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Fences (The Century Cycle #6)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  12,999 Ratings  ·  887 Reviews
Soon to be a Major Motion Picture directed by Denzel Washington, and starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play

From August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous crit
Paperback, 101 pages
Published June 1st 1986 by Plume
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VP Troy was a lost confused soul. No role models in his life IE. his father. He struggled during the time when discrimination was around. Though the…moreTroy was a lost confused soul. No role models in his life IE. his father. He struggled during the time when discrimination was around. Though the things were changing he was not flexible or understanding of to move forward. I felt for Rose as she stood next to him shoulder to shoulder in raising their son and managing household, he simply took her for granted. Was very negative to his boys. @52 went out and had an affair where the woman got prego. Who does this to a dedicated loving woman who stood by him thru thick and thin. He was not a supporting father to both his sons. He never apologized nor felt remorse for anything he had done. Though I understand his pain and where he was coming from his family did not deserve it. I don't blame cory for not wanting to go to his funeral. Daughter was saved by Rose. at the end I felt even he rubbed off on Rose and she became just like him. (less)
Reed I think my Mom and Nana want to go see it I'll ask them.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fences, a new movie starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, is a Pulitzer Prize winning drama by August Wilson. Part of Wilson's Century cycle of plays each depicting one decade of African American life during the 20th century, Fences takes us back to the 1950s when African Americans were first beginning to make inroads into white society.

Troy Maxson has been married to Rose for eighteen years. A family man, he has worked as a garbage collector alongside his closest friend Bono during this
Lola  Reviewer

What a paradoxal character Troy is.

You could analyse him for hours!
Bill  Kerwin
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing

Whenever I think of Troy, I think of James Earl Jones, the man who created the part. Sure, I saw Denzel Washington in the movie, and Denzel is pretty good in it too, but Troy should be played by a man tall enough and broad enough for tragedy: a massive man, with a massive voice, like ol’ Daddy Darth Vader his own self.

August Wilson’s Fences--the greatest play written by an African-American and one of the finest plays written by anybody anywhere—is the story of middle-aged Troy Maxson, once a leg
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this in college for my "The Drama" course. I'm looking forward to watching the film.
Description: "In his work, Mr. Wilson depicted the struggles of black Americans with uncommon lyrical richness, theatrical density and emotional heft, in plays that give vivid voices to people on the frayed margins of life." The New York Times

From August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

1987 Pulitzer prize winner for drama
"Some people build fences to keep people out and other people build fences to keep people in"

Fences is a very interesting period drama set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the year is 1957. The story is all about Troy, a 53 years old African-American and his family. We get to experience Troy's relationship with various members of the play and each of them is unique.

We are exposed to many themes here: Racism, family values, relationships, and death
I highly recommend this play! I saw it performed live in the West End and was blown away. The play itself has so many raw pieces of the African-American culture woven into it that you can't help, but feel as if Wilson is talking to you as he writes the play. It sort of feels like he looked into a piece of your soul and wrote what was hidden deep inside of it. Even if you're not of African or African-American descent, you'll find something in this play to love. The play is a quick read and worth ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fences is Phenomenal

What a wonderful play. I wish I had seen the original starring James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson and Mary Alice as Rose. At the beginning of the book it lists the original players and mentally they fit perfectly. I pictured them the whole time. Even though I have never seen this live there is so much life in August Wilson's words that just reading it you can almost see the play.
I feel the need to apologize to the memory of August Wilson for living in his birth city and the l
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
ميشه نظر نداد؟! ميشه نظر نداشت؟! بايد فكر كنم!
پايان بندي، روابط خانوادگي، كاراكتر"رز" و تا حد زيادي "تروي" با مرگ فروشنده مو نميزد، چرا؟!
♥ Sandi ❣
No surprise - great play - an August Wilson play.
An average black man in the 1950's - trying his best to make his way in an average American city. Working hard, looking for more, and knowing that his chances are slim to none. The expectations of his wife and children, his expectation of himself and running from both. Responsibilities, vulnerabilities, infidelities and expectations are all witnessed in this short play.
This will be a movie in 2017. Reenacted by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Fences, the sixth in the ten play cycle by August Wilson, takes place in 1957, two years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, ten years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line that by a so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” kept African-American players out of the major leagues (but two years before the Red Sox became the last team to include a black player on their team), six years before the March on Washington, seven and eight years before the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In ...more
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-teach, drama
A great American drama. The writing is masterful, obviously, but what struck me most on this first reading is the complexity of responses that Wilson evokes from the reader/audience. I am a middle aged Caucasian AP Lit teacher, so while some might expect my reactions to center on the African American experience, what struck me first was the recognizable conflicts between father and son, husband and wife, man and woman. I felt a kinship to Troy, Cory and Rose, even while I watched the fruits (con ...more
This was the ninth and last of the Pittsburgh-related books I was able to get to out of the total of 10 before last night's Battle of the Books tournament.

Much like most of my reading experiences, this is probably something I read in high school for class and then remembered nothing about it. Or maybe, now that I live in Pittsburgh, it is so highly referenced (for good reason) that it became one of those plays that I just figured I read, even though maybe I didn't actually.

This is a quick read,
Maya B
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this play. August wilson brings to light how difficult it was for african-americans to survive during segregated times. It was written as a drama with a dash of comedy. Wilson also gave an outstanding visual of family dynamics. I'm glad I read it and I cant wait for the movie to come out December 25th
Sidik Fofana
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
SIX WORD REVIEW: For Negro leaguers banned from majors.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved it!!! Wish I could see the play, can't wait to see the movie!
Phillip III
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
1 Minute Video Book Review:

"Can't visit the sins of the father upon the child."

