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Cloud Nine [Paperback]

Caryl Churchill
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1995 --  
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
The first act of Cloud Nine takes place in a British colony in Africa during the Victorian Era. The setting itself explains alot of the confusion that accompanies reading the book. During the Victorian Era women were to be "seen but not heard", and that's exactly how women are portrayed in the book. For instance, Victoria, the main characters daughter, is not even a real person. She is "played" by a doll. Then there's Betty, the main character's wife, who is so damn stomach churning submissive. I know with marriage the wife is supposed to be a little submissive to the husband but not to the point where they are almost robotic to his wishes. The book also deals openly with homosexuality and infidelity. I think this was an excellent choice by the author because both of these are dealt with on an everyday basis. Edward, Victoria's older brother, is a potential homosexual. He is 9 years old when the book begins. At age 9 Edward is being molested by his father's friend. All while this is going on Edward is being played by a woman. Edward's character is so easily understood to be played by a woman since he is feminine and potentially gay. I think this book sums up the things that consists of in an explicit, but realistic manner. It hits on such topics like: adultery, homosexuality, "a woman's place in society", and how experiences and decisions change as time progresses. I feel this is a must read book and definitely a play worth seeing.
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By A Customer
Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9 took a step into the depths of "don't go there" topics. Her graphic disucssion of sexuality, child molestation, and various other related topics was completely unnecessary and took the shock thing a little too far. If the point of the book was to shock a reader, the goal was achieved. By taking her socialist ideas and transforming them into this piece, she stated her ideas in a way that was really not necessary. Many of the scenes depicted were not appropriate for discussion, and though she did raise issues that are considered important, they should not be presented in the manner that they were. Taking a confusing plot mixed with strange shifts in time, as well as the inappropriate matter that is discussed, Cloud 9 definitely does not rank high on my list of favorite books of all time. In fact, I found it quite disturbing.
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By A Customer
Caryl Churchill's play makes a powerful and courageous statement. She discusses issues of feminism, colonialism, and sex. Set in the Brechtian theater, Churchill is able to tell it like it is. The play does not necessarily condone or diapprove these issues, but puts them out there to be discussed. She infers in her work that ignoring these issues is like approving of these acts by letting them continue to occur. Her characters are sometimes homosexual, or else they are obssessed with premiscuous sex. Her play may be shocking to the reader, but once you are over the initial shock, you begin to realize what she is saying. Churchill forces the reader to think about these issues and how society deals with them. This play is important to our culture and you should pick it up sometime.
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By A Customer
Cloud 9 is not a play that I would go to see just for fun. It deals with some very sensitive issues--everything from homosexuality to religion. With topics such as these, one would think it just a filthy, disgusting play. In all actuality, its done in a very tasteful manner. The language can be a bit overwhelming at times, mainly because you aren't expecting this from a play. But, its nothing that the average person wouldn't hear on a daily basis. It also makes people think. Usually people just like to be told what it is they are looking for. With this play, you have to decide how it relates to you, if it does, and then alayze it from the perspective of society. Overall, Cloud 9 is a tale of two centuries brought together by the same issues.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study in Alienation June 18 2003
By Brad
As far as Brechtian plays go, Churchill is a master at alienation and disidentification- characters in this play are played as the protagonist's projection of who he thinks they should be (ie: the westernized African servant is played by a white actor). Although the effect is extremely powerful onstage, particularly when it raises up complex social and ethnic issues, the different characters can be hard to keep straight on paper. This play works far better in performance than it does in print, but it remains a valuable teaching tool for both Brecht and World Theatre studies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Can a book with an orgy be that bad? Oct. 15 1999
By A Customer
I have just finished reading Caryl Churchill's infamous play "Cloud Nine". I found the book to be an amazing tool to present to the reader those social issues which we have so desperately tried to sweep under the bed. The book is actually a play through which her use of a Brechtian style of theater keeps the reader in a sort of shocked confusion and not very comfortable. At first glance you might say it is vulgar and rude, yet a deeper evaluation proves that this play is an effective tool to dredge up what society has sunk to the bottom of the river.
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By A Customer
This a play that was written to make people feel uncomfortable, and conote one's feelings on issues of sexual orientation. The play was writen to follow Brechtian style of theater. That is, it was written not to entertain, but to force an audience to focus on a political and sociol conflict. The first half of the play was very well done. It rolls, and is moderatly entertaining. But, then it hits the second act, when everything comes to a grinding halt. One must force themselves to read the on to finish. This is the effect of the Brechtian theater.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars For those into theatrical arts
For those of you who are familiar whith Brechtian practices this is a very good source. However, if you are not into the study of performance this might not be the book for you. Read more
Published on March 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral Certainties and Uncertainties
This play is an interesting approach to the question of morality in the 'modern' age. It contrasts two worlds, one of moral certainty in a Victorian colonial home, and one of... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2002 by Rob Derida
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Epiphanies
Cloud Nine is an amazing play, a break-through drama in its time. Churchill plays fast and loose with the decades in her deconstruction of the glacial change of gender typing from... Read more
Published on March 11 2000 by Keith Fowler
3.0 out of 5 stars "Cloud Nine" an okay book.
Caryl Churchill's "Cloud Nine" is an okay book. It has some parts that are a little bit offensive, but most of the stuff I have heard before. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars "Cloud 9" is offensive if not seen with an open mind.
"Cloud 9" presents problems and situations that are often not discussed. Such situations are gays, incest, and women's rights. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars I think this book was vey unique.
The story was extremely different than any other book that I have ever read. There were so many issues brought up in this story, but there were no opinions shared with these... Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars shocking
This play is a shocking, in-depth look at the way Caryl Churchill describes homosexuality, women's issues, racism, and incest. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A super portrayal of the unhappiness found in immorality
Caryl Churchill does an excellent job in her play "Cloud 9" of demonstrating the unhappiness associated with being immoral. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Cloud Nine addresses many controversial issues in society.
Cloud Nine addresses the issues of bisexuality, incest, child pedophilia and racism affecting society. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 1999
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