Brighton Beach Memoirs

( 9 )

Overview


The first in Neil Simon’s "Eugene Trilogy," followed by Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound
Winner of a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play

Meet Eugene Jerome and his family, fighting the hard times and sometimes each other—with laughter, tears, and love. It is 1937 in Brooklyn during the heart of the Depression. Fifteen-year-old Eugene Jerome lives in Brighton Beach with his family. ...

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Overview


The first in Neil Simon’s "Eugene Trilogy," followed by Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound
Winner of a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play

Meet Eugene Jerome and his family, fighting the hard times and sometimes each other—with laughter, tears, and love. It is 1937 in Brooklyn during the heart of the Depression. Fifteen-year-old Eugene Jerome lives in Brighton Beach with his family. He is witty, perceptive, obsessed with sex, and forever fantasizing his baseball-diamond triumphs as star pitcher for the New York Yankees. As our guide through his "memoirs," Eugene takes us through a series of trenchant observations and insights that show his family meeting life's challenges with pride, spirit, and a marvelous sense of humor. But as World War II looms ever closer, Eugene sees his own innocence slipping away as the first important era of his life ends—and a new one begins.

This semiautobiographical classic was adapted into a film by Simon’s longterm professional partner, Gene Saks, who directed, among many others, Biloxi Blues, The Odd Couple, Broadway Bound, and Lost in Yonkers

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"Humorous and poignant—something to celebrate! Neil Simon's love letter to his past. … Brighton Beach Memoirs belongs to the family genre where the passwords are forgive and remember."
Time

"Neil Simon's richest play."
New York Daily News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452275287
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 245,629
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author


Since 1960, a Broadway season without a Neil Simon comedy or musical has been a rare one. His first play was Come Blow Your Horn, followed by the musical Little Me. During the 1966-67 season, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity, and The Star-Spangled Girl were all running simultaneously; in the 1970-71 season, Broadway theatergoers had their choice of Plaza Suite, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and Promises, Promises. Next came The Gingerbread Lady, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, The Good Doctor, God's Favorite, California Suite, Chapter Two, the musical They're Playing Our Song, I Ought to Be in Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs (which won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play of 1983), Biloxi Blues (which won the Tony Award for Best Play of 1985), and the female version of The Odd Couple.

Mr. Simon began his writing career in television, writing The Phil Silvers Show and Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. He has also written the screen adaptations of Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, California Suite, Chapter Two, and I Ought to Be in Pictures. His original screenplays include The Out-of-Towners, The Hearbreak Kid, Murder by Death, The Goodbye Girl, The Cheap Detective, Seems Like Old Times, Only When I Laugh, Max Dugan Returns, and The Slugger's Wife. He received the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for Lost in Yonkers.

The author lives in California and New York. He is married to Diane Lander and has three daughters, Ellen, Nancy, and Bryn.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 12, 2009

    Brighton Beach Memoirs - Funny and Heart Warming.

    Brighton Beach Memoirs is a great book about a family just trying to live their lives during the hard times that surrounded the Great Depression in Brighton Beach, New York. Eugene is the first character the reader meets. He is a lively, girl obsessed teenager that feels like he is constantly in trouble. As the book continues we meet the other characters, including Eugene's parents, brother as well as his aunt and two female cousins who all live together in a small residence. We are thrown in the middle of this family's daily life. Eugene's brother has just lost his job, and has to decide if he is going to stick to his principles or step up and help his family by asking for his job back. Nora, Eugene's oldest cousin, is asking to be allowed to drop out of school to fulfill her dream in performing in a show, all while Eugene's aunt is threatening to move out with her girls as the solution for a problem that has been brewing between her and her sister, Eugene's mother, for over 10 years. Somehow, in the end, the families love seems to make everything work out for the best. This story has just enough laughs as well as intense and shocking moments. Because it was originally a play, this short story moves very quickly. One thing I would change was the ending. As a play I could understand why the author, Neil Simon, ended it the way he did. On the contrary, as a piece of non-fiction, I thought the ending was too picture perfect. In the beginning it seemed like this family's world was suddenly falling apart with little hope in sight. But then, a few arguments and heartfelt talks later, it seems like the sky has suddenly opened up for this family. Despite the cookie-cutter ending, the reader received the point that family and love can help you in the worst of times and this message is the main reason why I enjoyed this book so much. This book makes the characters and the readers realize that things like the love and respect of your family is what is really necessary in life. In the end the humor and excitement found in this book overpowered the not so realistic ending. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a book full of laughs that and a good moral in less than 200 pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    Very interesting

    i really enjoyed this play. I had to read it as an assignment for school and was afraid i would hate it because it was a play...well i loved it! The characterss in the book seem to be very much like people today and it also shows just how difficult life was during this time period ( the great depression, start of wwII ). Eugene brought a lot of enthusiasm to the story and made it easier for me to read and understand. I recommend it to everyone who is anywhat interested or is around the main character(Eugene)'s age. (like 13 or 14)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2001

    Best Comedy I Have Ever Read!

    I read Brighton Beach Memoirs and immediately I fell in love with it. I also saw the play at Brooklyn College and it was wonderful. I would see it hundreds of times more. I recommend it for teenagers as well as adults.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2005

    Great Play!!!!

    I thought this was a wonderful play. I love the humor and it really shows the life of a young boy growing up. I thought all of the characters were great. I just wish we would have found out what happened when the the family members came to live with them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2002

    I Was Nora!

    I read this play about a year ago and absolutely fell in love with it. It turned out that I auditioned for it about 6 months ago and got the role of Nora. It was an aboslute blast and now I'm a total fan of Neil Simon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    A Play For Teen Actors

    I read this book a few months ago. It turned out that it was the play that was chosen to be performed this fall at my school. I was glad to have read it beacause I am in the advanced theater class so I get to audition and maybe perform. I think it's a great play for aspiring teen actors beacause of the variation in characters. This allows young actors to test their abilities, weaknesses and strengths. I recommend everyone to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2000

    This book was so good!

    I am an actress myself and i absolutley loved this play. IT was soooo interesting but some parts werent needed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

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