Suddenly Last Summer and Other Plays, Paperback

Suddenly Last Summer and Other Plays Paperback

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


These three dramatic works by Tennessee Williams explore the darker side of human nature and are haunted by a sense of isolation and regret. "Suddenly Last Summer" is the starkly told story of Catherine, who seemingly goes insane after her cousin Sebastian dies in grisly circumstances on a trip to Europe. "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" is a passionate examination of a wealthy old woman as she recounts her memories in the face of death, while in "Small Craft Warnings" a motley group of people - including a blowsy beautician, a discredited alcoholic doctor, a vulnerable waif and two gay men - sit around a seedy bar on the Californian coast, each contemplating their own desperate fate.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780141191096



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This edition contains three plays by America's greatest playwright, Tennessee Williams: Suddenly Last Summer, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, and Small Craft Warning. All three are relatively short one-act plays that each deal with the darker sides of human nature and are tinged throughout with regret and isolation.<br/><br/>Suddenly Last Summer, probably my favourite, deals with Catherine who seemingly is insane after the death of her cousin in Europe. The tension between Catherine and her mother and brother on the one side, and her aunt on the other, is expertly done and the climax is well developed. <br/><br/>The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore deals with a wealthy old woman and her last few days - how she deals with her memories and those around her as she is dying. It is a modernist play, with the stage assistants taking a role in the play, but ultimately it left me feeling rather empty - the main character is unlikeable and brash, but then Williams is good at creating starkly realistic characters.<br/><br/>The last play, Small Craft Warnings, is set in a seedy bar on the Californian coast as a motely crew of characters each deal with their own desperate fate. This is also one I liked as the conflict between the characters was well-developed and realistic, and the characters themselves well-realised.<br/><br/>Overall, this is a fine collection of one-act plays by Williams and a good addition to a connoisseur of Williams' plays. It however is not the place to start for someone looking for more of Williams' well-known plays.

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