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Our Town

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  39,525 ratings  ·  1,520 reviews
Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the small village of Grover's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.
Paperback, 181 pages
Published September 23rd 2003 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1938)
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Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
*Read for class*
I enjoyed this WAY more than I thought I would. I expected it to just be boring Americana which is totally not my thing but the last act just totally blew me away. It was profound and thoughtful and terrifyingly accurate, but very well done.
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
American playwriting at its best. I think the most stunning thing is that this book manages to convey a deep sense of human tragedy without portraying people who rabidly abuse each other. This is also why many hack directors (not to mention high schools) have been able to produce the work as a saccharine fairytale, and the bad reputation of this play can certainly be attributed to these careless people. But you, my dear critical thinker--you should read this.
Winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Occasionally a book comes along that makes me say, now this is why I read. Thornton Wilder was perfect when he wrote this and the result was perfection. "Our Town" struck every chord just right for me. I grew up near a small town on a farm and I recognized this town, and I recognized these people. Through the first two acts of this play I was loving it and thinking, this is the Americana that is fast disappearing, maybe already has. Then act 3 knocked
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate this play more and more every time I read it, and I have read it quite a bit! It has been written that Thornton Wilder found "the cosmic in the commonplace" in "Our Town", and that is indeed the case. This play is a celebration of the everyday and mundane details of human existence. And although we like to imagine that our lives are composed of things larger than the everyday exercise of living, we are wrong. There are exciting and "big" moments in most lives, but that is the rarer ...more
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Goodbye, Grover’s Corners

I saw a really terrible movie this weekend called "Stardust". I thought that it would be terrific since the cast is star-studded and mostly because it was based on a novel by the very clever Neil Gaiman (who I am a big fan of, Sandman, American Gods, Good Omens & the "Brakiri Day of the Dead" episode of Babylon 5 for fans in the know). But alas, the movie sucked (although Deniro was funny. Yarg!!).

But the movie also stars Claire Daines who I used to be a big fan of i
Amber Tucker
Okay, first of all – because people will criticize me for it, and rightly so – I have not seen this play. I fully appreciate that plays are written in order to be viewed on stage, not on page, and that people who judge a play after merely reading it are probably the bane of a playwright's life. That said, I feel that if there's any play that's could be "seen" just as well in the mind of the reader, it's Our Town.. From the setting to the plot to the characters' actions, the entire thing is almo ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I REALLY like stories that draw attention to the wonder in life, and this play if definitely one of those stories. It's all about ORDINARY people, living ORDINARY lives, doing ORDINARY things.

In a market where YA books are all about being the hero, saving the world, getting the girl, etc., here's a little story about the meaning and purpose of just being an ordinary person living an ordinary life. (Teens could use this message btw so LET'S WRITE SOME YA ABOUT THAT.)

It's about embracing life, m
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: A Cold War by Alan Russell

Description: Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the small village of Grover's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.

Our Town is a 1940 film adaptation of a play of the same name by Thornton Wilder starring William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Guy Kibbee and Frank Craven. It wa
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
بعد از اونيل، ويليامز، پينتر، بكت، سارتر، البي و مكدونا، ديشب وايلدر هم به جمع نمايشنامه نويسان استثنايي پيوست...
alienation effect
نداشت نميدونم چي ميشد!
Apr 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: drama
A timeless masterpiece!This is absolutely my favorite play. It is timeless and universal, pertaining to anyone, anywhere. The story takes place in a small town at the turn of the century, in 1901, and takes place over the course of about fourteen years. The story line is extremely simplistic, but allows the reader to focus on the deeper themes that author, Thorton Wilder, is able to display. The play has three acts that each represent daily life, love and marriage, and death. Living people are p ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: relationships
It’s a regular little town in the US a hundred years ago. It’s an extraordinary little town in the US a hundred years ago. It’s very ordinariness makes it extraordinary. As is, Wilder hints, all life. To walk. To talk. To eat. To drink. And, perhaps most of all, sharing this amazing life with others. Read this play and you will remember to be alive. To everything.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: play, hated

Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Read this for my English class, very different play with a great message!
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book too many times to count. It is amazingly ageless and speaks to each generation. I was priviledged to see Paul Newman open as the Stage Manager on opening night in Wesport,CT. I read quotes from it at my younger sister's funeral. I carries a lot of weight with me. Read the book before you ever see a high school production!
Mohamed Khaled Sherif
Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every.. every minute?
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
The Ghosts of Belfast review, Part IV
Part I
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Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
The characters are ordinary.
The story is ordinary.
The happenstances are ordinary.
The life-love-marriage-death, is ordinary.
The life of Grover Corners is ordinary.
The setting is ordinary.


