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Voyage (The Coast of Utopia #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  214 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Voyage is the first part of The Coast of Utopia, Tom Stoppard's long-awaited and monumental trilogy that explores a group of friends who came of age under the Tsarist autocracy of Nicholas I, and for whom the term intelligentsia was coined. Among them are the anarchist Michael Bakunin, who was to challenge Marx for the soul of the masses; Ivan Turgenev, author of some of t ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 23rd 2003 by Grove Press (first published July 22nd 2003)
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Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can't arrange our own happiness, it's a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.

I bought the trilogy for my wife just before we went to NYC to see it performed life at Lincoln Center. Stoppard provided an astonishing intellectual history. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances as well. The evenin
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Why does one go on a voyage? Sometimes you voyage to return to a place where you had previously visited, but you may choose to voyage to a completely new place, adventure in the unknown and perhaps into the future. This play is about the latter type of voyage. It is about young idealists centered around the polarizing and exciting figure of Michael Bakunin. It is about his family, their domestic relationships, and his friends. Stoppard presents these characters and develops situations that demon ...more
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama-british
I was watching a panel of actors speak and, (I think it was) Eileen Atkins began talking about taking over the role of Sister Aloysius in Doubt. I was amazed when she said that this was the kind of play you would never see performed in London. It was too American.
It got me thinking about how far British theater writing and American theater writing seem to be from each other.
Case in point, Tom Stoppard. British audiences love everything he does. Mostly, with the exception of Jumpers and The Real
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The Coast of Utopia, Tom Stoppard’s trilogy of plays about philosophical debates in pre-revolutionary Russia, expands the possibilities of drama. Stoppard paints on a large canvas, and he breathes life into characters that later played vital roles in Russian political, social, and cultural history.
Each part of the trilogy stands on its own, but Stoppard views The Coast of Utopia as one play…not three separate dramas. Part I: Voyage focuses on the early life of future anarchist Michael Bakunin.
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Selena by: the Tonys
I have to be honest, I knew absolutely nothing about this trilogy before seeing last year's Tony awards. While watching that show, I saw that Tom Stoppard had written a new series of plays and I knew that I wanted them, because he is fabulous.

I became dubious almost immediately because the begining of the first play introduces the fact that the action of this story surrounds some figures tied into the philisophical movement behind the Russian Revolution. Now, I am almost completely ignorant as
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have yet to see a Tom Stoppard play to date, but am increasingly certain I would enjoy the experience. This play asks the reader to piece together the storyline from a series of fragmented and interrelated scenes among a traditional aristocratic Russian family and a group of revolutionary, utopianist intellectuals. The first in a trilogy, enough is still left unsaid by the end that I'm intrigued to read more. These language is perfect - somehow both period-appropriate and modern enough to be r ...more
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
First rate intellectual pageantry. Some nice floats--mostly monologues, and a few theatrical moments with a ginger cat--in the parade.
Not much happens of note; in fact, most everything that happens does so offstage, and we are left to piece events together from oblique references stuck in and among impassioned philosophical tirades. These are individually beautiful but feel a little detached because they're representative, rather than elaborative, of character: they're often all we have to go o
Matt Allen
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
This doesn't really stand alone, but it's part of a trilogy, so it doesn't have to. This has the same big speeches about philosophy and art that you'd find in Travesties or The Invention of Love. But they just don't click. Hegel is much more boring than Leninism or Roman poetry, respectively, so I blame the subject matter. But if anybody could make it come to life, you would think it would be Stoppard. The play was well-plotted and well written, with a subtle sad ending. I'm sure I'll read it ag ...more
Not nearly on par with his great works -- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arcadia chief among the latter category. Some interesting moments, and I'm curious to see the way the trilogy develops. Not emotionally satisfying, as early units of multi-part flows tend not to be. I'll withhold judgment pending more Utopia....
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
This is the only part of Coast of Utopia that really holds up as a play on its own. Which is not to say it's bad -- Mikhail Bakunin is adorable, in the same way a puppy who keeps chewing on your shoes is adorable, the classic Stoppard wordplay is delightful (if unusually artificial; the running summerhouse gag gets tired pretty quickly), and Liubov makes my heart crack into little pieces. Turgenev is my favoritest ever, for the record.

