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The Birthday Party (Pinter Plays) Paperback – March 4, 1991


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About the Author

Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 and they married in 1980. In 1995 he won the David Cohen British Literature Prize, awarded for a lifetime's achievement in literature. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, in the same year, the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry and the Franz Kafka Award (Prague). In 2006 he was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize and, in 2007, the highest French honour, the Legion d'honneur. He died in December 2008.
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Product Details

  • Series: Pinter Plays
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Plays (March 4, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571160786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571160785
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan Dierckx on June 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
'The Birthday Party' was first presented by Michael Codron and David Hall at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge, on 28 April 1958 with the following cast:
Petey Willoughby Gray
Meg Beatrix Lehmann
Stanley Richard Pearson
Lulu Wendy Hutchinson
Goldberg John Slater
McCann John Stratton.

Stanley Webber is visited in his boarding house by two strangers, Goldberg and McCann. An innocent seeming birthday party for Stanley turns into a nightmare.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John F. Rooney VINE VOICE on June 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
In "The Birthday Party" sixtyish batty Meg and husband Petey live in a past-its-prime British seaside resort and run a seedy boarding house which has only one guest, a strange loner named Stanley whom Meg has grown too fond of. Two mysterious ill-boding strangers, Goldberg and McCann, show up and decide to give Stanley a birthday party when it isn't even his birthday. Lulu is a young neighbor who visits and regrets it. A toy drum becomes a disquieting prop.
Pinter, child of Beckett, sets up a bizarre situation. All of the people are weird, kooky, save Petey, and their behavior becomes grotesque. The party goes badly awry and gets into scary territory.
This is early Pinter, not top-drawer, in which he is groping his way toward the Pinteresque theater of the Absurd. He toned down his antics in some of his later, better works like "The Homecoming."
A Pinter play frequently presents:
1. Round-the-bend, barely functional, often disreputable characters living on the fringes of society, some criminal types
2. Commonplace, prosaic dialogue that is often funny, satiric, inane and Absurdist
3. A sense of nameless terror and menace, pending violence, a mystery, the surreal, and the unexpected
4. Often the motivation of some characters is unclear. We see people who are barely able to make it. Are they dumb, out of it, or puppets on a string?
Pinter keeps you interested by the plot. Where is he leading me? Why are these people doing these things? Nothing seems earthshaking
You step into his askew world and you're asking for trouble, and if you're adventurous, you are enjoying being toyed with.
Part of the charm of Pinter are his enigmatic plots. They're fun because he's going to tease you, to make you wonder.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Anne Desenberg on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this in college and really enjoyed it, so it was nice to find it again.
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