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August: Osage County

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  15,933 ratings  ·  845 reviews
One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The thre ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Theatre Communications Group
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Angels in America by Tony KushnerAugust by Tracy LettsThe Pillowman by Martin McDonaghArcadia by Tom StoppardDoubt, a parable by John Patrick Shanley
Best Plays Since 1990
170 books — 205 voters
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,933 ratings  ·  845 reviews

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Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tracey Letts is the son of Billie Letts who wrote Where the Heart Is and other novels, all taking place in Oklahoma. Following in his mother's footsteps, Tracey Letts became a playwright, most notably of August: Osage County, which won both the Pulitzer Prize for drama and Tony Award in 2009. In Osage County, the dysfunctional Weston family has gathered to assist their mother Violet after their father Beverly's funeral. Premiering at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, Osage County is a gritty family ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I don’t know where this popped up (I highly doubt it was Goodreads’ recommendation feature since (a) it’s a script not a book and I’ve never had that happen and (b) it’s something I would actually want to read). It wasn’t via a friend either because only a few of them have read it and none posted a detailed review. That leaves either Instagram or the library . . . . .

Not that it matters much, but I do like to give credit where cred
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Tracy Letts sure knows how to write snappy dialogue! I’m so glad I decided to come read this even after being somewhat unimpressed with the movie version because I found this far superior in its original form.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
"It lives where everything lives: somewhere in the middle."

There is no doubt that “August: Osage County” is a great American play. Reading it one instantly gets the same feeling you get from the best O’Neil and Williams dramas. And like those plays, it is saturated with anger and bitterness and love, and all those complex emotions that make us human.
Tracy Letts has written the text in a very simple direct style that flows easily, and the structure of the piece fills out nicely. It opens with a p
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
A play by the american author Tracy Letts
reunion of a family at August, Osage County
a lot of emotional damages and secrets have been hidden for years
after days of confrontation between the family members
they left home with feelings of grief and hurt more than before
good family drama, and the details of the characters are well written
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up late last night so I could finish reading Tracy Letts’s exquisite play, August: Osage County. I was fortunate enough to see it performed in San Francisco last month. I was especially fortunate to see Estelle Parsons reprise her Broadway role as family matriarch Violet Weston. I just learned that the woman is eighty years old! I can’t believe the things she goes through on that stage night after night. She is truly wondrous, and I think I can say with more than a fair amount of certai ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, drama
Since I recently had a zoom family funeral and attended my wife’s (socially distanced) annual family reunion, I thought I would read this similar gathering of a family in Oklahoma, where Tracy Letts grew up.

“Hey. Please. This is not the Midwest. All right? Michigan is the Midwest, God knows why. This is the Plains: a state of mind, right, some spiritual affliction, like the Blues.”

It’s a family drama that has the feel of Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard, Edward Albee, bristling w
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amanda by: le bricoleur and other theatre nerds
Shelves: plays, 2008
Oh. My. God. This play deserves every hint of praise and recognition it's ever been given. A perfect blend of realistic household bullshit and and spectacularly weird fuckeduppery, the Weston family grabbed my heart and ripped it out through my tearducts.

How can you know when enough is enough? Or when it's not enough? How do you swim through oceanic waves of family crisis, when the breakers are nothing but violent reflections of your own personal doom? Goddamnit. This play is both human and ani
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“All women need makeup. Don’t let anybody tell you different. The only woman who was pretty enough to go without makeup was Elizabeth Taylor and she wore a ton.” Having seen the film adaptation and then read the play, how am I supposed to read this line without imagining the magnificent Meryl Streep in her jet black wig applying eyeliner in front of the mirror? You tell 'em, Violet! Don't get me started on catfish. How do I pick a favorite quote without quoting the whole damn play? One of my abs ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, plays, in-en
This is THE BEST play I've read in years. Twisted on ALL levels and digging deep into SO many aspects: family - in all its intricate and dysfunctional combinations, personal growth, addiction, the "great" generation, academia, you name it.
I would love to see this performed but I'll settle for the star-studded movie version for the time being.

Paquita Maria Sanchez
Way better than expected. I hate to see Oklahoma so neatly dispatched, but at least it was an Okie who did it. Accurately.
Bojan Gacic
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A missing, and soon to be found dead, husband and father. A fervent matriarch suffering from a terminal illness. A detached, dysfunctional family gathered to bury a man for whom none of them cultivated a particular understanding. The Westons are finally succumbed to the notion they have been running from, and dreaded most- facing each other.

It is a commonly accepted truth that family can indeed work both ways. Weather it helps you back to your feet, or breaks both your legs, a single fact remain
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hit the nail on the head with this one. Osage County has been dysfunctionally raw since the beginning. It is a place of treachery, murder, and hardship on the macro, and with this contemporary glimpse of the micro, this story is congruous with its past. The characters are alive. They breathe and weep and scorn through every scene. The plot was so simple that it had to be what it was. The plot was inevitable. Oklahoma was an ambivalent space of colliding cultures, not a melting pot but a caldron ...more
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
A tragedy triggers a perfect storm that will leave the Weston family relationships in ruins. Talk about drama!
I loved the author used humour to relive the hard blows that the family secrets delivered. I remember watching Maryl Streep (playing Violet) stunning performance in the movie version, and I loved reading the play just as much. 4.5 stars.
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It seems like it's been far too long since we've had a living-room drama play that is actually touching and disturbing and hysterically funny as well. I snorted with laughter and cringed with disgust while reading this. It was easy to imagine it staged, a real plus for script reading!

