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A Moon for the Misbegotten

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  3,473 ratings  ·  66 reviews
A new, affordable paperback edition of one O’Neill’s late masterpieces

Eugene O’Neill’s last completed play, A Moon for the Misbegotten is a sequel to his autobiographical Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Moon picks up eleven years after the events described in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, asJim Tyrone (based on O’Neill’s older brother Jamie) grasps at a last chance at lov
Paperback, 149 pages
Published August 28th 2006 by Yale University Press (first published 1947)
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May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There is no present or future-only the past, happening over and over again-now.”
― Eugene O'Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten


In the cannon of Eugene O'Neill's plays, A Moon for the Misbegotten is uniquely funny and poignant.

In A Moon for the Misbegotten we revisit James Tyrone, Jr., the son from Long Day's Journey Into Night. Tyrone visits the home of his tenant farmer, Phil Hogan. There he encounters Hogan’s magnetic daughter, Josie. It’s been years since the two have seen each other. During o
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
though written around the same time (1941-43), long day's journey into night was first performed upon the stage some nine years after its sequel, a moon for the misbegotten. the former, eugene o'neill's autobiographical masterpiece, takes place about a decade prior to moon's drama.

jim (or "jamie" in journey - both based on o'neill's real-life older brother), now older, cynical, and nearly beaten by life, has all but succumbed to his alcoholism. still plagued (emotionally, that is) by the death
Michael P.
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I once found this to be a profoundly moving and sensitive play. My consciousness has been raised, for it now seems wrongly male-centric. The story is all about Jamie and his needs, not Josie and hers, which are just as valid. I judge it from a perspective alien to the time when the work was written and so can be generous with the star parts, but this now seems a male fantasy in which this women is used just like the whores James has always used, only chastely, for forgiveness. Unlike the whores, ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
O’Neill’s plot is hackneyed male fantasy: broken man finds peace in arms of virgin. In telling it, he strikes some pleasing notes of pathos and acceptance.
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In some ways, I do prefer this sequel to Long Day's Journey into Night. A Moon for the Misbegotten takes place approximately ten years after the events of the former play, focusing on the final days of James Tyrone, Jr, who’s drowned himself in alcohol to help ward off those personal demons that haunted and tormented his memories for all these years. Throughout these years, he’s looked for purity and innocence—a love that he could truly cherish, and seems to have finally found it in the form of ...more
Zöe Zöe
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: american
I read this book because I was looking for a quote. There is a source saying the quote I was looking for is from this book. I don't know whether I should trust my eyes or the book, anyway I didn't find it.

Eugene O'Neill is the grandpa for American serious drama, but this one I really don't like it. It has too much burden back the scene, too much social and other background. I prefer plot with more dramatic change like Shakespears etc. This one, I read it as if it is a play of Schiller's. But it

I really liked the Josie's character and the fact that it does not have a happy ending.
Raimo Wirkkala
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The great American playwright here brings to a fitting conclusion the story of the family Tyrone that began with "A Long Day's Journey Into Night". The Jim Tyrone of this play is the logical extension of the Jamie of the other. For anyone familiar with the history of this material it is impossible to read Tyrone's lines without hearing the voice of Jason Robards in your head. ...more
Nathan Albright
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2018
Although this is not the author's best-known play, and although it has a lot of very cringeworthy elements (more about this anon), there is a lot about this play to appreciate.  Without having any particularly sympathetic characters, a characteristic problem of the author's plays, there is nonetheless a lot of very poignant material here that relates to the author's own life and his own approach to the theater.  With a small cast and a very narrow setting, this is a play that allows the author t ...more
Brandon Pytel
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In O'Neill's sequel to Long Day's Journey into Night, Jim is eleven years older, more dependent on the bottle than ever before, and back from the big lights of Broadway for one last chance at love under the moonlight. The potential lover is Josie Hogan, a big Irish girl who has a loose reputation and an alcoholic swindler of a father. When things start to look south for the Hogans, they try to mend the situation by tricking Jim into marrying Josie. After the score is settled, we see the raw Jim, ...more
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read "Moon for the Misbegotten" for an online literature course. It's a short play, written by Eugene O'Neill in the 1940s about a large, in-control, basically good-willed and good-humored woman named Josie who works beside her father on their farm, though she's actually much stronger than he is. Her younger brothers have all run off (with her help) because they can't stand working under their ill-tempered and often drunk father. Josie, who proudly (and to my amusement) proclaims herself a slu ...more
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect from this play, but was pleasantly surprised. I had to read it over the weekend for a class. The assignment was to pick an American Realist author and perform a scene from one of his/her plays. I thought the realist period ended in the late 1800s, but apparently it continued on past the moderns and almost into the contemporaries. I'd heard of O'Neill's plays, but never read any and was especially apprehensive to read this considering I hadn't read its prequel, A Long ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What struck me the most about this play was Josie; the oldest daughter was very big and broad and yet still described and beautiful. She was an Irish woman and very rough. She didn’t take much crap from nobody. She even knew how to put her daddy in place. I liked that she didn’t let anybody step on her just because her family didn’t have a lot of money. She did what she wanted to do and she wasn’t a wild a child she was very smart and knew right from wrong. After I got through reading over the v ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
This play is a touching and unconventional love story. It is far too long - O'Neill could have condensed Act Two into two lines of dialogue ("I have discovered X at the bar, and we should respond by doing Y." "OK.") and merged it into Act Three. Instead, Act Two is an interminable dialogue in which one character repeatedly makes reference to something he doesn't want to say, then his daughter pries it out of him, when it was obvious to the reader all along. It showcases a little of the relations ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This one stuck with me (I read it in high school) for some reason. Maybe it's because it's a pretty decent portrait of a high spirited but yet pretty anxious woman stuck in a patriarchal and gossipy small town. O'Neill reads as pretty melodramatic to me now, but it was pretty innovative to show characters unable to get out of their miserable circumstances and succumbing to despair. Compare to 1940s Hollywood where even the most dramatic scripts have relatively happy endings. ...more
David Jay
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People just don't write plays like this anymore.

