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True West

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This American classic explores alternatives that might spring from the demented terrain of the California landscape. Sons of a desert dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee's trashy Western tale.

74 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1981

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About the author

Sam Shepard

165 books578 followers
Sam Shepard was an American artist who worked as an award-winning playwright, writer and actor. His many written works are known for being frank and often absurd, as well as for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. He was an actor of the stage and motion pictures; a director of stage and film; author of several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs; and a musician.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 506 reviews
Profile Image for Andrea.
954 reviews73 followers
April 10, 2019
I like Sam Shepard but I didn’t really care for this. The material was decent but I hated the acting/narration. It’s not really fun to listen to two guys yell at each other for an hour and a half. Disappointing.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 20, 2019
True West, Sam Shepard
Act One: True West is about the sibling rivalry between two estranged brothers who have reconnected. The play begins with brothers Austin and Lee sitting in their mother's house. This is the first time they've seen one another in five years. The two are not on good terms, but Austin attempts to appease his older brother, who is more dominant. We learn that their mother is on vacation in Alaska and that Austin is house sitting. Austin is trying to work on his screenplay but Lee continually distracts him with nonsense questions. The two brothers seem on edge with one another. When Austin suggests that Lee leave, Lee threatens to steal things from the neighborhood. Austin calms him down and the night ends with the two of them on neutral. Lee talks about the security level of their mother's house, and how Lee went into the desert to find their dad. Austin then tells Lee to leave the house because a film producer, Saul, is coming by to look at Austin's screenplay (described as a “period piece”). Lee agrees to leave in exchange for Austin's car keys. Austin is reluctant at first but eventually relents and Lee promises that he will have it back by six. Lee departs. Saul and Austin are discussing their agreement when Lee enters with a stolen television set. Saul and Lee discuss golf and make plans to play the next day, excluding Austin because he doesn't play, despite his desire that Lee have nothing to do with Saul. Lee proposes a script idea to Saul and Saul reacts positively. Lee describes his story out loud. Austin writes it down, but stops, saying it doesn't resemble real life. The two brothers quarrel and Austin asks Lee for his car keys back. Lee assumes Austin is trying to make him leave, and Lee says he can't be kicked out. Austin says he wouldn't kick him out because he's his brother. Lee counters that being brothers means nothing because in-family murders are most common. Austin assures him they won't be driven to murder over a movie script. The two admit to being envious of each other's lives, Lee returns the car keys and the scene closes with Austin typing Lee's story.
Act Two: Lee returns from his golf game with Saul. He tells Austin that Saul has promised him an advance for his story idea outline that Austin wrote. They celebrate until Lee informs Austin that he expects Austin to write the screenplay. Austin questions this knowing he has his own work, but Lee continues to inform him that Saul has chosen to drop Austin's screenplay. Austin warns Lee that he needs to be careful with messing about with this line of work and that he has a lot at stake on his own project. The scene ends with Austin threatening to leave and go to the desert as Lee tries to calm him down. Austin confronts Saul about his decision to buy Lee's screenplay. He argues that Saul only offered to buy the screenplay because he lost a bet. Saul wants Austin to write both his and Lee's story but Austin refuses. Austin thinks that Lee's story is without merit and not relevant to the time period. Due to Austin's rejection of the job, Saul decides to drop Austin's story and to find a different writer for Lee's story. The scene ends with Saul making plans for lunch with Lee. Austin is drunk and annoying Lee, who is now the one trying to concentrate on a screenplay. Austin taunts his brother with advice and says that this is the first time he has enjoyed spending time with Lee since he arrived. He insists that Lee is not a real screenwriter, and when Lee informs him that he has an advance coming on his script, Austin claims he could burgle houses just as well as Lee can. Lee bets that he couldn't even steal a toaster, but they can't agree on the stakes. Instead Lee asks in earnest for Austin's help with the technical parts of the writing, offering to pay him money and then disappear like their father did and leave Austin alone. Austin argues about how well their father ended up, and the scene closes as they drink together. Austin is polishing toasters that he stole while Lee is smashing a typewriter early in the morning. The two continue to do this while they are carrying on a conversation. Austin is proud of what he has done. Lee wants to see a woman, but Austin refuses because he is married. Lee throws a fit while on the phone with the operator because he cannot find a pen to write down what the operator is saying. Austin begs Lee to go to the desert with him because he thinks there is nothing for him where he is. The brothers make a deal that Austin will write the play for Lee if Lee takes him to the desert. In the final scene, the house is ransacked and Lee and Austin are working vigorously on their script. Their mother returns and Lee is first to notice her. She is confused by her sons' appearances and the state of her house. Austin tells her that he and Lee are going to take off into the desert, but Lee says they might have to postpone the trip because he doesn't think Austin is cut out for the desert life-style. Austin responds by attempting to strangle Lee and their mother storms out of the house in trepidation. Austin finally lets go of Lee, and is worried for a second that he's killed his brother. As Austin moves for the door, Lee rises. The two brothers face one another as the lights fade.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم ماه اکتبر سال 2004 میلادی
عنوان: غ‍رب‌ ح‍ق‍ی‍ق‍ی‌ - ن‍م‍ای‍ش‍ن‍ام‍ه‌؛ نویسنده: س‍ام‌ ش‍پ‍ارد؛ مت‍رج‍م: ام‍ی‍ر ام‍ج‍د؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌: ن‍ی‍لا‏‫، 1382؛ در 74 ص؛ شابک: شابک: 9646900372؛ چاپ دوم 1388؛ در 90 ص؛ شابک: 9789646900370؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20 م

