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The Bicyclers and Three Other Farces   By: (1862-1922)

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In "The Bicyclers and Three Other Farces" by John Kendrick Bangs, readers are treated to a delightful collection of humorous and satirical plays. Through his witty and clever writing, Bangs effortlessly transports us to the realm of absurdity and laugh-out-loud moments.

The book opens with the titular play, "The Bicyclers," which showcases a group of eccentric cyclists in a chaotic race. Bangs brilliantly captures the quirks and idiosyncrasies of each character, bringing them to life on stage. The dialogue is fast-paced and filled with comedic timing, guaranteeing plenty of uproarious moments and entertaining mishaps.

In "A Proposal Under Difficulties," Bangs pokes fun at traditional courtship rituals. As the characters navigate through misunderstandings and hilarious mishaps, readers are treated to a clever commentary on societal expectations and the absurdity of romantic pursuits. The play is filled with comical twists and turns, leaving readers in stitches.

Next, "The Fatal Message" takes on the popular trope of mistaken identity. Through a series of misunderstandings, Bangs crafts a side-splitting tale of miscommunication. The play is filled with humorous wordplay and linguistic gags, showcasing the author's mastery of comedic writing. It is a true gem that will keep readers engrossed from start to finish.

Lastly, "The Hypotheses of Failure" offers a satirical take on failed inventions. Bangs brilliantly explores the absurdity of human ambition with a protagonist who invents a time machine that only transports him a few seconds forward. With its clever critique of society's constant pursuit of progress, this play serves as a reflection on the human condition and the futility of certain endeavors.

Overall, "The Bicyclers and Three Other Farces" is an absolute delight for fans of comedy and satire. John Kendrick Bangs expertly weaves together captivating narratives, richly developed characters, and a healthy dose of laughter. Whether you are a theater enthusiast or simply in need of a good laugh, this book will not disappoint. Bangs' wit and humor shine through in each play, guaranteeing an enjoyable reading experience from beginning to end.

First Page:

Transcribed by David Price, email


Contents: The Bicyclers A Dramatic Evening The Fatal Message A Proposal Under Difficulties



MR. ROBERT YARDSLEY, an expert. MR. JACK BARLOW, another. MR. THADDEUS PERKINS, a beginner. MR. EDWARD BRADLEY, a scoffer. MRS. THADDEUS PERKINS, a resistant. MRS. EDWARD BRADLEY, an enthusiast. JENNIE, a maid.

The scene is laid in the drawing room of Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus Perkins, at No. Gramercy Square. It is late October; the action begins at 8.30 o'clock on a moonlight evening. The curtain rising discloses Mr. and Mrs. Perkins sitting together. At right is large window facing on square. At rear is entrance to drawing room. Leaning against doorway is a safety bicycle. Perkins is clad in bicycle garb.

Perkins. Well, Bess, I'm in for it now, and no mistake. Bob and Jack are coming to night to give me my first lesson in biking.

Mrs. Perkins. I'm very glad of it, Thaddeus. I think it will do you a world of good. You've been working too hard of late, and you need relaxation.

Perkins (doubtfully). I know that but from what I can gather, learning to ride a wheel isn't the most restful thing in the world. There's a good deal of lying down about it; but it comes with too great suddenness; that is, so Charlie Cheeseborough says... Continue reading book >>

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