The Iceman Cometh focuses on a group of alcoholics and misfits who endlessly discuss but never act on their dreams, and Hickey, the traveling salesman determined to strip them of their pipe dreams. Eugene O'Neill—the first American playwright to win the Nobel Prize in literature—completed Iceman in 1939, but he delayed production until after the war, when it enjoyed a long run of performances in 1946 after receiving mixed reviews. Three years after O'Neill's death, Jason Robards starred in a Broadway revival that brought new critical attention to O’Neill’s darkest and most nihilistic play. Since then, The Iceman Cometh has gained enormously in stature; many critics now recognize it as one of the greatest plays in American drama.
Selected as a 2007 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries
"We live and die, in the spirit, in solitude, and the true strength of Iceman is its intense dramatic exemplification of that somber reality . . . life, in Iceman, is what it is in Schopenhauer: illusion."—from the foreword by Harold Bloom