could connect easily with the characters like Tillie. I also love Science, and had won the Science Fair before.

May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I first saw this play two years ago, and I had fallen in love with it before the second act started.

Painful to watch (or read)? Yes. Moving? Most definitely. I have read and re-read it more times than I can count, but I can still laugh and cry every time.

This isn't a cheerful story or a happy ending--it's a real life situation that tears you apart, which is probably why I love it so much.
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I re-read this book as I was culling my library for my annual Goodwill donation, and was struck by how much better it was on the second reading. I also appreciated the number of strong female roles: it's the kind of play it would have been easy for me to stage in high school/college, where the paucity of male actors made it difficult to choose a worthy play. A quick read, but a good one; not as good as the gushing blurbs on the back, but really quite entertaining.
Lisa Vegan
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults & adults, especially girls & women, everybody really
This play is so powerful, devastating and uplifting both. It’s a painful but wonderful story about a bright child’s ability to surmount her circumstances; her sister and mother are not able to do so. Some very unpleasant (verbal) child abuse depicted. Terrific use of symbolism. This is one that really got to me emotionally.
Claire S
Oh, he wrote this, too.. I'd forgotten that. I can't remember if I read this, but I certainly saw the film or became totally aware of it around that late 70's time. And I was appreciative that someone captured the whole alcoholic Mom thing, and I could step out and compare similarities/differences; that daughter's coping mechanisms vs. mine, and so on. Excellent.. (from memory).
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michelle by: My 11th grade English teacher
Shelves: drama
A beautiful, painful drama about an embittered mother and her two daughters, one epileptic and hyperactive, the other quietly brilliant. Ruth flutters blithely from one obsession to another, Tillie's thoughtfulness and flare for science offer her a bright future, while their mother's rage and instability threaten to tear all three of them apart.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: performed
I was fourteen when I first met Tillie. She is now still a huge part of me. I got the chance to play her in a production my Freshman year and we were selected to perform at the All State Festival. Zindel tells his own story in. Way that pierced my soul. I think Tillie will always be a part of who I am today. This play is honest and beautifully heartbreaking.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was a wonderful read. Compelling, painful and hard to put down. It is amazing how Zindel makes me feel the hope and see the beauty in his environment painted with despair and filled with poison. Every character was so heartbreakingly torn by circumstances that it was impossible not to be moved. Yet through it all I sensed their resilience and it gave me strength. Really want to see the play.
Mika Chen
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was great because it has lots of part teenager may find it interesting. I read it because of my english teacher, i am Ruth in the book. And its an act, and i really recommend people who likes to read an act to read this.
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book's title drew me in, but when I picked it up, I immediately knew it would be a defining text in my life. I am struck by the widely accepted themes of mental illness and abuse, but more so how it captures aimless ambition. So much can be gleaned from the brief tryst that is this play.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the first time over 40 years ago when it was a recent book and remember liking it but never having read it again in all these decades gone by.

I decided to re-visit some of the books I loved as a young person to see how well they've traveled. The Beverly Clearly ones gave me a slight smile, the Frances Lattimore ones which I adored in the late 60s were nice to read again, but were clearly dated. Judy Blume's Deenie was fine, but when I got to Forever, I was bored stiff and st
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Paul Zindel was an American author, playwright and educator.

In 1964, he wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, his first and most successful play. The play ran off-Broadway in 1970, and on Broadway in 1971. It won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was also made into a 1972 movie by 20th Century Fox. Charlotte Zolotow, then a vice-president at Harper & Row (now Harper-