The Best of Tom Stoppard

Grove Atlantic
Grove Atlantic
11Books
“Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead [is] verbally dazzling . . . the most exciting, witty intellectual treat imaginable.” —Edith Oliver, The New Yorker

Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’s-eve view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, this Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.
“Funny, often genuinely moving and generates a glow you could warm your hands by. . . . The best British comedy since One Man, Two Guvnors and deserves equal success.” —Daily Telegraph (5 stars)

Plagued by debt, tormented by writer’s block, and in desperate need of a new hit, promising new playwright Will Shakespeare finds his muse in the form of passionate young noblewoman Viola De Lesseps. Their forbidden love soon draws everyone, including Queen Elizabeth, into the drama, and inspires Will to write the greatest love story of all time: Romeo and Juliet. Based on the Oscar-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare in Love has been deftly adapted for the stage by Lee Hall and has been playing to rave reviews and a sold-out theater at the Noël Coward in London. The London production is directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, the driving force behind the world-renowned theater company, Cheek by Jowl. A Broadway transfer is planned for Spring 2015.
“So beautifully constructed that the playwright seems to be discovering his play only one jump ahead of the audience. It has that sense of surprise and wonder.” —Vincent Canby, The New York Times

It is 1936 and A. E. Housman is being ferried across the river Styx, glad to be dead at last. His memories are dramatically alive. The river that flows through Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love connects Hades with the Oxford of Housman's youth: High Victorian morality is under siege from the Aesthetic movement, and an Irish student called Wilde is preparing to burst onto the London scene.

On his journey the scholar and poet who is now the elder Housman confronts his younger self, and the memories of the man he loved his entire life, Moses Jackson—the handsome athlete who could not return his feelings. As if a dream, The Invention of Love inhabits Housman's imagination, illuminating both the pain of hopeless love and passion displaced into poetry and the study of classical texts. The author of A Shropshire Lad lived almost invisibly in the shadow of the flamboyant Oscar Wilde, and died old and venerated—but whose passion was truly the fatal one?
In this volume are the latest plays of Tom Stoppard, author of such contemporary classics as Jumpers, Dirty Linen, the Real Inspector Hound, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

It is Tom Stoppard's very special skill as the master comedian of ideas in the modern theater to create brilliant, biting humor out of serious concerns. Virtually assaulting the audience with a cascade of words and a conspicuous display of intellect, Stoppard, in Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, contrasts the circumstances of political prisoner and a mental patient in a Soviet insane asylum, to question the difference, if any, between free will and the freedom to conform. The situation, in which the mental patient "hears" an orchestra, is both chilling and funny as we are introduced to two men who happen to share the same name, are incarcerated in the same cell, and are attended by the same doctor.

Professional Foul poses metaphysical problems in dazzling theatrical form. Employing high-spirited comedy and a serious attempt to debate a moral absolute, Stoppard considers the nature of ethical choice: is right or wrong determined by a recognized ideal, or must right or wrong be judged according to the particular situation?
“Tom Stoppard’s first play for nine years is typically witty—an intellectually charged piece that delights in the slippery nature of language and pulses with interesting ideas.”—London Evening Standard

The Hard Problem is a tour de force, exploring fundamental questions of how we experience the world, as well as telling the moving story of a young woman whose struggle for understanding her own life and the lives of others leads her to question the deeply held beliefs of others around her.
“Both a mesmerizing history lesson and a theatergoing discovery, leaving you dazzled, dazed and off to the theater bookstore to delve into this period of history that Stoppard has rendered so moving as well as enlightening. . . . A writer of brilliance and imagination who dares to navigate the deep waters of history, philosophy and ideas, Stoppard is distinguished now more than ever as he travels along the Coast of Utopia with such a beautiful retinue.”—Carol Rocamora, The Nation

Comprising of three sequential plays, The Coast of Utopia chronicles the story of romantics and revolutionaries caught up in a struggle for political freedom in an age of emperors.
“The incorrigibly playful Stoppard has never been more serious than in this most playful of his works [Dogg’s Hamlet and Cahoot’s Macbeth]. Like George Orwell, Stoppard knows that language and liberty are intertwined: when language is perverted, corrupted or forcibly repressed, so is liberty.”—Newsweek

Culled from nearly twenty years of the playwright’s career, a showcase for Tom Stoppard’s dazzling range and virtuosic talent, The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays is essential reading for fans of modern drama. The plays in this collection reveal Stoppard’s sense of fun, his sense of theater, his sense of the absurd, and his gifts for parody and satire.
“Zany, aphoristic and flashy . . . a remarkable entertainment, remarkably funny.” —The Washington Post

Tom Stoppard’s first novel, originally published in 1966 just before the premiere of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, is an uproarious fantasy set in modern London. The cast includes a penniless, dandified Malquist with a liveried coach; Malquist’s Boswellian biographer, Moon, who frantically scribbles as a bomb ticks in his pocket; a couple of cowboys, one being named Jasper Jones; a lion who’s banned from the Ritz; an Irishman on a donkey claiming to be the Risen Christ; and three irresistible women.
"... Stoppard locates the very rhythm of life. . . . [His] most emotionally generous play.” — Ben Brantley, The New York Times"

Tom Stoppard’s Rock ’n’ Roll is an electrifying collision of the romantic and the revolutionary. It is 1968 and the world is ablaze with rebellion, accompanied by a sound track of the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Clutching his prized collection of rock albums, Jan, a Cambridge graduate student, returns to his homeland of Czechoslovakia just as Soviet tanks roll into Prague. When security forces tighten their grip on artistic expression, Jan is inexorably drawn toward a dangerous act of dissent. Back in England, Jan’s volcanic mentor, Max, faces a war of his own as his free-spirited daughter and his cancer-stricken wife attempt to break through his walls of academic and emotional obstinacy. Over the next twenty years of love, espionage, chance, and loss, the extraordinary lives of Jan and Max spin and intersect until an unexpected reunion forces them to see what is truly worth the fight.
"Travesties" was born out of Stoppard's noting that in 1917 three of the twentieth century's most crucial revolutionaries -- James Joyce, the Dadaist founder Tristan Tzara, and Lenin – were all living in Zurich. Also living in Zurich at this time was a British consula official called Henry Carr, a man acquainted with Joyce through the theater and later through a lawsuit concerning a pair of trousers. Taking Carr as his core, Stoppard spins this historical coincidence into a masterful and riotously funny play, a speculative portrait of what could have been the meeting of these profoundly influential men in a germinal Europe as seen through the lucid, lurid, faulty, and wholly riveting memory of an aging Henry Carr.
“Jumpers is the kind of gem that few playwrights other than Stoppard could have crafted: a freewheeling farce with a soulful, searing conscience.” —Elysa Gardner, USA Today

Murder, marriage and metaphysics—the three elements that link the bizarre series of events in Tom Stoppard’s high-spirited comedy, Jumpers. The protagonists include George Moore, an aging professor of moral philosophy whose quest to compose a lecture on ‘Man—Good, Bad or Indifferent’ is put on hold while he ponders the existence of his sock; his youthful wife Dotty, a former musical star on a downward spiral whose charm may explain the corpse in the next room; George’s specially trained hare, Thumper; and a chorus of poorly-trained gymnasts whose exploits set the stage for this topsy-turvy world.
bookmate icon
One fee. Stacks of books
You don’t just buy a book, you buy an entire library… for the same price!
fb2epub
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)