نمایشنامه غرب حقیقی، اثر «سام شپارد» از نه پرده تشکیل شده، که تمام آنها یک طراحی به خصوص (همانند دیگر آثار شپرد، معمولا یک خانه ی کلبه مانند با وسایل ساده) دارند، اتاقی که در یکسوی آن آشپزخانه و در سویی دیگر آلاچیقی بدون در قرار گرفته است. در هشت صحنه نخست، تنها دو نقش «لی (برادر بزرگ)» و «آستین (برادر کوچک)»، در نما حضور دارند. در یکی از پرده ها، «سول کیمر(تهیه کننده برنامه ها تلویزیونی)» نیز، وارد صحنه میشود. در پرده ی نهم، «مادر» وارد شده، و پس از گفتگویی کوتاه با دو برادر، آنجا را ترک میکند. در مورد نقشها، «آستین» یک فیلمنامه نویس موفق و ثروتمند است، تشکیل خانواده داده، و فرزندی نیز دارد. برادر بزرگتر، «لی»، یک دائم الخمر بیکار است، که از راه دزدی روزگار میگذراند. مدتی را در بیابان به تنهایی سپری کرده است. شخصیت پردازی برای «لی»، بسیار خوب، و در باره ی «آستین»، معمولی است، اما این امر در مورد «مادر» به پایین ترین حد ممکن میرسد. به نحویکه اگر نقش «مادر» در نمایشنامه وجود نداشت، نه تنها چیزی از قلم نمیافتاد، بلکه یک ضعف بزرگ نیز، از میان برداشته میشد. اما به نظر میرسد برای «شپارد»، قرار دادن نقش «مادر» در نمایشنامه، ضروریت داشته است، زیرا قصد وی خلق اثری دیگر در ژانر «تراژدی خانوادگی» بوده است. در میان دیالوگها، از پدری دائم الخمر گفتگو میشود، که در بیـــابان زنــدگی میکند. این موضوع، در کنار نقش «مادر» و «برادرها»، نمایشنامه ی تراژدیک «شپارد» را، کامل میکند. نمایشنامه، با مکالمه ی برادرها در خانه «مادر» آغاز میشود (مادر برای سفر به آلاسکا رفته است، در تضاد با پدری که به بیابان فرار کرده)، سپس ملاقات برادرها با «سول کیمر»، که فیلمنامه ی عاشقانه و عامه پسند برادر تحصیلکرده، مورد پسند نیست، و فیلمنامه ی وسترن برادر بزرگتر، «لی»، مورد اقبال قرار میگیرد. نمایشنامه با به استیصال رسیدن «آستین»، و درخواست از «لی» جهت رفتن به بیابان، ادامه پیدا میکند. در نهایت در پرده ی آخر، دو برادر با یکدیگر درگیری شدید پیدا کرده، و نمایشنامه در حالی به پایان میرسد، که دو برادر پس از نزاعی خونین، رودرروی یکدیگر ایستاده، و گرگها در زمینه زوزه میکشند، و این است: غرب حقیقی. در واقع آغاز و عنوان نمایشنامه (در کلام)، سر آغازی بر پایان آن (در مفهوم و نماد) است. برای درک زیبایی «غرب حقیقی»، باید فیلمنامه «پاریس تگزاس» را، پیش از خواندن این نمایشنامه مطالعه کرد. «غرب حقیقی» و «پاریس تگزاس»، ارتباط تنگاتنگی با یکدیگر دارند. دو برادر در «غرب حقیقی»، یادآور دو برادر در «پاریس تگزاس» هستند. «تراویس»، برادر بزرگتر در «پاریس تگزاس»، همانند «لی»، مدتها بیابان گردی کرده است. در «غرب حقیقی»، «آستین» فیلمنامه ای عاشقانه نوشته است و «لی» فیلمنامه ای وسترن و خشن. «پاریس تگزاس» نیز جدا از نام یک مکان، یک نماد است. «پاریس» نماد احساس، عاطفه و عشق و «تگزاس» نماد خشونت و بیرحمی. «سام شپارد» در خلق شاهکاری پرمعنا از هیچ یک نابغه است. نقل از متن: «مادر: وای همه‌ شون مردن، نه؟‌ (به طرف آن می‌رود و از نزدیک براندازشان می‌کند)، گمونم وقت نکردین آبشون بدین. آستین: من بهشون می‌رسیدم تا اینکه لی اومد، و لی: آره من حسابی اوضاشو بهم ریختم، مامان اون تقصیر نداره. مکث. مادر به گیاه خیره شده است.»؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
February 7, 2020
"Go west, young man!"