Belinsky's act I monologue works better on the page than on t
When I first heard about this trilogy and its elaborate repertory style staging, I honestly mocked it for the elitism of it. Three nearly three hour plays at Broadway ticket prices? Talk about making theater inaccessible! But, thanks to a class, I gave Voyage a chance and surprisingly really enjoyed it. I hear its the best in the trilogy, I may get around to the other two in the future. I was lucky enough to view the Broadway staging as well through the NYPL, so I think that also heightened my a ...more
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Saw the transcendent serial production of the trilogy during consecutive weeks at Lincoln Center (thx G'ma!), while reading the scripts in between shows. Amazing on every level. Not only vintage Stoppard, but an epic career centerpiece.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Though I have recently given up on the 19th century (see my review of Faust), I have not yet given up on depictions of the 19th century. And I like Tom Stoppard and am glad that he's writing Grand, 9 hour, Drama.
Apr 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
though the premise (about 19th century Russia) sounds boring and complicated, the play is fast moving and HILARIOUS. Saw Pt. 1 in January in NYC - loved it.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
A humorous, moving, extended prologue.
Steve Carroll
Feb 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Tom, it's not you, it's me... I'm mostly totally ignorant about the real life 19th century Russian thinkers that populate this story. Much wikipedia reading was necessary for this one.
Terence Manleigh
Part one of Stoppard's epic trilogy about 19th century Russian philosophy, politics and literature. Rapturously received when it was produced, I don't think it ranks with his best work.
Nick Douglas
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Smart and clearly Stoppard, but not my personal fave.
Mike Jensen
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
THE COAST OF UTOPIA is one of the great plays of our time. This is the place to begin.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it liked it
"... Suns gone. Has it?..."
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Feb 04, 2011
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Feb 13, 2011
Barbara Scales
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Jul 13, 2009
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Jan 15, 2017
Jonathan E
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Apr 15, 2017
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Feb 19, 2010
Ian Potter
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Mar 12, 2015
rated it it was ok
Feb 14, 2012
Cameron The Squire
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Dec 23, 2007
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book cover for part 1 1 2 Jul 02, 2007 10:19AM  
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Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL, is a British screenwriter and playwright.

Born Tomáš Straussler.

More about Tom Stoppard...

Other Books in the Series

The Coast of Utopia (3 books)
  • Shipwreck (The Coast of Utopia #2)
  • Salvage (The Coast of Utopia #3)

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“The world outside of me has no meaning independent of my thinking it. (pauses to look) I look out of the window. A garden. Trees. Grass. A young woman in a chair reading a book. I think: chair. So she is sitting. I think: book. So she is reading. Now the young woman touches her hair where it's come undone. But how can we be sure there is a world of phenomena, a woman reading in a garden? Perhaps the only thing that's real is my sensory experience, which has the form of a woman reading- in a universe which is in fact empty! But Immanuel Kant says- no! Because what I perceive as reality includes concepts which I cannot experience through the senses. Time and space. Cause and effect. Relations between things. Without me there is something wrong with this picture. The trees, the grass, the woman are merely- oh, she's coming! (nervously)- she's coming in here-! I say, don't leave!-where are you going?” 0 likes
“We can all be clockmakers, or astronomers. But if we all wanted to be Pushkin. . .if the question is, how do you make a poem by Pushkin?- or, what exactly makes one poem or painting or piece of music greater than another?- or, what is beauty?, or liberty?, or virtue?- if the question is, how should we live?. . . then, reason gives no answer or different answers. So something went wrong. The divine spark in man is not reason after all, but something else, some kind of intuition or vision, perhaps like the moment of inspiration experienced by the artist . . .” 0 likes
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