Little Chicago is an unblinking look at the world of a child who has been neglected and abused. It portrays head-on the indifference and hostility of classmates, teachers, and even Blacky’s mother, once these people learn his “secret.” Like Sura in The Buffalo Tree and Whensday in The Copper Elephant, Blacky is one of Adam Rapp’s mesmerizing voices, more so because it is a voice so rarely heard.
With The Year of Endless Sorrows, acclaimed playwright and finalist for the 2003 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing Adam Rapp brings readers a hilarious picaresque reminiscent of Nick Hornby, Douglas Copeland, and Rick Moody at their best—a chronicle of the joys of love, the horrors of sex, the burden of roommates, and the rude discovery that despite your best efforts, life may not unfold as you had once planned.
So begins Adam Rapp's highly acclaimed play Nocturne, in which a 32-year-old former piano prodigy recounts the tragic events that tore his family apart.
With a keen eye for human relationships and a deft ear for language, Rapp explores the aftershock of this unimaginable event. The father is so incapable of forgiveness he puts a gun in his son's mouth; the mother so shattered, she deserts the family and eventually takes leave of her sanity altogether; the son--only 17 years old at the time--sets out for New York City. There, he seeks an uneasy refuge in books and reinvents himself as a writer. Across the decade and a half that follows he tries to cope with the ramifications of his own anguish and estrangement while making a desperate search for redemption.
A devastating, elegant, and gripping dissection of the American dream, Nocturne signals a brave new voice in American theater.
As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, thirty-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas: his mother's death, his beloved wife's desertion, and his once-ascendant rock band's irreconcilable break-up. Francis hasn't shaved in months, hasn't so much as changed out of his bathrobe-"the uniform of a Life in Default"-for nine days.
Other than the agoraphobia that continues to hold him hostage, all he has left is his childhood home, whose remaining rooms he rents to a cast of eccentric tenants, including a pair of former circus performers whose daughter has gone missing. The tight-knit community has already survived a blizzard, but there is more danger in store for the citizens of Pollard before summer arrives. Francis is himself caught up in these troubles as he becomes increasingly entangled in the affairs of others, with results that are by turns disastrous, hysterical, and ultimately healing.
Fusing consummate wit with the seriousness attending an adulthood gone awry, Rapp has written an uproarious and affecting novel about what we do and where we go when our lives have crumbled around us. Sharp-edged but tenderhearted, Know Your Beholder introduces us to one of the most lovably flawed characters in recent fiction, a man at last able to collect the jagged pieces of his dreams and begin anew, in both life and love. Seldom have our foibles and our efforts to persevere in spite of them been laid bare with such heart and hope.
Adam Rapp's plays have captivated audiences across the country with their unflinching explorations of the good, the bad, and the ugly in America's heartland and cities. Gathered here are three of his latest works: Faster, in which two young grifters try to strike a deal with the devil during the hottest summer on record; Finer Noble Gases, a lament for a band of arrested thirty-year-olds slouching toward adulthood amid East Village decay; and the Off-Broadway hit Stone Cold Dead Serious. An honest, strange, and humorous look at a blue-collar family struggling to survive in the face of disability and addiction, and the seemingly surreal lengths their teenage son will go to save them from themselves, the play prompted Bruce Weber to rave in The New York Times: "Rapp is very gifted, and, even rarer, he has something to say . . . Stone Cold Dead Serious [is] brave, compassionate, and . . . breathtakingly moving. It is the work of a playwright who is forging a real voice . . . Its rendering of the shared language of loved ones illustrates how families can remain intimate even when they are in shards. Its depiction of a working-class America that is unable to dream of anything beyond enduring is as sincerely sad a commentary on our culture as I've seen in recent memory. And its fear for young people is, unfortunately, deeply convincing."
"To watch The Hallway Trilogy by Adam Rapp is to enter an alternate universe . . . a carnival of the desperate, the grotesque, the outrageous."—The New York Times
"I knew in a single sentence that Adam was a writer the world was going to listen to for as long as he felt like writing. . . . Adam writes like nobody else, his fierce poetic power as inescapable as the doom that waits for his characters. The work is bleak and true, his touch that of a master in the making."—Marsha Norman
Multi-talented artist and provocateur Adam Rapp shocks and disturbs, weaving themes of love, suffering, and redemption throughout this alarming yet heartening critical examination of societal change. Spanning one hundred years in one Lower East Side tenement hallway, this series of connected plays—Rose, Paraffin, and Nursing—is a dark and compelling exploration of what binds people together and drives them apart. Packed with searing dialogue and harrowing narratives, The Hallway Trilogy "bristles with humor" and "contains some of Rapp's most sensitive and mature writing" (The New York Times).
Adam Rapp is a novelist, filmmaker, and an OBIE Award–winning playwright and director. His plays include the Pulitzer Prize finalist Red Light Winter, Nocturne, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Finer Noble Gases, Essential Self-Defense, and more. He is the author of many young adult novels such as Punkzilla, The Buffalo Tree, and Under the Dog, and the writer and director of the film Winter Passing, starring Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, and Ed Harris.
In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing.
An award-winning writer and playwright hits the open road for a searing novel-in-letters about a street kid on a high-stakes trek across America.
A mesmerizing psychological thriller from extraordinary novelist Sonya Hartnett
In this new world, speed and efficiency are everything, and the populace zooms along in a perpetually stimulated haze. Angela thinks she's the only person in her family—maybe the only person on the planet—who sees anything wrong with this picture. But the truth is she's not alone.
Angela finds herself recruited into a resistance movement where the key to rebellion is taking things slow. In their secret underground hideout, they create a life unplugged from the rapid-fire culture outside. Can they free the rest of the world before the powers that be shut down their utopian experiment?
From revolutionary and award-winning playwright Adam Rapp and veteran cartoonist and animator Mike Cavallaro comes Decelerate Blue, a dark, breath-taking new vision of an all-too-plausible future for America.
Offering retail managers and owners deep insight into how they can stem the loss of resources to showrooming, this book, through a close, systematic examination of showrooming, provides insight and understanding of the value added through customer service and expert salesperson knowledge. Retailers will learn how to implement essential, incremental changes to infuse value in the customer experience and entice significantly improved in-store sales while building core customer relationships and enhancing loyalty.