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Almost an Evening

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Three satiric plays by Oscar-winning screenwriter Ethan Coen

Raising Arizona, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading–the Coen brothers’ films are some of the most critically acclaimed and iconic of our time. Now, one half of the duo, Ethan Coen, adds playwriting to his eclectic bio. In these three short plays that ran to sold-out audiences Off-Broadway in 2008, th
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Paperback, 80 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Broadway Books
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  188 ratings  ·  21 reviews


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Carla
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't know Ethan Coen had written a book. This is three plays however, that sold out on Broadway in 2008. Quirky, satirical, engaging. Real quick read. ...more
Jen
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2010, fiction, 2-star
This book was a collection of three plays, written by Ethan Cohen of movie fame. It was pretty well done. Both Jake and I enjoyed the first play more than the other two but they were all good. It'd been awhile since we'd read a play together and it made me want to do so more.

The three offerings are "Waiting", "Four Benches" and "Debate". The first one depicted a guy who'd been sent to hell but never told. What was hell? A waiting room...it was funny and well done.

"Four Benches", I don't really r
...more
Greg Talbot
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
“It's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.”
― Joel Coen, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ethan Coen, making his broadway debut, with several absurd sketches that question the benevolence and existence of an Almighty power. Throughout his career with writer/director with brother Joel Coen, the duo have made ridiculously brilliant films that ponder ethical questions in an amoral universe. With “No Country For Old Men”, the the Western myth of justice from mighty-minded saviors
...more
Steven
Jan 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: funny, plays, religiony
One of the descriptions used 'allegorical' to describe these pieces, so I instantly pictured the allegorical prologue to A Serious Man. None of the three pieces are quite as snappy, polished, or charming as that, but they're fun. I was quite disappointed by the first sketch, but the next two were better.

1) Waiting: This instantly reminded me of the Kafka allegory from the Trial, of the guy waiting outside the door of the law. It also has a Python/ Douglas Adams/ Twilight Zone feel to it. It was
...more
Adam
Jun 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Three short and funny--but not in any way significant--plays. The first two are worth reading, especially considering their length; the third is a little less so. “Waiting” is an existential pastiche with a very funny twist ending. “Four Benches” is a bit more complex and uses the espionage/thriller genre as a tool for making some bleak but humorous comments on “the human condition.” “Debate” is the most complex of the plays, and the most unsatisfying. It is irreverent, full of crass language, a ...more
Bill
Apr 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
A quick and very rewarding read. At only 80 pages, this one is no problem to finish in one sitting. As I noted in my review of Coen's short story collection, Gates of Eden, he is brilliant at writing dialog, so these short plays are a joy to read. The first play, Waiting focuses on a man in a waiting room with no door. The receptionist who is the only other person in the room is little help to him in explaining his plight. The second play chronicles the life-changing results of the meeting of a ...more
esterb
Nov 22, 2015 added it
Shelves: read-2010
I read on the Inter­net that the staged plays only take around 90 min­utes. That is prob­a­bly the same amount of time as it took me to read all three of them. I have to say though, that although the com­plete three plays are only 78 pages I enjoyed every one of them. Coen deliv­ers three fan­tas­tic lit­tle, but com­plete, sto­ries. With his wit, which we have seen in the many films he made together with his brother, he drags us into worlds only a brain like his can come up with and put on pape ...more
Heyhansen
May 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-fiction
3 short plays made for a quick enjoyable read. The first, Waiting, is like a super trimmed down modernized version of No Exit by Sartre, with a dash of that Cohen humor. Good stuff. The 3rd, Debate, is a fun play within a play with some fun diatribes on both God archetypes and actors & theatergoers.

tomlinton
Apr 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
Bought it because it was a Coen brother
and I've really liked
several of their films
But this is a nope
I'd be very surprised
if any of it becomes film
...more
Sean L
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
It probably only took Ethan Coen "almost an evening" to write this short trio of one-act plays, but it's a fun read nevertheless and translates well to the page. ...more
Marta
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: theatre
"Waiting" and "Debate" are remarkably funny. I was positively impressed by Ethan Coen's theatrical writing. Recommended. ...more
Andrew
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
"Waiting" **
"Four Benches" **
"Debate" ***
...more
Erik
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
Mildly amusing at best. The first is the funniest, but all of these just feel like quick sketches stretched a little too far. Nowhere near the heights of the Coen movies.
Farazzz
Sep 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Waiting: 5 stars
Four Benches: 2 stars
Debate: 5 Stars
Overall:4 Stars
Sarah
Aug 06, 2010 rated it liked it
I thought the stories would be similar to the Coen brothers movies, and they were in a way, but they were also more introspective than I expected.
Justin
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
The first one may have been the best, and these had a loosely Coen feel to them. But nowhere near as impressive as the quotes on the dust jacket wanted to make you think.
Scott Berzon
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Enjoyed Waiting and Debate more than Four Benches
Jape Man
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
First and thus far only thing I've read on my nook. Breezy and fun. ...more
Steven Pattison
Jun 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Three extremely funny - one act plays by Ethan Coen (Coen brothers) - way better theater drama then the Les Mis or those stupid singing cats.
Theo Billups
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Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
"THE GREETER-GUY IS KICKING GOD IN THE ASS!" ...more
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Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, known together professionally as the Coen brothers, are four-time Academy Award winning American filmmakers. For more than twenty years, the pair have written and directed numerous successful films, ranging from screwball comedies (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy) to film noir (Miller's Crossing, Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn't There, No ...more

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