The Cripple of Inishmaan

The Cripple of Inishmaan

4.08 (2,261 ratings by Goodreads)
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In 1934, the people of Inishmaan learn that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighbouring island to film his documentary Man of Aran. No one is more excited than Billy, an unloved and crippled boy whose chief occupation has been gazing at cows and yearning for a girl who wants no part of him.

For Billy is determined to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. As news of his audacity ripples through his rumour-starved community, The Cripple of Inishmaan becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically cramped and mean-spirited that hope is an affront to its order.

With this bleak yet uproariously funny play, Martin McDonagh fulfilled the promise of his award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane while confirming his place in a tradition that extends from Synge to O'Casey and Brendan Behan.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 10.16mm | 122g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 1472530179
  • 9781472530172
  • 135,743

Review quote

McDonagh's play wittily exposes the multiple layers of myth that surround Ireland. -- Michael Billington * Guardian * McDonagh is a writer with a gift for scorching entertainment. -- Henry Hitchings * London Evening Standard * McDonagh is a master technician -- he can whip up larger-than-life yet convincing characters and situations faster than any of his peers...he's expert at creating laugh-aloud comedy out of private cruelty. But if, to put it mildly, compassion has never been his strong suit, this is his play which most elicits genuine empathy. -- David Benedict * Variety * Written with verbal brio and gleefully scant regard for sensitivities -- Sarah Hemming * Financial Times * McDonagh - with his mastery of caustic dialogue - has drawn such weird, funny characters ... that this black comedy comes across as strangely celebratory of rural misery. * Time Out * McDonagh refuses to romanticise ... emotionally cunning plot and themes of romanticism punctured, trapped rurality and the power of stories true or false ... each character has its own rhythm and eloquence, absurdity and dignity ... as ever in McDonagh, a jagged, violent darkness feeds the comedy, and laughter glistens in the deepest despair. In its final moments the see-saw of hope and tragedy moves so fast you gasp. -- Libby Purves * The Times * A gloriously perverse writing talent ... playing with Irish stereotypes, flaunting the scabrous and outrageous is McDonagh's stock in trade ... his gift for teasing with comic caricature romps away ... language to bite on and speeches that ring with unusual cadences. -- Susannah Clapp * Observer * Packed with cranky characters, running gags and entertainingly rude slurs, plus psychopathic moments -- Kate Bassett * Independent on Sunday * As soon as you encounter any literary representations of 'the real Ireland', you enter the world of myth and myth-making, and the play has great ironic fun with all this. It's a mash-up of Irishness and stage Irishness, poverty and groping priests, ignorance supplemented by an utterly untrammelled imagination, a pastiche of Synge and Yeats and all that old Oirishy ... But there's also a genuinely haunting sense here that your impoverished Irish peasant, before cars and TV and radio and the net, really did have a freedom of imagination now lost -- Christopher Hart * The Sunday Times * Wistful ... McDonagh's greatest skill is investing his characters with authentic voices and distinct personalities ... this is theatre with a living, beating heart -- Tim Walker * Sunday Telegraph *
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About Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh is a Tony- and Oscar-winning scriptwriter whose first play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane. was the 1996 winner of the George Devine Award; the Writer's Guild Award for Best Fringe Play; the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer; four Tonys; and the Laurence Olivier Award.

Since then McDonagh has gone on to write multiple smash-hit shows and films, and to win multiple awards including an Academy Award for Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter (2005), an Oscar nomination, a British Independent Film Award for best screenplay, an Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild Award for Best Film Script, and a BAFTA for best original screenplay, all for In Bruges (starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, 2008), and a Laurence Olivier award for Best New Play for The Pillowman (won 2004).
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Rating details

2,261 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 37% (843)
4 39% (892)
3 19% (431)
2 3% (75)
1 1% (20)
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