parisiennepen (parisiennepen) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book #11 - Gethsemane by David Hare

Title: Gethsemane
Author: David Hare
Genre: Play

From the blurb:
Once it was possible to do good by being good.
Now the only way to do good is by being clever.

Nothing is more important to a modern political party than fund-raising. But the values of the donors can’t always coincide with the professed beliefs of the party. And family scandal within the cabinet has the potential to throw both the money-raisers and the money-spenders into chaos.

This richly imagined ensemble play about British public life looks at the way business, media, and politics are now intertwined to nobody’s advantage, as, in an unforgiving world, one character after another passes through Gethsemane.

I picked this up a while ago, at random, while browsing in the library. I was hooked by the blurb because politics and the media, and their connection(s), are subjects I’ve studied.

Overall, this is an interesting work in two acts. It’s about aspirations, expectations, family, and work. It’s about the relationships between people, about their ethics (and what that concept means to different people), about how the two do or don’t mix, and the consequences of that.

One thing I really like about the plot is how one key theme – the idea that people have a “Gethsemane moment” (a reference to a particular evening in the life of Jesus Christ) in their lives – is written. It’s done in a way that the reader (or viewer, if the play’s being performed) sees it through the eyes of all or most of the characters (I don’t remember which, it’s been a while since I read this)…right until the end, when another character proposes a different point of view on it – and all of a sudden most if not all of what came before is seen in a whole new light.

At least that’s how it felt to me; perhaps those with a stronger remembrance of how the biblical story goes will see, more quickly, the point made in the last scene…but because I didn’t, it really made me take notice.
Tags: british, drama, play, politics

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