A few summers back, August Wilson's play, FENCES, was performed at a local theater. I missed every performance. That was upsetting. I love seeing plays. Recently, I saw that FENCES was being made into a major motion picture with Denzel Washington. With renewed interest, I ordered the play, and read it in one sitting.

FENCES is set in the 1950s. The Acts mostly take place on Fridays. Payday.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Suddenly, this play about an African American garbageman struggling to accept middle age and mortality is everywhere. It is printed in nearly all of the literature anthologies I have been thumbing through for my upcoming class on "Literary Diversity," and it has been turned into a movie starring the apparently Oscar-worthy team of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. I figured it was time I stopped planning to read it and, you know, actually read it.

Like Death of a Salesman and so many other theat
Chin Hwa
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read another play written by August Wilson I think it is my most favorite. I have now concluded, for me, it is impossible to choose a favorite one from his plays. Each play is significantly satisfying in its own way. This play happens in the late Fifties. Troy Maxson is married to Rose Maxson. They have two sons, Lyons and Corey. Troy's brother also stays at the house. His name is Gabriel. Family and friends call Gabriel Gabe.

Troy seems to be the radius of the other characters. He i
Kristy Miller
Fences is about the Maxson family. Troy works as a garbage man in Philadelphia, and is questioning why only white men get to be drivers. His teenage son, Corey, is trying to convince his dad to let him play football, and get recruited by a college. His older son, Lyons, is drifting between music gigs. His brother, who sustained a head injury and mental damage in WWII, has moved out, taking his monthly payment from the government with him. Rose, Troy's wife, is the glue that holds the family toge ...more
Nicole Homich
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fences is a heart-rending picture of an African American family doing the best that they can in the North that rejected them after their migration from the South. Troy is a hard man, but he is someone that you have to feel for because of all the obstacles that have stood in his way from birth.


Post-slavery, Troy's sharecropper father was a terror to his wives and children, abusing the only power he had, to the point where Troy walked the 200 miles then hitched a ride to "freedom" in
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
I read this book in 8th grade, but decided to read it again because I forgot alot of stuff in it. But I do remember really enhoying this book because the book centers itself around such themes that made up a black america in the 1950's and 60's. The main character Troy Maxson is a middle aged man who has settled down with his wife and two sons, taking care of his care-free brother and his unsettling job as a garbage collector. His dream was once to be able to become a baseball player for the MLB ...more
Ken Moten
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, realism-stuff
I will definitely write a more proper review when i get the chance, but I had to comment. I saw this play on Christmas Day after having a copy of it on my shelf for years and DAMN do I feel like a fool for not reading it sooner. The cadence and heart of this play is incredible the characters in their attempt to break out of the cages that society (and they themselves) are trapped is amazing and the the genius of August Wilson is something I wish I had been exposed to so much earlier. I will elab ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed it; I thought I wasn't going to but it was insightful
It was way too short. I didn't feel any attachment to really any of the characters either. Things happened way too fast and randomly, as well.
Courtney H.
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: century-cycle
Fences breaks hard from the dark and darkly comedic Ma Rainey. Where Ma Rainey and Jitney were claustrophic, Fences broke out in its physical location and its time. It takes place over months and bleeds into the 1960s for its final scene. Like his prior plays, Wilson focuses on a collective of individuals who are tightly knit but fractured. But here, he zeros in on his protagonist. His characters are multidimensional (I really liked Rose), but there is no mistake: this is Troy Maxson's play. Mir ...more
Геллее Салахов Авбакар
This Piece of American Theater was the best example we had during our studies in the subject of American Theater during the University years. I own a copy of it. and I am willing to have it in Kindle Version too.

My Plot:
The First beginning of the Theater was the depiction of the scene beside the critics of the city as an entity that gave the whites love and Black people are bound with hate. After that came the beginning of the story occurs in a cottage outside a big city. the cottage
Roxana Truţa
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THIS. This right here is a masterpiece. This is everything I want from a story! Read it, watch it, but do yourself a favour and don't put it off. It's nothing but raw emotion, grittiness and unconcealed life. In the words of Denzel Washington, who has charmed me for eternity by giving life to the intricate soul that is Troy Maxson, this story didn't get nominated for an Oscar because of "Oscars so white". This isn't the pretty empty shell that I thought other movies were. There is zero political ...more
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
I don't have the superlatives to explain how I fell about this play. From the opening scene to the final blackout, it was pure perfection. I felt my heart move with each character as though I were standing on the street watching the scenes unfold. I can understand why it won a Pulitzer. In my opinion, it should've won two Pulitzers for being that great. I'm sad that I read it all in one day. I'm thrilled that I read it. Just a stunning piece and I would love to see it performed. I meant to go se ...more
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Biddle's Book Club: September 2017 - Fences 1 1 Sep 03, 2017 03:52PM  
fences book 2 3 Feb 27, 2017 05:26PM  
The Perks Of Bein...: fences book 1 13 Jan 27, 2017 01:31PM  
African-American ...: Fences by August Wilson (movie) 10 12 Sep 29, 2016 08:33AM  
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August Wilson was an American playwright. His literary legacy is the ten play series, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each is set in a different decade, depicting the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the twentieth century.

Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the fourth
More about August Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

The Century Cycle (10 books)
  • Gem of the Ocean
  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
  • The Piano Lesson
  • Seven Guitars
  • Two Trains Running
  • Jitney
  • King Hedley II
  • Radio Golf

Share This Book

“When the sins of our fathers visit us
We do not have to play host.
We can banish them with forgiveness
As God, in his His Largeness and Laws.”
“Don't you think I ever wanted other things? Don't you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me. Don't you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make me laugh so I could feel good? You not the only one who's got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams...and I buried them inside you. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom. And it didn't take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn't never gonna bloom.” 30 likes
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