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Equus

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  16,723 Ratings  ·  506 Reviews
Dr. Martin Dysart, a psychiatrist, is confronted with Alan Strang, a boy who has blinded six horses in a violent fit of passion. This very passion is as foreign to Dysart as the act itself. To the boy's parents it is a hideous mystery; Alan has always adored horses. To Dysart it is a psychological puzzle that leads both doctor and patient to a complex and disturbingly dram ...more
Paperback, 84 pages
Published December 31st 1973 by Samuel French Ltd (first published 1973)
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stephanie
i am a little sad that the play was recast with daniel radcliffe, as i feel that everyone now associates this brilliant, brilliant work with naked harry potter and a horse.

this is so much more than that. this is one of the greatest works of drama (and psychology) i think ever written. we read this my senior year of high school, in my ap lit course, with mr. hackling (one of my favorite teachers ever). and we read it in conjunction with our philosophy of religion course, so that we had four-time
...more
AnnaNeverLands
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is messed up. This is SERIOUSLY messed up... and I loved it for it.
Sookie
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, 2016
Shaffer starts the play by offering the readers and audiences alike, a character to dislike - even hate. As the play progresses, the psychologist takes the audience into the minds of the troubled young teen who blinded six horses. Very early on the psychologist makes a note of Alan's reciprocity during his sessions; the unabashed effort being covert or being blatantly verbally abusive to his doctor only showed the extent of devolution of his mind. Alan's mind warps God, horses, religion and its ...more
Ryan Chapman
Mar 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: nonfiction
I don't care if it took Harry Potter to disrobe for people to finally see this masterwork. This is without a doubt my favorite play from one of my favorite playwrights. Like most great works, it conflates several dichotomies without leaning too heavily on any of them. Adolescene v. adulthood? Check. Urban v. Rural? Check. Rationalism v. Romanticism? Check. A teenage boy blinding six horses in a fit of psychosexual mania? Check.

There's whispers the London production's coming stateside. If so, I
...more
Bookish Dervish
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given this play by a dear friend of mine. Once I set sail through its pages, I got addicted to it. Now it's 6:00 AM and I have been reading it all through the night. What I like most about it is that it is psychological. The plot is well built. I also like the part where Alan and Dysart mutually investigate the matter of each other's dreams to find out that it was the shrink's dream is more related to illnesses the dream being the doctor practicing the ritual of sacrificing hundreds of chi ...more
Adam Floridia
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
On re-reading 3/20/16: I've re-read this numerous times since my junior year of high school; however, the last time was probably about a decade ago. Now, in revising my ENG 102 class and realizing that I can assign any play I want, it seemed obvious to revisit my favorite. Did I just happen to read this at the right time in life? Would its gilded status now be tarnished by me being a different reader? NOPE! The book is amazing; it will definitely be assigned reading. My mind is already buzzing w ...more
Leigh
Trust me: it's not just that play about Harry Potter getting (a) naked and (b) it on with a horse. It's about the construction of God and meaning in the modern waste land; and perhaps even more compellingly, about the moral dilemma of a therapist who has to convince his patient to abandon all escape routes and return to the waste land. (In that sense, it reminds me a great deal of Pat Barker's Regeneration .) It's a play of ideas, basically, only thinly veiled by its outrageous subject matter. ...more
Elizabeth
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devastating. Compelling. A must read.
Baiocco
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Is it even possible to discuss Equus anymore without considering Harry Potter's wang? Were there conversations that existed about this strange, psychological, pre Law and Order play that didn't include a nude Daniel Radcliffe and horses? I never even saw the play but it was impossible to walk down a city block on the west side of Manhatten without seeing posters of that hilarious extra from the show "Extras" staring blankly at any passerby, arms outstretched christ-on-a-cross-like with his lower ...more
Ali
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Very minor spoilers). I love works that try to make you sympathize with the villain, rather than making them out to be barely human monsters, as so many books and movies tend to do. I can't help but think it's mostly laziness on the part of the creators. It's easier to create someone who, as the main character in Peter Shaffer's play, hurts animals in a fit of insanity and leave it at that, letting the audience mindlessly hate him, than it is to create a villain and really dig into his motives, ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Add Edition of Book 4 13 Mar 11, 2017 02:03PM  
Does Alan want to have sex with Jill? 5 46 Mar 20, 2012 12:36PM  
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Sir Peter Levin Shaffer was an English dramatist, author of numerous award-winning plays, several of which have been filmed.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sh...
More about Peter Shaffer...
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“Passion, you see, can be destroyed by a doctor. It cannot be created.” 34 likes
“The Normal is the good smile in a child's eyes:-alright. It is also the dead stare in a million adults. It both sustains and kills-like a god. It is the Ordinary made beautiful: it is also the Average made lethal. The Normal is the indispensable, murderous God of Health, and I am his priest. My tools are very delicate. My compassion is honest. I have honestly assisted children in this room. I have talked away terrors and relieved many agonies. But also-beyond question-I have cut from the parts of individuality repugnant to this god, in both his aspects. Parts sacred to rarer and more wonderful gods. And at what length...Sacrifices to Zeus took at the most, surely, sixty seconds each. Sacrifices to the Normal can take as long as sixty months.” 29 likes
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