The frontier! The gold rush! The promise of new life in the American imaginary had always (traditionally) been west, away from urbanity, academia, business. Making a new life! Let's forgot about Native Americans for a minute, that American Dream said, there is endless land and resources and possibilities for progress; and for awhile the fantasy seemed to come true for many.

"And then, by god, I was rich"--Willy's older brother who goes to Alaska to make his fortune, in Death of a Salesman.

I kind of think of this play in conjunction with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (or any of his political campaign horror stories) by Hunter Thompson, a kind of unmasking of illusions on acid with guns firing. Shepard here depicts Austin, a Hollywood writer (with an Ivy League degree) and his drifter/thief brother as they meet together for the first time in six years. Austin is writing, meeting with a producer, his brother asking to borrow his car so he can break into homes in the neighborhood and steal tvs and appliances, such as microwave ovens and toasters.

When the producer arrives, the drifter bro floats a more marketable idea than his stuffy east coast bro could ever imagine, perfect for Hollywood. So the producer wants to do that project, no longer Austin's and suddenly we have a sort of comic Prince and the Pauper switch for the brothers, with Austin, out of a job, gets drunk and decides to break into several neighbors's houses t steal their. . . toasters! This absurd commentary makes it clear the True West is not the American Dream for either of them. Oh, and they bond over eating toast, the best moment in the play.

It's not a deep or particularly rich play, not one of the great plays of American theater, imo, but I enjoyed listening to the LA Theater Works production of it. It still resonates very much with the present age.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews14 followers
September 15, 2016


Description: Sam Shepard's examination of the relationship and rivalry between two brothers - Austin, a screenwriter, and his older, estranged brother, Lee. Starring the Glenister brothers.

The drama is set in the kitchen of their mother's home, 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Austin is house-sitting while their mother is in Alaska, and is confronted there by his brother, who decides to pay a visit. Lee manages to bully his way into the house and to borrow his brother's car. The screenplay Austin is writing and about to pitch to a Hollywood producer somehow gets taken over by the pushy con-man tactics of Lee and the brothers have no choice but to co-operate in the writing of a story that will make or break both their lives. In the process, the sibling rivalry comes to a head and their roles as successful family man and nomadic drifter are somehow reversed as each man finds himself admitting that he had somehow always wished he were in the other's shoes.

