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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire


A Streetcar Named Desire

ratings:
4.5/5 (112 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jan 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780061729836
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Blanche DuBois arrives at her sister Stella's New Orleans apartment seeking refuge from a troubled past—but her ethereal spirit irks Stella's husband, the loutish Stanley Kowalski. Crudely, relentlessly, he unmasks the lies and delusions that sustain Blanche, until her frail hold on reality is shockingly severed.

This atmospheric recording of Tennessee Williams's powerful classic stars Rosemary Harris and James Farentino as Blanche and Stanley—roles they performed to acclaim in a smash revival at New York's Lincoln Center.

Publisher:
Released:
Jan 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780061729836
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolific. His classic works include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, Camino Real, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, Orpheus Descending, and The Rose Tattoo.



Reviews

What people think about A Streetcar Named Desire

4.4
112 ratings / 50 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    A formerly-rich Southern Belle spends a few weeks with her sister and her working-class husband. No-one can know she’s really poor and desperate, but her brother-in-law feels punched in the working class by her very presence and sets out to diminish her. Tensions simmer and are expressed through spite, violence and power games. I liked this one a lot better than Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which I read earlier this month. At least the characters in this one seem human, can be empathized with, show some characterization. And not just a little: they’re fully fleshed out and do not really feel like made-up people in made-up circumstances. I enjoyed not enjoying spending time with them. Very well done!
  • (5/5)
    There's a reason why this is a classic. It blew me away. WOW!!There's a reason why this is a classic. It blew me away. WOW!!In the forward to the 2004 edition of A Streetcar Named Desire, Arthur Miller wrote that he vividly remembered the first time he saw the play on stage, before it opened to the public on Broadway in December 1947. How could one forget when the original production featured all the players we have come to so strongly identify with the movie roles of popular culture (except that Jessica Tandy , rather than Vivien Leigh, played Blanch DuBois)?And yet, it wasn’t the players or their acting skills that Miller commented on, but the writing itself. “On first hearing Streetcar . . . the impression was . . . of language flowing from the soul . . . but remarkably, each character’s speech seemed at the same time uncannily his own.” Miller adds that, “What Streetcar’s first production did was to plant the flag of beauty on the shores of commercial theatre.”If you know A Streetcar Named Desire only from snatched clips or even just your friends’ impersonation of Brando’s “STELLL- AHHHHH!”, as I had, then you’ve missed the quality of this writing. But even if you can’t attend a live production of Streetcar, you can still access the beauty of this play in the written word – a slim 179-page volume that reads quickly and easily and, thanks to many school curricula, continues to be in print.But while the reading is quick and easy, the story that unfolds is anything but. Williams’ classic play begins with Blanche DuBois’s arrival in New Orleans to stay with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Blanche puts on airs of gentility and seems shocked and shaken by Stanley’s frequently aggressive behavior. But Blanche has a secret past that is catching up with her, and the knowledge of it in the hands of her brother-in-law wrecks her last chance at happiness. Not satisfied with that, Stanley also physically assaults Blanche, driving her over the edge of sanity.Look at the original cast list. Find photos of Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Jessica Tandy and Karl Malden in the 1940s. Then read the play and enjoy the language. You owe it to yourself.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't know much about this play before I started reading it. I had a vague notion of the character of Blanche DuBois and I knew that someone would yell "Stella!" at some point, but that's about it. I wasn't prepared for how dark the play was going to be. It deals with some pretty heavy issues. I agree with Kim that the stage directions were very well written and one of the best parts of the play. I would never have thought that stage directions would be so poetic, as I mainly think of them as bland physical descriptions. Williams does an excellent job describing the mood that should be created by the scenery.
  • (3/5)
    Read this one for ENC1102 with good ol' Professor Macia at MDC. I haven't read many plays aside from A Raisin in the Sun back in High school (i.e., in 3-4 years), but I thought this one was pretty great. This is mostly as a result of having fallen in love with the two main characters that are Stanley and Blanche - especially Blanche, who I believe depicts the idea of narcissism in a very interesting way with her magical thinking and the like. I did feel a bit bummed about some of the other characters, such as Stella, whom I believe were meant to represent the more dependent side of the co-dependent relationship when it comes to narcissistic and co-dependent relationships, and as a result were shown to be more characteristically naive and innocent, but this had the unfortunate effect of making them rather uninteresting at times. I do find the ultimate idea behind the book (or at least if my interpretation of it) of man and woman relationships being at their core narcissistic and co-dependent to be absolutely bonkers, but it's a fascinating idea to consider either way! I also loved the use of music to add to the different scenes and the way Tennessee Williams describes New Orleans - you can tell he really did love the place and the whole idea behind it.
  • (4/5)
    It deals with difficult issues in a powerful and accessible way, explaining why this work has become a true American classic.
  • (3/5)
    I picked this one up because it's on the Rory Gilmore Book List. It's one of the many books Rory reads in "Gilmore Girls". I didn't know whether or not I would like it. I kind of did... but I can't really say why. It was frustrating because of the abusive relationships, but... it was interesting.