Tooth of Crime
By Sam Shepard
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307274984, 112pp.)
Publication Date: February 14, 2006
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One of the plays that first announced Sam Shepard as an original voice in American theater, Tooth of Crime is his thrillingly innovative rock drama, published here in a revised edition that is as fresh and provocative as the original was more than thirty years ago.
An aging rock star in a world in which entertainment and street warfare go hand in hand, Hoss must defend himself against Crow, a newcomer who battles him for fame. Combining musical styles and intense dialogue in an unconventional musical-fantasy, Tooth of Crime riffs brilliantly on rising stars and fading legends, and rock lived and died for.
Sam Shepard is the Pulitzer Prize—winning author of more than forty-five plays. He was a finalist for the W. H. Smith Literary Award for his story collection Great Dream of Heaven, and he has also written the story collection Cruising Paradise, two collections of prose pieces, Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon, and Rolling Thunder Logbook, a diary of Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Review tour. As an actor he has appeared in more than thirty films, including Days of Heaven, Crimes of the Heart, Steel Magnolias, The Pelican Brief, Snow Falling on Cedars, All the Pretty Horses, Black Hawk Down, and The Notebook. He received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for his performance in The Right Stuff. His screenplay for Paris, Texas won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, and he wrote and directed the film Far North in 1988 and co-wrote and starred in Wim Wenders’ Don’t Come Knocking in 2005. Shepard’s plays, eleven of which have won Obie Awards, include The God of Hell, The Late Henry Moss, Simpatico, Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love, and A Lie of the Mind, which won a New York Drama Desk Award. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shepard received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992, and in 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. He lives in New York.
“Brilliant. . . . By far Mr. Shepard’s best play.” –The Wall Street Journal
“A fascinating, even brilliant work. . . . It is bracingly insightful on the ephemerality and corrupting powers of stardom. . . . Few critics would deny its electricity and imagination on the page.” –The New York Times
“Marvelously evocative. . . . Direct and immediate. . . . A simple allegory of fame American-style. . . . It packs a potent punch not readily forgotten.” –New York Post