Robert Glenister and Philip Glenister come together professionally for the first time in their careers and the result is an incredibly powerful and poignant listen.
Profile Image for Peter.
16 reviews
November 10, 2010
Holy crap! This play is NOTHING but character development! Two brothers in a kitchen (and connected alcove) for 9 Scenes, talking, and somehow it's completely engrossing. While satirizing the Western genre, the play raises all kinds of questions about family, independence, rural and urban lifestyles and doesn't try to answer them conclusively, which is refreshing. This is like the anti-"Pericles." In 30-40(?) pages, I felt like I could write a 10 page paper on this play easily. After all 140 pages of Pericles, I struggled to get out a page and a half. While "True West" is predominantly dramatic, the comedic parts are incredibly effective. Their sparsity makes them even funnier.

Awesome stuff!
Profile Image for George K..
2,364 reviews292 followers
February 3, 2018
Αυτό είναι το πρώτο θεατρικό έργο του Σαμ Σέπαρντ που διαβάζω, μιας και τα άλλα τρία βιβλία του που απόλαυσα το 2015 και το 2017, ήταν συλλογές με ιστορίες και κείμενα. Εδώ έχουμε να κάνουμε με ένα αρκετά ιδιαίτερο και ενδιαφέρον θεατρικό έργο, ρεαλιστικό, ωμό και σκληρό, μπορεί να πει κανείς ακόμα και κωμικό, σε ορισμένα σημεία. Πρωταγωνιστούν δυο αδερφοί, με τον ένα να είναι ένας σπουδαγμένος σεναριογράφος που προσπαθεί να πιάσει την καλή γράφοντας ένα δυνατό σενάριο, και τον άλλο να είναι ένας περιπλανώμενος σύγχρονος καουμπόι και κάπως αγροίκος, ο οποίος ίσα που τα βγάζει πέρα. Αυτοί οι δυο θα βρεθούν για λίγες μέρες στο σπίτι της μητέρας τους, και εκεί θα γίνει μια περίεργη αναμέτρηση. Αρκετά θέματα θίγονται, όπως ο σύγχρονος και ο παλιός τρόπος ζωής, η σχέση δυο αδερφών, το τέλος της λεγόμενης “Άγριας Δύσης”, και πάει λέγοντας. Σίγουρα δεν είναι για όλα τα γούστα, αλλά προσωπικά μου έκανε πολύ καλή εντύπωση. Κάτι στους διαλόγους και το όλο σκηνικό με κράτησε στην τσίτα καθ’όλη τη διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης. Πολύ ευχαρίστως θα έβλεπα μια προσεγμένη μεταφορά του έργου αυτού στο σανίδι.
Profile Image for Mohammad Hanifeh.
289 reviews81 followers
April 24, 2020
کتاب خیلی من رو یادِ پاریس، تگزاس انداخت و از اون‌جایی که خیلی طرفدار فیلم پاریس، تگزاس هستم، این کتاب رو هم پسندیدم.
اما اون چیزی که تو این نمایشنامه بیشتر ازش خوشم اومد، سیر تحول شخصیت‌ها و جابه‌جاییِ تدریجی اون‌ها بود که توی نمایشنامه‌ای به این کوتاهی، واقعاً جالب بود.
Profile Image for Philippe Malzieu.
Author 2 books113 followers
March 8, 2015
Shepard, a true legend. Actor, author, dramaturge. He was with Patti Smith, Jessica Lange. We discovered his play at the same time we saw "Right stuff". It was a revelation. Shepard attacks with the myth of the cowboy, emblematic of the American culture. This n' is not a demolition. He gives to the cowboy an human dimension. By reading the play, I find the same emotion than when I was at the theatre.
Profile Image for Cori.
813 reviews138 followers
May 5, 2019



I can drive a couple towns over to the prison housing, roll down my window, and write down verbatim the screaming arguments drifting over the evening breeze. I'd have something pretty much identical to this book. Life imitating art imitating life taken too far.