A sequel of sorts to "Long Day's Journey," this play focuses on the tenant farmer of the Tyrone family. His daughter, Josie, is one of the all time great roles.
May 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
I love Jamie Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night, and was really excited when I discovered he got another a play!

...yeah, no. Just stick with Long Day's Journey.
Aiden Xiang
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
the moon offers no comfort for the troubled soul...may he die in sleep !
Nick Jones
We always come to a book with preconceptions. I came to A Moon for the Misbegotten with hope. For all his ponderousness I like Eugene O’Neill and A Moon for the Misbegotten is usually placed with Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh as one of his last three major works – and I like the other two plays with their detailed naturalism. And when I started reading A Moon for the Misbegotten and found it a slightly stodgy thing I remembered the warning that O’Neill always performs bette ...more
Shaked Barkay
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
While it doesn't live up to Long Day's Journey Iito Night, it is a good play that is able to evoke both humor and a great deal of emotion even if it veers in melodrama at points. A Moon for the Misbegotten evokes a wonderfully playful and warm Irish banter between father and daughter that is a joy to read. In addition the other character of the play, Tyrone's interactions with Josie manage to be both somber and sensual as only O'Neill can evoke. However, the dialogue does not quite live up to it ...more
Absolutely amazing. It's incredible that this was technically a sequel for Long Day's Journey Into Night, but that it came out first because O'Neill didn't want LDJiN to be published until decades after his death. I recommend reading Long Day's Journey first and then this, because it really provides a great background for the character of Jim Tyrone.

Also, Josie is now one of my favorite fictional characters and she would definitely identify as a sex-positive feminist who could murder any man sh
Paul LaFontaine
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A drunken farmer and his daughter are threatened when their landlord, who loves the daughter, appears to be preparing to sell the farm out from under them. The daughter plays the landlord and the father plays the daughter. No one wins.

Another Eugene O'Neill work where the main players are alcoholic, the relationships are toxic and the play just ends. The interaction between the daughter and her suitor lanlord have some hope for redemption. But both are so broken by life that it ends without res
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it, I don't think it translates great to modern age but I really enjoyed the strength and vulnerability of the leading female character. Stage directions are surprisingly specific which would be interesting for character building and makes it easier to map out the thoughts of the characters. I also liked the pacing of the dialogue especially in the scene with Josie and her dad. She is also in every single scene so what a role that is, but does not have a single monologue... ugh. Her ch ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
A pretty interesting, if of course tragic and bittersweet, follow up to LDJIN and the tangential world of the Tyrones, and again, I was slightly surprised by how much I enjoyed O'Neill's female character, all things considered. (The play is Josie's more than it is Jim's, really, though Jim is the emotional catalyst.) It doesn't all click together quite as thoroughly and naturally as LDJIN does but it's still an excellent example of drama in terms of both craft and emotional heft. ...more
Jim Cullison
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A powerful sequel to O'Neill's powerhouse, "Long Day's Journey Into Night" that head fakes the reader/viewer with broad comedy before stealthily pivoting to wrenching emotional drama. Great work that is worth a read and/or viewing. ...more
margaret t. smith
Great play

I read "Mourning becomes Electra" and realized how how addiction in families never change and neither do their secrets and sorrows. Very relatable. Liked the father and daughter's relationship sad but true how things happen esp. With alcoholism.
Pete Castleton
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Saw performed with Kevin Spacey and Cherry Jones, which was good but not as good as the book itself. Still waiting for the ideal performance. O'Neil could wrench a frozen heart into the land of living from this play written at his Tao House above the orchards of Walnut Creek. ...more
Andy Plonka
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: src
would that there were more books like this. A lot said in just a few words with plenty of ideas to think about afterward.
Zuzka Jakubkova
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Small tragedy of three people. I need to catch-up on O'Neill's writing more. As a total novice to his work, this was not that catchy for me. ...more
Bobby Sullivan
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
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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

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