2016 Reading List #5: The Man Who Had All the Luck, by Arthur Miller

Okay, so my last reading list update was published 9 hours ago, so I certainly didn’t expect to be writing again. Alas, it’s been a very productive day for me.

To quantify that statement: I finished season three and began season four of “The O.C.” (just 15 episodes left!), took care of some teacherly duties, updated my blog, ran errands, returned an unsuccessful online shopping venture, ordered a new pair of glasses, and started and finished my first Arthur Miller play of the year. Go me!

Because this is my last week of vacation before heading to the Sundance Film Festival, I need every day this week to be that productive, so I’m glad this Monday went so well. I’m in a mental state of not knowing exactly which novel to pick up next (I’m planning to take Career of Evil, J.K. Rowling’s third installment in the Cormoran Strike series, to Sundance, but I don’t want to start it until closer to our departure), so I’ve been in the mood to read plays, which you can always count on for a quick read.

The Man Who Had All the Luck was a quicker reading project than I’d expected, but I’m happy to be on my way through my lovely copy of Arthur Miller’s collected plays. I plan to read the entire collection in 2016, so it felt like getting started on that goal would be a good way to spend my time. This turned out better than I’d hoped, since I really enjoyed the first play in the collection.

The Man Who Had All the Luck‘s title refers to David Beeves, a young man whose continual good fortune has made him evermore anxious about when he’ll finally face a real failure in his life. I’ve previously read three of Miller’s plays–Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and After the Fall–which are all quite different, but I’d say this play is sort of like a less-tragic version of Death of a Salesman. It’s a different kind of story, but the tone is similar, and I think the play addresses similar concerns of the American dream.

Though my plan with this collection has been to alternate between one play and other works, I think I might hold on an read another play or two before departing for another text. The next two in the collection are All My Sons and Death of a Salesman, so I don’t think I’m ready to put this one down quite yet.


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