I'd rate this book a PG-13 for some violence and swearing.
Profile Image for KamRun .
376 reviews1,417 followers
June 22, 2014
نمایشنامه غرب حقیقی،اثر سم شپارد از 9 پرده تشکیل شده که تمام آن ها یک طراحی به خصوص (مانند دیگر آثار شپرد معمولا یک خانه کلبه مانند با وسایل ساده) دارد،اتاقی که در یک سوی آن آشپزخانه و در سویی دیگر آلاچیقی بدون در قرار گرفته است. در هشت صحنه اول فقط دو نقش لی(برادر بزرگ) و آستین (برادر کوچک) در نما حضور دارند.در یکی از پرده ها،سول کیمر(تهیه کننده برنامه ها تلویزیونی) نیز وارد صحنه می شود.در پرده نهم،مادر وارد شده و پس از گفتگویی کوتاه با دو برادر،آن را ترک می کند.در مورد نقش ها،آستین یک فیلمنامه نویس موفق و ثروتمند است،تشکیل خانواده داده و فرزندی نیز دارد.برادر بزرگتر،لی،یک دائم الخمر بیکار است که از راه دزدی روزگار می گذراند.مدتی را در بیابان به تنهایی سپری کرده است.شخصیت پردازی لی بسیار خوب و در مورد آستین معمولی است،اما این امر در مورد مادر به پایین ترین حد ممکن می رسد.به نحوی که اگر نقش مادر در نمایشنامه وجود نداشت،نه تنها چیز ی از قلم نمی افتاد،بلکه یک ضعف بزرگ نیز از میان برداشته می شد.اما به نظر می رسد برای شپارد قرار دادن نقش مادر در نمایشنامه ضروریت داشته است، زیرا قصد وی خلق اثری دیگر در ژانر "تراژدی خانوادگی" است.در میان دیالوگ ها،از پدری دائم الخمر صحبت می شود که در بیابان زندگی می کند.این موضوع،در کنار نقش مادر و برادرها،نمایشنامه تراژدیک شپارد را کامل می کند.نمایشنامه با مکالمه برادرها در خانه مادر آغاز می شود (مادر برای سفر به آلاسکا رفته است،در تضاد با پدری که به بیابان فرار کرده)،سپس ملاقات برادرها با سول کیمر،رد فیلمنامه عاشقانه و عامه پسند برادر تحصیلکرده و مورد اقبال قرار گردن فیلمنامه وسترن برادر بزرگتر،لی اتفاق می افتد و نمایشنامه با به استیصال رسیدن آستین و درخواست از لی جهت رفتن به بیابان ادامه پیدا می کند.در نهایت در پرده آخر،دو برادر با یکدگیر درگیری شدید پیدا کرده و نمایشنامه در حالی به پایان می رسد که دو برادر پس از نزاعی خونین،رو در روی یکدیگر ایستاده و گرگ ها در زمینه زوزه می کشند و این است،غرب حقیقی.در واقع آغاز و عنوان نمایشنامه(در کلام)،سر آغازی بر پایان آن (در مفهوم و نماد)است.برای درک زیبایی غرب حقیقی،باید فیلمنامه "پاریس تگزاس" را پیش از خواندن این نمایشنامه مطالعه کرد.غرب حقیقی و پاریس تگزاس،ارتباط تنگاتنگی با یکدیگر دارند.دو برادر در غرب حقیقی،یادآور دو برادر در پاریس تگزاس هستند.تراویس،برادر بزرگتر در پاریس تگزاس مانند لی،مدت ها بیابان گردی کرده است.در غرب حقیقی،آستین فیلمنامه ای عاشقانه نوشته است و لی فیلمنامه ای وسترن و خشن.پاریس تگزاس نیز جدا از نام یک مکان ،یک نماد است.پاریس نماد احساس ، عاطفه و عشق و تگزاس نماد خشونت و بی رحمی.سم شپارد در خلق شاهکاری پرمعنا از هیچ یک نابغه است.مطمئنا کسی که فیلم پاریس تگزاس (کارگردان: ویم وندرس/محصول سال ۱۹۸۴ آلمان غربی و فرانسه) را دیده باشد و اندک آشنایی ای با آثار شپارد داشته باشد با من هم نظر خواهد بود

image: نمایی از فیلم پاریس تگزاس

Profile Image for Brad.
Author 2 books1,687 followers
January 18, 2018
From realistic family drama to absurd family weirdness, True West is, at least, compelling. Brothers Leo and Austin play out their rivalry over screenwriting, toaster theft and desert living -- three unforgiving pursuits -- while trying to one up each other, kill each other and (maybe?) love each other for two fascinating acts.

