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Look Back in Anger

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  7,771 ratings  ·  294 reviews
The text of the play, first performed in London in 1956, depicts the despair of post-war youth.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 18th 1982 by Penguin Books (first published 1957)
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Sohag He does indeed. In fact, I would say that the conflicts arise not because he's cold, but rather because he is way too passionate.

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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,771 ratings  ·  294 reviews


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Samadrita
Jimmy, I recommend a cold shower and enrolling yourself in Feminism 101.
Paul Bryant
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I think what happened was that after the huge horror of World War Two and the major effort to remake society in Britain (welfare state, National Health Service) there was a kind of national exhaustion, a slumping into armchairs, and those too young to have fought those battles took the exhaustion for complacency and in the early 50s got really fed up about it, and hence the Angry Young Men – Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger (first produced in May 1956) was more or less the first of those. He a ...more
Muhammad
Nov 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
There are certain books in my life I regret reading and if I'm to list them, this play, 'Look Back In Anger', should find its place in the top 5. God! What a squalid exhibition of cheap melodrama! The play means to portray the conflicts between a husband from a working class origin and his upper middle class wife; the never failing age long formulated theme. As it requires, the protagonist is a tough and very 'intelligent' man, proud of experiencing all the harshness of life while the wife is co ...more
Barry Pierce
Look Back in Anger is the play that literally changed everything in British theatre. I'm currently doing a module in uni on British theatre of the 1960s and my lecturer keeps referring to Look Back in Anger. Not five minutes will go by before she mentions Look Back in Anger and just how important it was. So I thought to myself, "hmmm, I probably should read Look Back in Anger.

So, we have Jimmy, a loud, rude, obnoxious, violent, angry young man. He's the main guy. The play's all about how awful h
...more
Cbj
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The play Look Back in Anger was interesting for a number of reasons. The main reason being that it echoed the feelings of alienation and anomie felt by the ordinary man in post-imperialistic Britain. For me, the play was representative of a time when British control and power over the rest of the world was on the wane. With their best already behind them, the British were trying to find a new purpose.

The character Colonel Redfern represents this longing for the past. Colonel Redfern was a comma
...more
Julia
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can understand why when this play came out in 1956, it was a very controversial subject. There were many people who thought the play was brilliant and powerful while others thought of it as disgusting and detestable. Although Osborne’s writing is extremely blunt and very harsh at times (mostly with Jimmy Porter), the play brings up important political and social issues that were prominent at this time in England (the separation of classes, sexism, etc.).

Jimmy is an “angry young man” and he des
...more
Cheri
Jul 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama-british
I know that this is an important play in British theater history, and seen within the context of the times, I'm sure it must have seemed pretty radical when it first came out. Overall I've enjoyed reading it, but have enjoyed it much less in performance.

The play suffers greatly from being so completely of it's time. When it's staged now, I feel it is more of a history lesson than an active meaningful experience. Reading it, it feels right in it's own age and context. Live, it lacks the feeling
...more
Diana Long
Mar 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I would rather scoop dog poop or watch paint dry than to sit in a theater and watch this play. I do realize this play is to reflect the post war attitude of the younger generation however, total lack of respect for older people especially parents of your wife and no respect for woman does not bode well with me.
Shalini Sinha
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
Another literary work that I happened to read in my "Masculinity in Literature & Popular Cultures" coursework.

The background is the post WWII British society in the disposition of "Edwardian Twilight" which represents that the sun of British Imperialism has set. And the main protagonist Jimmy Porter represents the plight of the young generation of Englishmen in post-imperial world who went to college, got educated but still ended up jobless, angry and distasteful towards upper middle class
...more
alex
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics, plays, class, 2017
I read it for my English Literature class. I didn't like it that much.
Kristy
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
Dec 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've decided to start reading plays. Why?
a) they are generally short. I like short
b) they get to the point. I love getting to the point
c) no awful descriptions or indulgent purple prose. I do quite like that kind of thing, but it can so kill a book, so why bother.

Gawd, i'm becoming such a pragmatist, it's awful.
ANYWAY, am enjoying this muchly in a stomach churning way. Jimmy has to be one of the most loathesome, confused and anger inducing leads of all time. My jaw literally clenches when I thin
...more
Carla Peñarrubia belmonte
Mar 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was so awful and sexist I wanted to cry. There is no plot or purpose, just a violent man ranting and whining like a child, another man whose personality is as lively as a corpse (he calls himself as common as dirt, unironically) and a woman who spends her life ironing and being abused by an asshole of epic proportions.

This was an assigned reading for uni and I am so glad we are only spending three weeks on it because it is the worst book ever. I curse to hell the dunderhead who made it
...more
Laura
From BBC radio 4 - Drama:
To celebrate sixty years since John Osborne wrote his classic play, Richard Wilson directs a new radio dramatisation with David Tennant as Jimmy Porter. The play that launched the Angry Young Man movement has lost none of its bite and still disturbs and questions in equal measure.

Directed by Richard Wilson
Produced by Clive Brill
A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b078mc9p
The Literary Chick
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Overrated, I'm all for anti-heroes but there is simply nothing interesting about this bitter misanthrope with no compelling reason for his cruelty. Nor is there anything to explain why his wife and her 'best' friend love him so. Passive, one dimensional females who serve as a sounding board for this misogynist - actually why limit the guy, he hates everybody - if you're still interested, by all means help yourself to this one.
Christian Nielsen
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definately one of the best plays i have read in a long time. Jimmy's hatred, inspired by the undeniable class division of 50s England, creates a uniquely relatable character. Despite his grotesquely critical hatred for all that surrounds him, you cant help but feel pity for the cynic, "born out of his time".
Sophie Guillas
Jan 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Esmay
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars.

