New York : Vintage Books, 1998.
While still in his twenties, the Anglo-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh has filled houses in London and New York, ranked in the most prestigious drama awards.
LibraryThing member Hagelstein
Three wickedly funny and blasphemous plays revolving around family, death, betrayal, and perceived slights in rural Ireland. The cruel bond of mothers, fathers, children and siblings is on full display in Leenane, Ireland. Adult children are driven to murder their parents, priests commit suicide after realizing god has no place in the town, policemen turn into grave robbers. McDonagh masterfully turns taboos and horrible behavior into slashing, precise humor.
LibraryThing member lriley
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a hilarious black comedy about a manipulative mother (Mag) and her aging and unmarried daughter (Maureen) intent on breaking her mothers grip over her life. As Mag deliberately acts against her daughter--Maureen in turn almost always responds with physical and verbal violence. They are tied together through the fear of the mother and frustration of the daughter and an ever mounting hatred. Having said all that McDonagh has a sharp ear for language and dialect and the mothers' seeming at times simplemindedness masks an attempt to destroy her daughters' maybe last chance to have a life of her own and contrasts sharply with the daughter's corrosive ill humor. It all ends in violence.
LibraryThing member Stevil2003
This book contains the earliest of McDonagh's Irish-set drama, the Leenane trilogy. All three are black comedies, of course, since apparently McDonagh doesn't have another genre. (Though it's hard to begrudge him this, given how well he does it.) The Beauty Queen of Leenane is probably the most emotionally affecting of all McDonagh's drama, with a protagonist you actually feel sorry for, even if she does (inevitably) go too far in the end. The Lonesome West, about two quarreling brothers, one of whom killed their father, and the priest trying to reconcile them to one another, is the funniest of the book, as the situation starts at bad, and the solution to it only makes it worse. Poor Father Welsh. (Walsh. Whatever.) A Skull in Connemara I didn't really react to at all; definitely the weakest McDonagh that I've read.