It has the makings of a fun performance, but it reveals one of the sadnesses of reading theatre before seeing it staged because it lies dead on the page and there is no one other than the voices in my mind (and occasionally mouth) to really connect me to the action.

Were I watching actors on the stage the first time I was seeing this play, I think I would have been impressed with the absurdity and pain, but reading it without a physical manifestation just made me disdain Leo and Austin and Saul and their whack-a-doo Mom.

Yet I recognize the importance of absurdity, the importance of seeing people do stupid things because they are stupid, the importance of unrealistic actions in the face of personal pain.

I have a feeling that watching this -- with the right actors in the right roles --would make me love Sam Shepard's magnum opus, but reading the words only ... it left me cold as a desert night.
Profile Image for Russell.
70 reviews3 followers
March 23, 2009
Notes on Sound

"The Coyote of Southern California has a distinct yapping, dog-like bark, similar to a Hyena. This yapping grows more intense and maniacal as the pack grows in numbers, which is usually the case when they lure, and kill pets from suburban yards. The sense of growing frenzy in the pack should be felt in the background, particularly in scenes 7 and 8. In any case, these Coyotes never make the long, mournful. solitary howl of the Hollywood stereotype.
The sound of Crickets can speak for itself.
These sounds should also be treated realistically even though they sometimes grow in volume and numbers."
Profile Image for Char.
1,634 reviews1,487 followers
October 14, 2019
TRUE WEST is all about the characters and nothing else. I loved listening!

It was short, it was uncomplicated, and a lot of family background was revealed in what essentially turns out to be several scenes of two brothers arguing.

Thanks to Audible Audio for the free "Original."

Read 10.12.19-10.14.19
Profile Image for Andrew “The Weirdling” Glos.
260 reviews65 followers
May 19, 2019
I've heard Shepard's plays celebrated for as long as I have been aware of theater and playwrites. I have never read one until now. It is hard to shake the impression that this was just page after page of two brothers yelling at each other. It gets tiresome after a while, that in spite of the fact that this is a short play.

It seems to me like it is almost certainly a retelling of the biblical Cain and Abel story. Two brothers of wildly different temperaments find themselves in their mother's home while she is away. Their lives have traveled very different paths and made them very different people. As the play progresses, in the space of a few days, their roles and temperament and outlooks slowly reverse. Where they actually always the same underneath it all and never knew it? Do fortunes determine who we really are and what we can become? These are some of the questions asked and pondered in this play.

The ending seemed much too strong and ultimately unfitting to the story. I assume it's the problem of fitting a thousands of years old story with strong mythic elements into a modern setting. The play ultimately didn't really speak to me and the issues it raised didn't seem well explored due to the dynamic between the two brothers.

Three stars, however, because while it didn't speak to me, it is clearly well written. Shepard deserves his reputation. I think the resolution and the inability of the format to explore the questions he raises are the most serious flaws on an objective level.
Profile Image for Angie.
250 reviews33 followers
January 12, 2018
I'm still trying to let this beautiful play settle in my mind, but one of my resolutions this year is to immediately review everything I read. SO! Here are my initial, somewhat (very) rambling thoughts (trying to keep this vague enough that I don't have to cut it for spoilers):

1. Toast. I may never look at toast the same way.
2. Brothers/family. The play's treatment of the brothers' relationship was raw and intense. Their somewhat-but-not-quite Cain and Abel rapport was handled in a visceral and intelligent manner.
3. Writers. There some moments when Austin drunkenly discussed writing/the writer that hit a nerve with me.
4. The American West. One of the key themes here was the chipping away at the romanticized image of the American West and the cowboy. Nicely done/
5. That ending. Raw, beautiful.