I didn't hate it, let me start by saying that. However, I just don't think these normal life normal people kind of plays are for me, if I like to read plays in general, since I haven't found one I absolutely love and I doubt I ever will.
Nicky
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
The 3 star rating is mostly my fault, both because I didn't realize this book was actually a play and because I missed quite a lot of historical context. Oh and Jimmy, you're a dick.
Momina Masood
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, brit-lit
Totally love this play! Tennant as Porter would have been brutal!
David
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ladies and Gentlemen...John Osborne has LEFT the theatre.

Look Back in Anger was John Osborne's first successful play. Off the back of this he wrote The Entertainer; specially requested from him by Olivier, no less. Osborne's future look assured as a playwright whose stock could only rise. But when he died, in 1994, Look Back in Anger ((written at 26, in 1956) and The Entertainer (at 27, in 1957) remained Osborne's only works that are remembered.

Whether they've endured as well is moot. The last
...more
Atriya Majumdar
This was a book that I had to read for my course. I do not know whether I would have considered this book without the academic setting (John Osborne is not really a name I have heard outside university setting) but now I can consider myself lucky. Living in a postcolonial world, I’ve a deep-seated attraction towards post-colonial novels. This did not fall within that genre. Or so I thought. Jimmy Porter is the Angry Young Man, representing the New Age of British Drama that was to sweep through E ...more
Spencer
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: play
Just as WWI gave Great Britain "The Lost Generation", WWII gave it "The Angry Young Men". This play is significant in that it was the first British play to explore that phenomenon. The angry Young Men were the working class men that were confronted by a country that had lost its empire and standing in the world, and the upper classes were seemingly unaware of it. This is born out in the character of Colonel Redfern. The continued presence of a monarchy also insulted the sensibilities of the wor ...more
Sohaib
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads, drama
“He’s not only got guts, but sensitive as well. That’s about the rarest combination I could think of.”

When a man balances his mind, his ego, with his heart and guts—this rare human being emerges, in touch with his intuition and instinct. Jimmy, the play's center of attention and the one aware of this rare “combination”, is nothing of the sort. He is arrogant, naggy and superbly obnoxious. He constantly harasses his lovely wife, Alison, and only true friend, Cliff, for no apparent reason. His ass
...more
Czarny Pies
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in English history.
Recommended to Czarny by: Tony Judt
Shelves: english-lit
I saw this work on stage in 1983 off-Broadway with Malcom McDowell in the lead. It struck me as being terribly dated. I forget about this evening in the theatre until I started reading Tony Judt's "Postwar: A history of Europe since 1945". In Judt's view the work has great importance in that it expresses the Zeitgeist of England in the 1950s better than any other work of literature. In fact this view also held sway in the 1980s which is what had prompted me to attend the performance.

This work is
...more
blake
I'm on Os. I had this and "Long Day's Journey Into Night" by O'Neill, which I opted not to read because "it's a play". Wotta dunce.

The funny thing about this play is that, if you take it out of context (and how can I not?) it's, like, 90 minutes of people being awful to each other for no clear reason. I think it's about class warfare. Maybe it's a big metaphor and I missed it,'cause otherwise it's just about chicks digging jerks.

I don't get why people would subject themselves to this in performa
...more
tanisha
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
this star rating is tough and reductive tbh, because i hated every single character in this book and i hated the way osborne tries to position jimmy as a rebel of his time BUT i loved the fast-paced witty - sometimes truly shocking - writing, the raw-ness of the book - every awful detail laid bare, and i loved the discussion my lit class this semester got to have about jimmy. some opinions:
jimmy's misogyny is so violent and terrifying, and you can definitely take a freudian reading of this book
...more
Nicole Schrag
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: field-exam, london
This play has incredible energy. I'm not usually drawn into plays but was totally into *Look Back in Anger* from the first scene. This might be partly because of the wonderful prose-y stage directions that do a lot with the characters, but I think it's more about the dialogue. Osborne manages to make most of these characters both extensively, ironically self-reflective and mostly not tedious, which I find really impressive. Every scene brims with (surprise) anger, depression, and the crisis of m ...more
Gizem
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
I don't know what to feel about this play and decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. 2 star tops. I was glad it only consumed 86 pages, otherwise it would have triggered my inner aggresion/jimmy to pop out. Jimmy is a typical arrogant, conceited, selfish sob and I really couldn't believe how Alison looked pass his insults. Guess women in overall had no oher choice to do so in the '50. Gah!!! So frustrating, I don't know what to feel. At least this play set my brain to thinking.
Parth
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I had read Look Back In Anger after one of my professor told us that it expresses one's disillusionment with the present life, especially of the working class. For me, this play didn't had half much as impact as American classics like Glass Menagerie and The Death of a Salesman. But, despite it is a complex portrayal of a relationship and of the moral choices we ought to make in life. Maybe, reading more of the critical stuff about this one would help me analyze it better.
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John James Osborne was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and critic of The Establishment. The stunning success of his 1956 play Look Back in Anger transformed English theatre. In a productive life of more than 40 years, Osborne explored many themes and genres, writing for stage, film and TV. His personal life was extravagant and iconoclastic. He was notorious for the ornate violence of hi ...more
“Why don't we have a little game? Let's pretend that we're human beings, and that we're actually alive.” 415 likes
“You're hurt because everything is changed. Jimmy is hurt because everything is the same. And neither of you can face it. Something's gone wrong somewhere, hasn't it?” 25 likes
More quotes…