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The Field

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  18 reviews

The Field is John B. Keane's fierce and tender study of the love a man can have for land and the ruthless lengths he will go to in order to obtain the object of his desire. It is dominated by Bull McCabe, one of the most famous characters in Irish writing today.

Kindle Edition, 81 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Mercier Press (first published January 1st 1966)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
One of the things playwrights strive for in their work is simplicity. Unlike fiction, which can be read, dogeared, and set aside to be picked up later, plays happen in real time with actors and an audience who needs excitement, action, and the ability to invest in characters.

That being said, I've never read an Irish play that isn't simple and entertaining. In a world where behemoths like Angels in America stride boldly across the theatre, John Keane's The Field is a brisk, uncomplicated play abo
John Vanderslice
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very disturbing play that I wish I could see on stage, as it must play brilliantly. At the center of it is a thoroughly obnoxious, socially resentful, and deeply deceptive man who through bullying, bribery, threats, or familial pressure makes sure he gets what he wants, even at the cost of other's lives and income. The blurb on the back of my edition remarks that Bull McCabe is "one of the most famous characters in Irish writing today." That might be true, but he's decidedly an anti-he ...more
Joe Imwalle
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the few plays I've ever read. I think I might read a few more. The format requires dialogue to be the center of attention, it seems. And this one does that so very well. I've just finished reading it while visiting Ireland for the 10th time. It's spot on. Also some great dramatic tension at times. Well done.
Sort of disappointing. Really heavy-handed. The plot sucks balls.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very different to the film. thoroughly intriguing altogether
Michael Pennington
It’s fine. I have no idea how it got on my reading list !!
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was a book that gives me reason to think that people are always like that about everything no matter what it may be its the first case that i seen a person willing to kill for a object we are ruled by objects and the field ruled bull not the other way round he should have let it go i know that there was a handed down by his father but if he could not afford it he should have bid more and got money off every body and paid it back, the bull also has a love hate relationship that is strange to m ...more
Oct 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish
My first real, not-so-talked about Irish read. Oscar Wilde and Joyce are the 2 real big ones that everyone has heard of, Keane to be honest I didn't know of 2 days ago.

This is a mice-of-men play that involves few people and even less events. It warms my heart when I think of the fields and the pubs, those I can actually relate to.

Keane he writes beautifully but not with so much effort, it is mostly very close to reality and since it is a play it has to be real life (could be at least) conversat
This is truly a masterpiece of Irish theater. The Field captures tensions between insiders and outsiders to Irish culture in a way that shows the humanity of each side, for right or wrong. The community response to the actions of Bull and Tadgh are also equally telling of Irish cultural values and responses to church and authority. I liked that the play captured the ideas of land ownership and the Irish pub as being places of political activity and social importance.

There is also a film of the
Amanda - Go Book Yourself
Ive begun to see more in this play as Ive gotten older. In school it was just something we had to study. Irish writer bla bla bla play bla bla heritige bla bla.

Ive re read it a couple of times since then and it really is a gem. The Bull puts his life and soul into his little patch of land and does everything possible to keep it in his possesion.

People say this book is about greed. I dont see it that way. I see it as a story about identity, family and invasion.

Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
While it might look a little dated now this is an important snapshot of a certain type of small town Irish insularity that reigned at a time when there was an , obsession with land and religion, allied with a horror of the unknown that could be twisted to brutal ends.

There is insight and humour, as well as sadness and fear, on the way to this darkness. A fine play in its own right.
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Read this book because it is the stage play that I saw in Dublin. Someone there told me the book had a different ending. didn't.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Really didn't like it, probably because I had to read it for school.
Mhartain O'Treasaigh
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Better than the film.
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
the power of the irish theatre
Colleen Lahey
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. Recommended by our tour guide in Ireland. Very well written.
Sarah Mackey
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Apr 08, 2018
Karen Connor
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Sep 16, 2014
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