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Karaoke And Cold Lazarus [Paperback]

Dennis Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 1996
Two Dennis Potter television screenplays. In Karaoke, a dying writer more than half-imagines that something he has written has escaped into the world outside. Cold Lazarus is set 400 years in the future, where a cryogenically preserved head is being commercially exploited.

Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

Dennis Potter was born in 1935 in Gloucestershire. After National Service he won a place at New College, Oxford where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He became one of Britain's most accomplished and acclaimed dramatists. His plays for television include Blue Remembered Hills (1979), Brimstone and Treacle (commissioned in 1975 but banned until 1987), the series Pennies from Heaven (1978), The Singing Detective (1986), Blackeyes (1989) and Lipstick on Your Collar (1993). He also wrote novels, stage plays and screenplays. Seeing the Blossom, his final television interview, was published in 1994. He died in June 1994.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Both above comments are accurate appraisals of Dennis' last works. These last writings reveal a consciousness far deeper than most of us can fathom. Stendahl knew that fiction often carries more _real_ truths than official history. Dennis' portrayal of the "Total Universal Entertainment Corporation" in "Cold Lazarus" is coming true, even as we watch.... And, as he knew, its not governments that are the source, but corporations. Dennis revealed what can happen to the psychic lives of real people in times of elite domination as no other ever has, save James Joyce, perhaps. All the appraisals of his storys as idiosyncratic, quirky, or some other negative category are simply clues to how little most understand about what he provided for us. "Cold Lazarus" is a 'must read' because the TV production took too many liberties (hyped futurism) and the dynamic process among characters was shadowed and often hidden. Dennis Potter was a gift and a sacrament. Literate folk should enshrine him close to the heart.That, after all, was his subject: the heart in the over-produced, over-commodified "war of all against all."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reality or Nothing. Do you want to know more? June 25 1999
By A Customer
karaoke and Cold Lazarus have come in for an enormous amount of criticism, mostly unfair, since Potters' death, both at the time that it was transmitted and since. Most of the writing about the pieces has been critical. Ignore the bad comments. The pieces are extrordinary of two reasons. Firstly, the piece together the most intense, powerful and moving selfportraits written for television. Alternatively tender and aorrgant, by the time you have watched the pieces you feel you have glimpsed inside the author's own soul. There are very very few pieces of writing you can, fairly, say that about. Secondly, it is an important attack on the late twentieth century and the moral and spiritual values we are happily selling to the Murdochs of this world every day. As the group says Reality or Nothing... Yes, potter let himself down with his vain stereotypical and cliched writing in places but these pieces are so unusual, imaginative and defiant, they deserve more than anything to be
read. (You'll probably hate it now and it has to be said the Singing Detective is better.) .
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Dear Genius March 30 2000
This Is a Fantastic, moving piece of literature. Much criticized at its time of release (mainly by those not intelligent enough to understand it), this stands out as the last thoughts of a dying genius. It was Potters dying wish that these pieces be televised uncut and the BBC pretty much respected this. I dont want to spoil this for anyone, so buy it and prepare to be enlightened on a high level. Perhaps the greatest author ever?
Was this review helpful to you?
By A Customer
The author's terminal illness as he wrote these plays really comes out in what I see as his most powerful work. It reveals a clever blend of a hint of an autobiography with fears of our "Brave New World". The Potter style is unmistakable and unlike anything else ever done.Subtle hints at social progress paint a sad glimpse into our future if we let governments have their way.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars historical truths, as Stendahl said, come only in fiction June 27 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Both above comments are accurate appraisals of Dennis' last works. These last writings reveal a consciousness far deeper than most of us can fathom. Stendahl knew that fiction often carries more _real_ truths than official history. Dennis' portrayal of the "Total Universal Entertainment Corporation" in "Cold Lazarus" is coming true, even as we watch.... And, as he knew, its not governments that are the source, but corporations. Dennis revealed what can happen to the psychic lives of real people in times of elite domination as no other ever has, save James Joyce, perhaps. All the appraisals of his storys as idiosyncratic, quirky, or some other negative category are simply clues to how little most understand about what he provided for us. "Cold Lazarus" is a 'must read' because the TV production took too many liberties (hyped futurism) and the dynamic process among characters was shadowed and often hidden. Dennis Potter was a gift and a sacrament. Literate folk should enshrine him close to the heart.That, after all, was his subject: the heart in the over-produced, over-commodified "war of all against all."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great couple of plays, will surely twist your head. Oct. 2 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The author's terminal illness as he wrote these plays really comes out in what I see as his most powerful work. It reveals a clever blend of a hint of an autobiography with fears of our "Brave New World". The Potter style is unmistakable and unlike anything else ever done.Subtle hints at social progress paint a sad glimpse into our future if we let governments have their way.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality or Nothing. Do you want to know more? June 25 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
karaoke and Cold Lazarus have come in for an enormous amount of criticism, mostly unfair, since Potters' death, both at the time that it was transmitted and since. Most of the writing about the pieces has been critical. Ignore the bad comments. The pieces are extrordinary of two reasons. Firstly, the piece together the most intense, powerful and moving selfportraits written for television. Alternatively tender and aorrgant, by the time you have watched the pieces you feel you have glimpsed inside the author's own soul. There are very very few pieces of writing you can, fairly, say that about. Secondly, it is an important attack on the late twentieth century and the moral and spiritual values we are happily selling to the Murdochs of this world every day. As the group says Reality or Nothing... Yes, potter let himself down with his vain stereotypical and cliched writing in places but these pieces are so unusual, imaginative and defiant, they deserve more than anything to be
read. (You'll probably hate it now and it has to be said the Singing Detective is better.) .
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Dear Genius March 30 2000
By William F C Powys - Published on Amazon.com
This Is a Fantastic, moving piece of literature. Much criticized at its time of release (mainly by those not intelligent enough to understand it), this stands out as the last thoughts of a dying genius. It was Potters dying wish that these pieces be televised uncut and the BBC pretty much respected this. I dont want to spoil this for anyone, so buy it and prepare to be enlightened on a high level. Perhaps the greatest author ever?
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