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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Definitive, but Very Worthwhile
After many years of being wary about Johnstone's book, I've finally given in. My initial response was that while other improv texts cover the "Hows" this one covered the "Whys".

This is a very enlightening book, but I feel it is too heavy for the everyday improvisor. A very large amount is focused on status. The subtleties of status are interesting to read...
Published on June 16 2009 by BowlingPete

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but difficult to judge
Impro is divided in four sections, Status, Spontaneity, Narrative Skills, and Masks and Trance. The most interesting section, Status, discusses how general physical attitudes dictate our attitude and how other people see us. Johnstone expounds his idea that all relationships are plays on status. His other chapters are more technical and discuss various theater exercises...
Published on June 2 2002 by Francois Tremblay


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5.0 out of 5 stars totally awesome !, Jan. 6 1998
By A Customer
this is an outstanding book, both from learning about improv and acting, and also as a way of looking at life. must-read!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but difficult to judge, June 2 2002
By 
Francois Tremblay (Montreal, QC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Impro is divided in four sections, Status, Spontaneity, Narrative Skills, and Masks and Trance. The most interesting section, Status, discusses how general physical attitudes dictate our attitude and how other people see us. Johnstone expounds his idea that all relationships are plays on status. His other chapters are more technical and discuss various theater exercises meant to stimulate spontaneity and narrative skills.
This book is difficult to judge. On the one hand, it is very challenging and engages us with interesting ideas, especially about status and power relations. But the last chapter in particular is replete with paranormal and new age nonsense - hypnosis, trances, aborigene religions, everything gets thrown in the mix. Johnstone's attitude towards education is also surprisingly outdated for a 1981 book : he keeps harping on educational attitudes which belong in the fifties. Johnstone is obviously a very superficial and linear-thinking man.
I suppose the recommendation would have to be based on whenever one works in the theater or not. If the former, then this book will no doubt be of great help, if one can ignore the nonsense : otherwise there is little recommend this book.
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Impro by Keith Johnstone (Paperback - July 1 2008)
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