Book Review: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

Read from November 13 to 17, 2016

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson was a good play. This might’ve not been one of August Wilson’s best, but it still resonated well with the times of the 1930’s. A little back story: August Wilson’s goal was to write a play for each decade during the twentieth century, starting with the 1900’s and ending with the 1990’s. The Piano Lesson did this goal justice, depicting African American lives well during the end of this decade.

Interesting enough, this particular copy (I’m not sure if it’s different in other editions) had quite a lot of mistakes, from misspelling a name to fudging up when or where a character exited. This left me only slightly confused at times. Also, I knew there was some sort of lesson to be learned by the end of the play, but I never could pinpoint that.

On the positive side, the play left me thinking about how there is always two halves to every story. Maybe the lesson could be studied from the piano: in the play, Boy Willie threatens to cut the piano in half to be shared equally even though that would prove to be useless, so I assume so. I think the siblings in this story need to sit down and talk things out with one another instead of creating sides. I also like the depth of generations within this family.

Anyway, I’ve now read The Piano Lesson based off the 1930’s and Fences, which I loved, based off the 1950’s. Only eight more August Wilson plays to go!

I give The Piano Lesson by August Wilson a 4/5 stars. My rating system is below:

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

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