In the Boom Boom Room: A Play

Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Free sample

A searing portrait of a young dancer’s descent into hell—extensively revised and returned to the two-act structure originally intended by the author.
 
Chrissy, a bright and not-quite-innocent woman with visions of a career as a dancer, finds herself in The Boom Boom Room, a disco/bar in Philadelphia meant to be her first step on the road to stardom. Instead, she finds herself fighting to keep her dreams intact amid the anesthetic sex and stimulation that surround her, the psychological residue of her parents’ betrayals, and the bizarre pack of suitors who follow her. In a desperate search for love and hope, Chrissy careens from the seductive mistress of ceremonies at The Boom Boom Room to the earnestly friendly gay man next door to a brutally passionate lover.
 
In its compassionate look at Chrissy’s living nightmare, In the Boom Boom Room is a piercing look at a society dangerously close to our own lives, and a drama that captures both our hearts and our heads.
 
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About the author

Rabe began his professional career in journalism as a feature writer for the New Haven Register.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
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Published on
Dec 1, 2007
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Pages
112
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ISBN
9780802196958
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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David Rabe’s award-winning Vietnam plays have come to embody our collective fears, doubts, and tenuous grasp of a war that continues to haunt. Partially written upon his return from the war, Girl by the Road at Night is Rabe’s first work of fiction set in Vietnam—a spare and poetic narrative about a young soldier embarking on a tour of duty and the Vietnamese prostitute he meets in country.

Private Joseph Whitaker, with Vietnam deployment papers in hand, spends his last free weekend in Washington, DC, drinking, attending a peace rally, and visiting an old girlfriend, now married. He observes his surroundings closely, attempting to find reason in an atmosphere of hysteria and protest, heightened by his own anger. When he arrives in Vietnam, he happens upon Lan, a local girl who submits nightly to the American GIs with a heartbreaking combination of decency and guile. Her family dispersed and her father dead, she longs for a time when life meant riding in water buffalo carts through rice fields with her brother. Whitaker’s chance encounter with Lan sparks an unexpected, almost unrecognized, visceral longing between two people searching for companionship and tenderness amid the chaos around them.

In transformative prose, Rabe has created an atmosphere charged with exquisite poignancy and recreated the surreal netherworld of Vietnam in wartime with unforgettable urgency and grace. Girl by the Road at Night is a brilliant meditation on disillusionment, sexuality, and masculinity, and one of Rabe’s finest works to date.
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