Through his theories of the theatre as a plague and as cruelty, Artaud defines in a small space exactly what American theatre has lost complete track of. If you hope to understand what theatre is and how it truly manifests itself, intently study this book. If you do not, then go away!
I've kept my ratty copy of this book for 25 years wherever I have gone. It is a very serviceable translation of a seminal work of 20th century theatre criticism. Whatever one thinks of Artaud's ideas, he provides much food for thought. Essential reading for study or for pleasure.