Hilton Als writes this in a recent New Yorker magazine:
Among the many terrible realities to which David Mamet exposes us in his exceptional, calculated work, one theme stands out: suckers will never get a break in this wretched world. In the sixty-year-old playwright’s fictional universe, the humane are too soft and dim-witted to survive; their tormentors chew them up with dry relish. Mamet treats the stage as a kind of bloody forum; the gladiators one finds there are skinny con artists, callow film producers, real-estate agents in cheap suits, and ghastly lovers who spar, using the author’s hyper-stylized language as both spear and shield. Even to refer to some of Mamet’s characters as “lovers” feels wrong—like calling a thief a victim. Mamet’s protagonists do not love; they size each other up and assess what they can extract from each other—and the answer is usually money. If they show any physical tenderness at all, it’s brief; they kiss, then withdraw, constantly reminding themselves of the primary rule of survival: Get or be gotten.
Does this not capture the psychopathic world?
Glengarry Glen Ross, for example is a brilliant, excruciating example which has been made into a movie. Business people speak of making ‘a killing’ – Mamet shows the truth behind this choice of words.