The Theater of War

What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today
Narrated by: Adam Driver
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (605 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This compassionate, personal, and illuminating work of nonfiction draws on the author's celebrated work as a director of socially conscious theater to connect listeners with the power of an ancient artistic tradition. For years Bryan Doerries has been producing ancient tragedies for current and returned servicemen and women, addicts, tornado and hurricane victims, and a wide range of other at-risk people in society. Here, drawing on these extraordinary firsthand experiences, Doerries clearly and powerfully illustrates the redemptive and therapeutic potential of this classical, timeless art: how, for example, Ajax can help soldiers and their loved ones grapple with PTSD or how Prometheus Bound provides insights into the modern penal system.

Doerries is an original and magnanimous thinker, and The Theater of War - wholly unsentimental but intensely felt and emotionally engaging - is a humane, knowledgeable, and accessible book that will inspire and inform listeners, showing them that suffering and healing are both parts of a timeless process.

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks

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Breathtaking

I couldn't put it down. To be honest, I first got the book because I adore Adam Drivers' voice and the content sounded interesting enough. But I was humbled and amazed by the content, the honesty and humanity of the book touched me in ways I didn't expect or know I needed. I am very grateful for this book.

26 people found this helpful

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Try not to Cry, I Dare You.

Would you listen to The Theater of War again? Why?

I definitely will. It's a well written, emotional book that caters to my interests in classics and psychology. It's very interesting, emotional, and thought-provoking.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Well, my favorite section of the book was the one about veterans. It's the first audience Doerries brought Theater of War to, and he expands upon it the most. It was really enlightening, and it also shed a lot of light on my parent's own marriage, ironically.

Which scene was your favorite?

With Adam Driver narrating, any scene where he gets to really use his talent is a good one. While most of the book is a narrative of the reasons behind, actions, and effects of Theater of War, there are a plethora of Doerrie's intriguing translations that Driver expertly performs.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh, I listened to this at work one day - start to near finish - and it was a huge mistake. I had to stop actively several times to stop myself from crying. It's a really emotional book, and hearing about what the people Doerries worked with was very heavy. As was the connection I felt to some of them.

32 people found this helpful

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Great reading, great book

Adam Driver reads the first few chapters in a bit of a hurry, but later finds his groove. Any time he has to read a direct quote from someone emoting, he KILLS it.

15 people found this helpful

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Wow

Would you listen to The Theater of War again? Why?

Yes. This is book addresses 3 major issues in our culture: 1) our treatment of veterans 2) our treatment of prisoners and 3) our treatment of those facing death.

What did you like best about this story?

Personal insight, historical reference, and thought provoking questions

What about Adam Driver’s performance did you like?

He actually read with emotion. If a quoted passage involves emotion, he would speak using that emotion.

Any additional comments?

I'm an Iraq combat veteran and I had the pleasure of seeing TOW in person as well as meeting Mr. Doerries. This is a book I will give to fellow veterans. I wish I would have read this 8 years ago instead of dealing with PTSD mostly on my own for so long.

58 people found this helpful

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Great book with excellent narration

I got this book because of my interest in greek plays but I was rewarded with the sincere stories of personal pain and how greek theatre helped people deal with it. From war, to the death of someone close to dealing with the end of life, Bryan Doerries provided me with eye opening realizations. Adam Driver brought the greek tragedies to life and kept my attention throughout. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

8 people found this helpful

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Inspiring

A thoughtful work that has definitely left me with a lot to think about. The interplay between theatre, philosophy and psychology is novel (to me at least) and compelling.

Lively narration by the distinctive Adam Driver, whose reading of the book kept me interested until the end.

30 people found this helpful

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Riveting.

I originally got this book because it was narrated by Adam Driver. However, by the end of the first chapter I was hooked both by the subject and the narration. I was moved to tears on many occasions by the author's observations and the stories of the people he was writing about. The narration added to the effect and while I feel this book would be great on its on..the impassioned narration really added and enhanced the feelings and points the author was trying to put across. I just ordered the hard copy version.

6 people found this helpful

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Terrific Storytelling All Around

Adam Driver's commitment to his role as narrator helped bring Bryan Doerries' already compelling story to life. Whether you download this audible recording or buy the actual book, it's well worth the read/listen. This story will resonate and stick with the thousands.

5 people found this helpful

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Simply fascinating.

Got it because Adam Driver. Voice like butter. Riveted by content. I adore Greek tragedies. Theater of War, Arts in the Armed Forces- they provide an amazing service. Thank you.

10 people found this helpful

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Compelling book and reading

Gripping scene readings, thought-provoking accounts of people's relationship to fictional and real-life tragedy. Fantastic book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • J D
  • 10-24-18

An incredibly important listen

A heartbreaking but ultimately heartening recount of the work done by Doerries and Theater of War to help alleviate the silent suffering of those affected by the extremes of war, tragedy, death. Theater of War utilises the power of Ancient Greek myth to illustrate that feelings associated with those aforementioned extremes transcends not only culture, but time.

The knowledge that these ancient playwrights can speak to the souls of the suffering across history and offer people today a means of communication of their experience was an astounding thing to learn.

The work that Doerries (and also Driver, whom not only lends his voice to the Doerries' words and performances of Ajax etc here, but also runs the non-profit 'Arts in the Armed Forces' (AITAF), bringing theatre to those serving in the military, much like ToW) does in not only translating these transcendent tales, but in realising their potential and spearheading their application to those who need it is inspirational.

A must read - devoid of emotional manipulation or over-sentimentality... given even more colour to its emotional gamut by Driver's performance in the audiobook, which is gut-wrenchingly honest, full of crescendo and contemplative quiet and imbued with his wealth of experience not only as an ex-marine, but also as the very fine actor he continually proves himself to be.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex 1973
  • 11-04-19

Fabulous!

I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Totally gripping. blah blah