There are no heroes in this play. There are heroic moments by individuals, but really, no one comes away stronger or better off. A case could be argued for some, I suspect, and it could be staged or played that way,
This play messed up my brain... I have book hangover so we'll talk about it later. ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z2017-06, x-5-star
Rating: 5.0/5.0

I watched the movie 9 times already!! I loved loved loved loved it. I just wish this was a full book than only a play. Yes there are very subtle differences between this play and the movie but they are both perfection. Very dark yet very satisfying. Short yet very deep and with great emotional depth.

The characters are very defined, very unique and watching the movie makes the characters even with more depth. I heard that the play for this was very good too but I have not watched i
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, us, 21-ce
I saw this on Broadway so I'm going to count it as a read. Fantastic production with Estelle Parsons as the crazy mother. ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
We're all just people, some of us accidentally connected by genetics, a random selection of cells. Nothing more.

I don't believe David Simon is to blame but the one episode of The Wire where Bunk and McNulty solve a case by only using the word fuck may have set us upon a path. The artist as steward of shock. [since I first reviewed this I have watched a number of scenes on YouTube and it didn't really help. I am inclined to actually regard with a diminishing regard.]

Mr Letts has given us portrai
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book, family
This was a fast read because it is written in screenplay format. It does dyfunstional family well, drinking, drugs, cheating, lies and other secrets for this family in Oklahoma! I think its dark comedy at times (or to tell in the play format) but that's how my sense of humor took it.
I liked this story better than I thought, I read this as its part of a 2016challenge I am doing!

Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A dysfunctional family dynamic on full and earnest display. The writer (play write) effectively nails the psychology of you can't see the forest for the trees of certain situations, especially pertaining to love and family. ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, this is pretty much just a screwed-up family. I love how it's a little dark and disturbing (view spoiler) to super disturbing (view spoiler) to the cliche disturbing (view spoiler). I did like the end with Violet though, (view spoiler) ...more
Mike W
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t laughed this hard while reading in a long, long time.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, theatre
I saw the movie when it came out back in 2013 and absolutely loved it. I had no idea until very recently that it was based on a play, but once I found out I downloaded this production. The movie was a really faithful adaptation and I don't think there was anything different about the play at all. If you loved one you'll love the other. ...more
Danni The Girl
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reading
My brother gave this to me to read in July and I kept putting it off until the December. I nearly didn't read it, but I am so glad I did!

I haven't read a play in a while and this was just brilliant. All the characters have their own little quirks and dramas going on. It was interesting to see how they all interacted with each other and how they dealt with the drama at hand. A real variety of characters in this. It doesn't stop either. It is a short play but it is busy and keeps you interested.
Mary Haney
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviews
After a month of reading She gave him a piercing look...The wind moved through the trees like a restless lion...He gripped the mug and hot coffee sloshed over the table... and long well-written examinations of inner thought and motive, I came to August: Osage County by Tracy Letts with anticipation.


Clean, spare, pointed and well-written.

Dialogue goes straight to this old director's heart. Unfortunately, I didn't like any but three of the characters in this bitter, recriminatory family
Mary Slowik
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Black sheep
Shelves: borrowed, drama
December of Drama 2015, day eight

From Shakespeare to something a little more Greek in tenor. This is obviously harsh, dysfunctional family territory, stuff that immediately brings Eugene O'Neill to mind. It has that self-referential post-modern flavor, with the address-the-audience prologue where Beverly, the patriarch of the Weston family, more or less sets up everything that follows. There are so many brilliant, poignant lines, coming in the midst of (mostly) realistic situations and delivered
Wes Hazard
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Families are…complicated. We all know that much. Basically, if Thanksgiving dinners broke out into car chases on an even semi-routine basis, none of us would ever feel compelled to go the movies again because you just can't beat the laughs, tears, sighs and shocks that accompany a gathering of liquored up people that you only even know as a result of genetic happenstance. Sometimes it's awesome, sometimes it's torture, but no matter what happens you end up building some ineradicable (if not heal ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everything you want in a play. Zingers. Secrets revealed. Moments of action and danger. Strong female characters ripping each other, and their men, new ones.

Don't see the movie. (The movie is never as good as seeing a live play).

Don't even read this play, unless you have a mind to perform in it, or direct it..

Just wait for a chance to see it performed in your area.

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Books2Movies Club: August: Osage County 4 27 Nov 28, 2017 08:07PM  
Theatre Books and...: *Spoilers* What do you think about August: Osage County? 14 38 Jan 02, 2017 08:33AM  
2017 Reading Chal...: August: Osage County 3 19 Dec 19, 2015 05:50PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts 1 16 Aug 24, 2015 06:55AM  
HoBOOKen: August: Osage County Trailer 2 7 Jun 27, 2013 02:11PM  

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Tracy Letts is an American playwright and actor who received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County.

Letts was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to best-selling author Billie Letts, of Where The Heart Is and The Honk And Holler Opening Soon fame, and the late college professor and actor Dennis Letts. His brother Shawn is a jazz musician and composer. He also has a brother Dana. L

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