The first time I read this book, when I was reading it for a friend in college, someone who took the literary courses we engineers didn't have room for, I LOVED it and just laughed at all the humor. It was the freedom in it that struck me. I didn't realize anyone else knew these things. They're things people don't talk about. It struck like a fresh wind that someone recognized about life what seemed to obvious to me. It is a hilarious play. I'd love to see it performed someday.
When I read it again a few years ago, I was struck this time by how bleak it is, and sad. Lucky, with whom I had strongly identified, made me cry this time. The whole thing seemed so tragic and depressing. I'm sort of surprised that I had such very different reactions to the book at different times of my life. I read it again just recently, and the sorrow again came to the forefront.
My college friend was just puzzled. He never did get what it was about. I wonder which response is most prevalent: joy and liberation, sadness, or simple confusion. I think I'll read all the other reviews and see. Anyway, READ THIS PLAY! It's super important in the history of ideas, as well as being great art in the sense that it draws a primal response and teaches us something about life and who we are.