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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  818 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
One of a series of titles first published by Faber between 1930 and 1990, and in a style and format planned with a view to the appearance of the volumes on the bookshelf. In this play, Stoppard parodies the philosophy lecturer, the detective thriller, the comedy of manners and the Whitehall farce.
87 pages
Published February 3rd 1997 by Faber and Faber (first published January 1st 1972)
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Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stoppard is obviously a genius. I had hoped earlier in his career he was less jaded about love than The Real Thing suggests, but that was my only real disappointment with Jumpers.

It's not about love, anyway, although it isn't silent on the subject. It's about academic philosophy. The Jumpers are a team of philosophy professors who spend their time tumbling. Their ringmaster is the Vice Chancellor Sir Archibald Jumper, who is a jack-of-all trades. The play pits his moral relativism against the mo
dead letter office
an academic/acrobatic troupe of university professors becomes entangled in an investigation after one of their number is murdered at a wild soiree. a former actress, struggling with lunacy after seeing the heartless act of an astronaut televised live from the moon, is the primary suspect. her husband the philosophy professor dictates lectures to the mirror, for the benefit of his secretary/stenographer, while the investigation unfolds in the bedroom, where the dean of the department examines his ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
76. JUMPERS. (1972). Tom Stoppard. **.
The only other play I’ve read by Stoppard was, “Rosenkrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead.” I found that enjoyable, though challenging, and found a copy of this one on a sale table. I have to admit, up front, that I was soon enmeshed in an experience of which I had little or no understanding of what was going on. I turned to Wikipedia for help…

“George Moore is a faded and slightly foolish philosophy professor employed at a university whose slick, exercise-mad Vi
D. J.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stoppard's wit and absurdity is on full display in 'Jumpers.' Although I haven't seen it performed on stage, it was a great pleasure to read (even if Stoppard himself is suspicious of definitive written texts).

The story is a bit hard to follow at times because it operates in the realm of the surreal and absurd. But, if one realizes this from the get-go, and involves himself in the silliness of it all, one will realize how much fun Stoppard is having.

'Jumpers' reads like a Monty Python film, an
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
I've come to appreciate I don't know jack about Tom. I must see some of these plays mounted, but I think they seldom are. Is that they are difficult and American audiences are too impatient to work hard enough to sit through them. I think so-twice!

Stoppard was so much more comfortable when all I knew was R&G and Shak in love. Then he was my clever fellow. Now, well he's a mature fellow who has written a lot more than I realized and nobody's clever fellow but his own.
Rough start but as it goes on it becomes more interesting and more absurd. Not my favourite Stoppard by any means. But an amusing romp on a handful of genres - how academia can be a bit like theatrics.
Ian Brydon
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Stoppard might well have a claim to be one of our finest living playwrights. Her has certainly had a lengthy career. Jumpers was first published in 1972, and he was already an established and successful figure by then. It is fair to say that Jumpers now feels a bit dated, but Stoppard’s dazzling wordplay, and explorations of various philosophical dilemmas retain their vitality.

The basic plot is hard to summarise as it frequently ventures into the absurd, pulling off the tricky gambit of blen
Tikhon Jelvis
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant play. The world would certainly be more interesting if practicing philosophers were amateur acrobats who tried to bribe police inspectors with the Chair of Divinity. I think I gained both more and less respect for academic philosophy after reading it.

The play itself is a surreal, hard-to-follow murder story, draped over the skeleton of a philosophy lecture on objective moral values. If you're not interested in this philosophy or in things happening without obvious cause or consequence,
Eric Norris
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jumpers is a play about philosophy and acrobatics. And murder. Perennially popular as murder is among playwrights, I think we should admit that plays with acrobats and philosophers probably are not for everyone. Still, for those maniacs for whom a frivolous blend of acrobatics and philosophy (and murder) present no obstacle to enjoyment, Jumpers is a play that needs to be seen. I am one of those loons and I loved it. The intersection of moral philosophy, madness, infidelity, homicide, and physic ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As expected, another dazzling "throw-one's-brain-in-the-blender" experience from Stoppard. While I wouldn't rank this with his three great masterpieces---Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Thing, and, of course, Arcadia--it certainly deserves to stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the top of the next tier with Hapgood. Almost impossible to summarize, the play brilliantly collapses distinctions, so that mental gymnastics becomes real gymnastics, office politics bleeds into actual politics ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the philosophy, although George's (practically) monologues when he rehearses his debate could be borderline dense for a heterogeneous audience. Tom Stoppard's play demands the audience's attention and consideration about the question of God's existence and the human judgment of morality amidst a chaotic and sometimes ludicrous backdrop of murder and insanity. Sometimes I enjoy reading a play by itself, but this one I think I would personally glean more if I ever got the chance to see it ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a relatively early work, but it's got all the hallmarks of my favorite works - music (including some composed by Stoppard), philosophy, clever wordplay, and zany happenings.

Framed as both a murder mystery and a story about an argument between moral philosophies, it is brilliant at refusing to answer questions. Also, best ever use of Zeno's paradox.
A relatively early work, and it shows. Predictably witty and intelligent, of course, but the farce doesn't carry the play even as well as it does in, say, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead .
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read something by Stoppard I am struck 1. his intelligence, wit, and humor and 2. the thouht "I should read more of his works." No exceptio here. The (literal) lunacy of the modern moral/ethical/philosophical/religious relation was as fascinating as it was disorienting. Would absolutely love to see this staged.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The play is potentially impressive. I was trying to pry into the fabric, to swing along the acrobatic rhythm, but failed. I felt like not gaining much from the play itself except the garrulous lectures on logical positivism. The character Dotty got the most of my attention. Favourite line: "life itself is the mundane figure which argues perfection at its limiting curve."
I think I'm missing a lot of points this play is trying to make. However, I still thought it was funny and well written. I also really liked the philosophical ideas presented in there. They really made me think, which I liked.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absurdist take- on truth, perhaps?
May 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want-to-buy
ok, so maybe i only half read it and saw the play twice. that mostly counts.
Erik Blair
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
pure virtuosity...
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: need-to-re-read
couldn't much finish the book. give it another shot next time.
If you like speeches, you'll love this. If you like dialogue and plot, you'll hate this. I personally like dialogue and plot.
Jumpers: A Play by Tom Stoppard (1974)
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would take a bullet for Tom Stoppard
Alexander Rolfe
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilariously funny, but ultimately sad, because I think he's right. The new version of Captain Scott and Oates is great. Thoughtful, and full of pithy lines.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so much more wacky than I expected it to be; also, Stoppard likes turtles in studies
Terence Manleigh
Not one of his greatest plays. The work of a young, brilliant university grad desperate to impress, a quality Stoppard never quite loses, but it overwhelms the proceedings here.
Mar 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite plays. It is the definition of the term "an embarrassment of riches."
Dec 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pure, silly fun.
Daniel Jones
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: philosophers, historians, anyone else
Shelves: fiction
Great book about death, morality and the existence of God. It sounds heavier than it is, but like Stoppard's other works, the subject matter is presenting in a whimsical manner with great wordplay.
Lane Wilkinson
Feb 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by the ineffable Herb Granger. I can't tell whether this is the perfect indictment or the perfect paean to existentialism.
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Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL, is a British screenwriter and playwright.

Born Tomáš Straussler.

More about Tom Stoppard...

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