Thronton Wilder snatches these mundane moments from our lives and puts them on his stage: raw, exposed and vulnerable for all to see. An ambition to change the way of life dances in the eyes of a young man, a young woman adores the moon and romanticizes a future, an elderly couple pass into quietness
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature, plays
I remember reading this back in high school, and at that time I thought this was one of the most boring things I ever read. However, in rereading this as an adult I discovered that there is something to appreciate in this play. The basic message of this play is that life is made up of a lot of mundane everyday activities, and that we often don't appreciate these experiences until it's too late. That's not really a message that can reach younger people who are chasing dreams and looking for adven ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is perhaps silly to say that Our Town is underrated but that is how I feel. I found it unexpectedly profound. Setting the last act in a cemetery with the deceased people commentating was original and unexpected. It would be hard to dismiss Emily’s feelings in that last act.

The characters in Our Town are simple small town folk with real aspirations and real problems, so it all seemed authentic. From the milkman to discussion about who was inheriting the farm I could relate. In my own town grow
Michael Perkins
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story takes place in a small, New Hampshire town, like the one I was born in and lived in for a time, with it's "New England Yankee" values. As with the case with people everywhere, there's tragedy in this story, which is often over-looked; instead, as one reviewer below puts it, it's often staged as a saccharine fairy-tale. This has been reinforced by the 1940 film version, starring William Holden.

But in Wilder's own "Some Suggestions for the Director,” he writes, “It is important to maint
Abigayle Claire
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
An easy one-sitting read. This was surprisingly interesting for being a slice-of-life play about a play. Each act skips ahead a few years, and the play concludes with a deceased character reflecting on life. Overall, it's thoughtful and emphasizes how much living people don't understand the brevity of life and appreciate the time they have. Definitely worth reading and pondering!
Erin Kelly
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reread with my English I class. I played the Stage Manager in class and sobbed like a baby through the flashback scene. Need I say more? This is amazing and changes my perspective a little bit every time I read it. A book or play that can do that is truly something special. Seize the day!
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brilliant allegory, but needs to be seen.
Maryam Rajee
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
"Mother Gibbs, I never realized before how troubled and how ... how in dark live persons are."
George K.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ένα από κλασικότερα Αμερικάνικα θεατρικά έργα, επιτέλους κυκλοφορεί και στα ελληνικά, από τις εκδόσεις Ηριδανός. Σαν σκηνικό έχουμε κάποια συγκεκριμένα σημεία μιας μικρής επαρχιακής πόλης των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών ονόματι Γκρόβερς Κόρνερς, ενώ χρονικά τοποθετείται στις Αρχές του 20ου αιώνα. Πρωταγωνιστούν άνθρωποι απλοϊκοί και καθημερινοί, με τους αναγνώστες/θεατές να γίνονται μάρτυρες κάποιων καίριων γεγονότων μέσα σε διάστημα δώδεκα ετών, με το όλο έργο να χωρίζεται σε τρεις πράξεις: "Καθημερινή ...more
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic, pulitzer
Our Town is a short powerful play by Thornton Wilder. It portrays our environment, lives, and death within the very few pages. The story is so vivid, it draws one into the town, and the lives of the characters. It is historical and philosophical. But what amazes me most is the realistic view of our lives that is encompassed.

Emily symbolizes life, marriage, and death. In life, she is almost always with his friend and neighbor George Gibbs. Marriage comes to her without any training. She is force
Shawn Deal
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic, plays
Most people read this play too early in life to fully appreciate it. I read this play for the first time when I was in 7th grade. I will be honest I didn’t enjoy it. As the years slide by, I enjoy this play more and more. The story becomes so much more relatable. The look at life at the turn of the century is more fascinating, and the characters become more human to me, more nuanced in their layers of development. This is one of the great plays that everyone should read or see during their life, ...more
وائل المنعم
A beautiful and sad play.

The play is performed without a set and the actors mime their actions without the use of props, With a narration by a stage manager, All these elements make the play very interesting and challengeable to any director.

I always feel sad when writers talk about the ordinary every-day life, Don't kown exactly why?, In this play along with the ordinary lives of its characters, The third act with its funeral atmosphere made it almost a melancholy play.

Wilder's language in the
ashley nicole
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
It's short. It's an easy read. It's a play. How can you go wrong?
This was a great book with a great theme, although how he portrays the afterlife is a little weird and slightly confusing. It has a really great message though and I would recommend it for older, more discerning readers :)
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: coming-of-age, play
So I am thinking about auditioning for Our Town this fall and realized that I had not yet read it. A classic simply because it represents a snippet of life in a long ago time (over 100 years now!). Reminiscent of a Walton novel, Wilder's staging is different than normal because his stage manager breaks the fourth wall.
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AP Language SHS: Reagan Sweat Summer Reading 1 2 Sep 29, 2017 07:28PM  
USA Geography Cha...: Our Town by Thorton Wilder 1 4 Dec 29, 2014 06:28AM  
life, love,and death 2 9 Sep 23, 2014 05:10PM  
Can't we just look at each other? 1 23 Jun 19, 2014 03:51AM  
Our Town analysis, themes, trivia, audio, video 2 36 Mar 21, 2013 01:35PM  
Hollinger: 1 Spri...: Question Set #2 6 21 Jan 26, 2012 02:30PM  
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Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.

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“Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.” 1582 likes
“We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.” 156 likes
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