Danya's Reviews > The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee
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it was amazing
bookshelves: plays, dark

Oh my God. I'm still in a state of shock. Oh my God. I read the whole play in approximately an hour sitting on the couch in a trance. While this play was absolutely extraordinary, and a real masterpiece, it was probably one of the most disturbing things I've ever read. Definitely rated NC 17. Highly recommended, because it was insanely well done and the incredibly dark, difficult subject matter was handled with grace, empathy, and sophistication, but it is not light reading. It revolves around a man who is in love with (and having sex with) a goat, while being equally in love with his human wife. There is (obviously) bestiality, and even some less obvious notes of sexual attraction between a man and his son. There is no clear right or wrong in this story about love and the many forms it can take, and the moral ambiguity of it all is what makes it so fascinating and such a wonderful work of art. It's a very dark story, and does not have a happy ending, but it isn't over the top or melodramatic, as stories like this are likely to be. There are notes of humor throughout the whole thing, and I loved how even in the middle of violent, emotional fights Martin and Stevie take the time to comment on metaphors and congratulate each other on witty comments. Although it might be easy to make a play like this more about what happens than an actual, realistic story about people, Albee manages to give Martin and Stevie distinct characters, and the fact that they are so realistically human is part of what makes the whole thing so upsetting and so fantastic. I will say that I might not have read this if I had known quite how disturbing it would be, but I don't regret having read it now. It's highly, highly recommended, as long as you know what you're getting in to.
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Reading Progress

February 18, 2012 – Started Reading
February 18, 2012 – Shelved
February 18, 2012 – Finished Reading
September 1, 2012 – Shelved as: plays
September 1, 2012 – Shelved as: dark

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