I've decided that Sam Shepard had my sense of humor, by the way. This is the second play of his I've read, and I love his mind.
Profile Image for Marzieh rasouli.
18 reviews205 followers
December 24, 2011
نمایشنامه خوندن تو سفر خیلی بهم می‌چسبه و این رو هم تو جاده خوندم و هنوز نصف راه رفت رو هم نرفته بودیم که تموم شد. از سم شپارد قبلن داستان کوتاه‌های خواب خوب بهشت رو خونده بودم و حالا با خوندن این نمایشنامه بیشتر ازش خوشم اومد و راغب شدم برم سراغ چیزای دیگه‌ای که ازش چاپ شده
October 7, 2021
Owes much to Miller and his mid-century American cultural setting but ultimately and slyly Greek in origin. The paradoxical nature of both characters, their propensity to swing the pendulum from madness to bliss, from order to chaos, from some intense euphoria to some transitory insanity, proves an intriguing connection with the model of ancient Dionysian rites. What makes humans shift so quickly from love to hatred? The play prompts a good discussion of the question.
Profile Image for Henry.
635 reviews28 followers
June 29, 2019
A fairly entertaining Audible Original.
Profile Image for Laura.
6,869 reviews556 followers
September 24, 2016
From BBC Radio 4 - Drama:
Sam Shepard's examination of the relationship and rivalry between two brothers - Austin, a screenwriter, and his older, estranged brother, Lee. Starring the Glenister brothers.

The drama is set in the kitchen of their mother's home, 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Austin is house-sitting while their mother is in Alaska, and is confronted there by his brother, who decides to pay a visit. Lee manages to bully his way into the house and to borrow his brother's car. The screenplay Austin is writing and about to pitch to a Hollywood producer somehow gets taken over by the pushy con-man tactics of Lee and the brothers have no choice but to co-operate in the writing of a story that will make or break both their lives. In the process, the sibling rivalry comes to a head and their roles as successful family man and nomadic drifter are somehow reversed as each man finds himself admitting that he had somehow always wished he were in the other's shoes.

Robert Glenister and Philip Glenister come together professionally for the first time in their careers and the result is an incredibly powerful and poignant listen.

Adapted for Radio by John Peacock
Director: Celia de Wolff
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Profile Image for Lauren.
1,447 reviews66 followers
July 6, 2016
Why does the Pulitzer Committee like Sam Shepard so much?

This is the third play of his that I’ve read, and I didn’t much enjoy any of them. Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe his plays are genius, and I’m simply too much of a rube to appreciate them.

As for True West, the tale of two brothers, I started out liking it. Yes, it was yet another dysfunctional family drama, but the promise of an examination of the relationship between siblings, of how siblings can grow up in the same house and end up in drastically different places, fascinates me.

I actually think Sam Shepard is pretty good with ideas. It’s the execution where he falters.

Like the other Sam Shepard plays I’ve read, True West jumped the rails and went for melodramatic, over-the-top nuttiness that robbed the play of any and all resonance.

From an artistic standpoint, I can appreciate what Mr. Shepard wanted to achieve. From a theatrical standpoint, I’d rather not see this experiment on stage. Not recommended.
Profile Image for Meesh.
60 reviews53 followers
March 12, 2013
Raw, brutal, intense - no warm fuzzies here. I really want to see/experience this play in the flesh though- there are several scene that just itch for live performance... at the very least I want to see the line-up of toasters. And the final scenes are visceral in their intensity. I think I have to take a shower now.
May 4, 2020
...interesting. Kind of. I know you shouldn't just read plays, so maybe this would make more sense if I saw it. Kinda depressing, but that's just what you should expect from a lot of classics. This was my final read for my Honors American Lit class, and it wasn't too bad. But I didn't really like it.
Profile Image for David Brimer.
Author 3 books13 followers
September 10, 2013
I love it when playwrights toy with convention. Sam Shepard is certainly one of them. I first read "Fool For Love" several years ago and was impressed by his voice and style. "True West" is very similar in tone, though not in execution or story. It starts like a typical brothers who don't see eye-to-eye story and ends with that convention flipped on its head. Though I believe the outcome to be highly unbelievable, it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story. I see Shepard occupying the same southwestern gothic territory as Cormac McCarthy, and this story ranks right up there with McCarthy, or even faulkner.
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