Category Archives: play

The Enemy of the People

Premise: A scientist discovers that the waters of the baths, which pull people to travel to a village, are polluted and cause illness. He wants the town to spread the news, acknowledge the problem and fix it. Naively, he expects to be hailed as hero, but instead he’s loathed as the “enemy of the people.”

My take: This play is extremely preachy and the characters seem wooden. Writers like Emile Zola, Upton Sinclair and Ernest Poole do a superior job writing about social causes. I started reading because it was chosen for a book club. Then I had to miss that meeting. I figured I’d finish it anyway. If it weren’t a play and was a novel, I wouldn’t have slogged through it.

Ibsen, add some satire to leaven the play. You can still make your point with some humor.

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Posted by on April 29, 2022 in play


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2018 Reading Challenge


I’ve made up a reading challenge for myself. I have done‘s challenges where I read a certain number of books per month. This time I’m adding some themes and other specifics to spice things up.

Susan’s 2018 Reading Challenge

January – read a memoir and another book that’ll help me change my outlook (i.e. achieve a resolution)

February – read a 19th century novel and a religious book

March – read a book written by a Russian author

April – read a play by Shakespeare and commentary in a Norton Classic edition

May – read a detective story

June – read a book of historical fiction

July – read a travel book

August – read a humorous book

September – read a book by a Japanese author

October – read something scary

November – read a book a friend has recommended

December – read a children’s book and a story or book with a Christmas theme

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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in book lovers, British Lit, British literature, Children's Lit, fiction, French Lit, humor, non-fiction, play, Travel Writing


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The Importance of Being Earnest

This month’s book club selection: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Another farce? Yep, the third.


It’s a quick read and funny, but I know I’ve read this play before and it’s not worth a second reading. There are lots of quips that have made it into the vernacular and have stayed so seeing them is like seeing an old friend. It’s the story of two friends who fall for women who can only love a man named Earnest. There’s some lies and mistaken identities, familiar tropes of the genre, that move the story along.

It’s very much like eating cake, sugary cake. I can appreciate the work involved in creating it and I can see that it’s pretty, but I can also see that it’s not all that worth consuming.

I got Masterwork Studies: The Importance of Being Earnest, A Reader’s Companion to find some extra insights that might make me like the play more. Well, I learned that some critics see this as being a great farce and defend that genre (‘cuz face it, it needs some defense). When the play was first produced, it was considered experimental and daring. Now it isn’t. Time does that.

Given the cost of going to a stage play, I wouldn’t bother seeing it performed. a classic checked off the list.

Next month we read Pygmalion.

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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in British Lit, classic, play