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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  224 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
David Mamet's new Oval Office satire depicts one day in the life of a beleaguered American commander-in-chief. It's November in a Presidential election year, and incumbent Charles Smith's chances for reelection are looking grim. Approval ratings are down, his money's running out, and nuclear war might be imminent. Though his staff has thrown in the towel and his wife has b ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Vintage
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Keith Moser
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, 5-stars
Finished reading this the day the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage which is a nice little piece of kismet...

Play is funny, but doesn't feel overly "Mamet" (but it's still a little fucken "Mamet"). Quite jaded, but I'm excited to see this when it gets produced locally later this year. Love how it's one set over ~24 hours. A stage manager & set designer's dream!
Marina Fontaine
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up at the library, opened it right there at stayed at the library reading, unable to put it down. This is my first Mamet play, and in spite of the crazy-satirical premise, I still expected it to be essentially dark, but it's really not. One can call it depressing only for the way it so accurately portrays modern American politics, but it's hysterically funny and, in the end, not at all unkind. I know that this is the play that caused Mamet to write his famous "Why I am no longe ...more
Writer's Relief
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
With NOVEMBER David Mamet flexes his funny bone yet again—this time during the election month of a president falling out of public favor. As President Chuck Smith struggles to find the courage to fight for a second term, the reader laughs at the dismal state of affairs that is politics in America. This satirical take on elections leaves the reader emotionally connected to Mamet’s president who seems such a fish-out-of-water in the tumultuous world of American politics. Things get even funnier wh ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If I could give it more stars I would. I do not think I have ever read any book more outrageously funny than this play, nor have I laughed aloud more while reading. A shocking and satisfying satire of the Bush presidency, I could hear Nathan Lane's voice in my head as I read Mamet's President's lines and was only mildly surprised to hear that I had failed to recognize him on the cover and that Lane was starring in the play on Broadway. Perhaps it was written with Lane in mind? Wonderful, wonderf ...more
Matthew Burkhardt
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I actually saw this on Broadway before reading it and I found it absolutely hilarious and a showcase of David Mamet's biting humor that I fell in love with when I first saw Glengarry Glen Ross, but it's not for everyone as it's vulgar and gives you insight into President Charles Smith behind closed doors where the cameras don't follow, so you get to see his character candidly, which turns out to be less politically correct than one would hope from a President of the US. Still, I found it interes ...more
Simon Sweetman
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this even though it was time-specific, ultimately. Was still good to read a new/ish Mamet script. Some funny lines too. And just as you think he might be going soft you get a line like, "I'm gonna cut your fucken heart out and eat it in front of your dying eyes". Would have been good to see a production of this at the time.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Mamet’s newest play is a biting, fierce, farcical satire that skewers, among other things, public relations, Native American casinos, overseas adoption, gay marriage, and almost every aspect of the Presidential office. It’s a pretty blatant, heavy-handed piece, but it does manage some thought-provoking subtleties amid the take-no-prison punches.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
In typical Mamet style, this play is fast paced, witty, and points out the absurdity of the mundane. With clarity and insight, he highlights the machinations of U.S. politics with verve and humor. I will never think of turkey pardons in the same light ever again.
Reece Roberts
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well, that was something.
Could totally see Nathan Lane being the president.
Comedy? Perhaps, maybe it all comes down to writing.
Captivating enough though considering it's only a 4 handed piece centered around a desk.
Wayne Sutton
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pretty funny and makes you think of all the silly nonsense that is politics. Even in our highest office! This play is good for this time of year. Looking forward to seeing it at one of our local theatres here in Denver!
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
I cannot believe Nathan Lane played this part, yet I somehow feel so glad he did. A close source said several people at one viewing left the show in the first act, apparently surprised that this wasn't a cheerful song and dance role for Mr. Lane.
Christopher Howard
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Sorry but the satire which can be found in this book cannot impress anybody. It just lacks that amusement spirit that I am expecting to receive from this kind of books. But, on the bright side: the story is nice and the characters feel somehow real.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun romp. A little time specific so it will be dated soon. Nathan Lane must have been brilliant in the Broadway production...wish I had seen it!
Karen S
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Funny, made no sense, but was absolutely believeable!
I wish I had never read this. Don't be like me.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Some humorous moments, but has become somewhat dated since I saw it onstage in 2009. Better to see it live than on paper.
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
Wish I could have seen this on Broadway. I bet Laurie Metcalfe's performance was wonderful!
Michael Tuggle
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, funny
Hysterical, laugh out loud play from David Mamet. Takes everything that we love and hate about politics and slays it.
Dec 22, 2008 rated it liked it
I had higher hopes for this one....
David James
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pretty funny.
Nov 25, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, it was funny, it was, but some scenes were a little too much even for me.
Peter D. Sieruta
Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it
This fast-paced satire provides some good laughs, but goes a little overboard in its final pages, resulting in an unsatisfyingly over-the-top conclusion.
Dave Burns
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Charmingly absurd ending, very jaded view of politics. Points off for dullness in the first act. Perhaps a good performance could fix it, but just reading the script was a chore until act two.
rated it did not like it
Oct 27, 2014
rated it it was ok
Dec 17, 2015
Katherine Edwards
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May 21, 2015
rated it it was ok
Jul 09, 2012
Jesse Brownstein
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Jun 22, 2017
Carac Allison
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Mar 19, 2014
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David Alan Mamet is an American author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and film director. His works are known for their clever, terse, sometimes vulgar dialogue and arcane stylized phrasing, as well as for his exploration of masculinity.

As a playwright, he received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) and Speed-the-Plow (1988). As a screenwriter, he received Oscar nominations for Th
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