(This is a play.) This gut-wrenching dark comedy presents the most memorable of maried couples--George and Martha--in a searing night of dangerous fun and games with pawnlike other couple who innocently become their weapons in the savaging of each other and of their life together.
This is a really great read. A dark comedy that is vibrant and shocking.
The dialogue is great and the story really draws you in. The story of George and Martha's revelations to each other keeps you interested the whole way through.
Its circa 1960 and an academic and his garbage-mouthed wife trade abusive banter as they entertain, after party hours, a young professor and his wife. Whiskey flows as if it is the last day before prohibition as they try to abase one another to impress the new kids on the block. The skeletons are all OUT! What at the time was termed black humor but now to be politically correct is dark comedy. Eventually the abuse is oriented at the new kids. Fast forward 40 years or so and four moron Friends attempt the same thing: hardly funny. About the same time four other friends (Seinfeld) set about to ruin each other and everyone around them: very funny.
This is a reprint of March 1983, complete text.
Its been a few days since Ive read this, and I am still disturbed by it! This story chronicles a cocktail party hosted by George, a history professor and his wife Martha, the daughter of the universitys president. The party takes place after a celebration that is held at the university to welcome a new biology professor, Nick and his somewhat naïve wife, Honey. As the couple awaits their guests, they drink and insult one another. Martha take jabs at George for being married to the universitys presidents daughter and still not managing to make much of himself as he is only an associate professor. George tries to hold back but gets some zingers in about Marthas age. The first act is strange because they insult each other and then seem to put it behind them as though they just get their kicks from the mudslinging. It feels like its an uncomfortable game that they only understand and enjoy playing. When the guests arrive, the insults escalate, and a look into Gorge and Marthas personal faults and failures are revealed. The guests feel uncomfortable but are somehow talked into seeing the night through. At this point, George begins to insult the guests as well. George seems insecure about Nick. He senses that Nick has motives to take over the university (and his wife!). The third act takes an insane turn with more insults and drinking. I dont know whether I enjoyed the look into George and Marthas lives or not. The dialogue was razor sharp and witty. And if the goal of the writer was to make the reader feel uncomfortable then maybe I shouldve given this 5 stars. I think another GoodReads reviewer put it best when she said, This play is so f---ed. I don't know whether it's genius or madness. Probably both.