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The Caretaker - A Play Paperback – 27 Feb 2015

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Product details

  • Paperback: 58 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel French; First Thus edition (27 Feb. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0573040028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0573040023
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,705,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "jack_organ" on 6 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
Although I studied this play for GCSE English, I found it a marvellous play, beautifully written. A deep play considering the fact it only contains 3 characters, with Pinter delving deep into the psyche of the character. I highly recommend it to fans of Harold Pinter. Studying it took the edge out of it for me, but still and enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Will There Ever Be A Caretaker? 11 April 2005
By Jan Dierckx - Published on
Format: Paperback
Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. In 1995 he won the David Cohen British Literature Prize, awarded for a lifetime's achievement in literature.

On 30 May 1960, the play was presented by Michael Codron and David Hall at the Duchess Theatre, London, with the following cast:
Mick, a man in his late twenties: Alan Bates
Aston, a man in his early thirties: Peter Woodthorpe
Davies, an old man: Donald Pleasance

This is the story of three men. Mick is the proprietor of a shabby house in West London. Aston, his brother, is always busy with something but never accomplishes anything. Finally there is Davies, some kind of a hobo, adopted by Aston who gives him a place to sleep and - after a while - asks him if he wants a job as the caretaker. Davies is very reluctant and finds petty excuses to postpone the decision of becoming the caretaker.

As the story unfolds, you ask yourself if anything will ever change and if anything important will ever happen ('No Exit' by J.P.Sartre comes to mind: four persons who will have to suffer each other for Eternity).

The most impressive part of the play is the monologue by Aston in which he tells how he was treated with electro-shocks when he was a kid. This is one of the most gruesome parts I know in modern theatre.

A final remark: when you read (or listen to) this play, you will soon find out that one of the most attractive parts of this play is the very lively and humorous dialogue
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pinter as the poor bloke's Beckett 21 Aug. 2007
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
Format: Paperback
With this play which was first produced in 1960 Pinter became a well- known and admired dramatist. It is still considered one of his finest plays. It is the story of three character, Davies, an elderly wanderer who has been saved by the middle- aged Aston and brought into the home he shares with his brother Mick. The three characters in the course of the play talk at length and reveal their own respective characters. There is a sense of menace and threat in the relationships- and there is much focusing on trivialities of everyday life. The play in short is Pinteresque though it static quality, absurdity and illogic make it somewhat difficult to get a hold on.
There are fine, and at times funny passages in the work. The down- and-out Davies who also goes by the name of Jenkins is frequently taunted by the younger brother Mick. Mick dreams of the apartment being elaborately restored. The middle brother Astin who has undergone shock treatments is often fragmented and broken. The play is filled with attacks on the major characters. .
I have never been a big fan of the Theatre of the Absurd (Beckett, Ionesco, Pinter) and when I do like it it is because of the beautiful, lyrical passages which in my feeling Becket particularly excels in. For me Pinter is not bad, but far indeed from the status of writer whose works we would like to return to again and again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Technique Without Inspiration in This One 29 Jun. 2009
By John F. Rooney - Published on
Format: Paperback
"The Caretaker" (1960) has some of Pinter's typical Absurdist features, but this three-act three character play seems less interesting, less involving, more rambling and talky than his other early work. It has the same claustrophobic seedy one-room he has used before, but his three people don't make contact with us and involve us. Two brothers, Aston and Mick, seem to share a room or a house. Mentally-challenged Aston brings home Davies, a derelict, and sets him up as a quasi-caretaker of the property. Davies has trouble with his inadequate shoes, just as does a character in "Waiting for Godot" by Beckett, Pinter's mentor
We get so much talk, jabbering and background information from Davies and Aston that we eventually tire of it. Aston had been institutionalized because of his mental condition and been given shock treatments. At one brief moment of the play, Davies suggests he has been confined in such a place. Sinister acting Mick menaces and threatens Davies so Davies pulls a knife to protect himself.
In other plays Pinter was able to get audience or readers interested in the characters because of their quirkiness and the feeling of puzzles within enigmas, but in this play he bores us because he lets it go on too long. The set is depressing which only emphasizes the tedious and stultified nature of the characters.
Each of the three seems to be a dodgy type. Mick seems to be unsavory, Davies is shiftless and seems on the run, and Aston is not playing with a full deck. Davies and Aston tell a lot about themselves; Mick remains more of a mystery. They all talk in circles and repeat things. At times Mick talks like a catalog of interior design.
Mick, too, engages Davies as a caretaker, but then they have a territorial squabble. The tables are turned. Later Davies tries to assert himself and throw out Aston.
A very humorous attack is launched by Mick who claims that Davies said he was an interior decorator. Then both brothers want Davies out.
The Pinteresque pauses that he became famous for seemed to begin in this play. Davies says to Aston, "You must be off your nut." Exits and entrances are weird in this play.
In this play Pinter goes awry, with all technique and little inspiration.
Waiting for Sidcup. 18 Nov. 2014
By Peter Jakobsen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Pinter-esque power games, full of menace, pauses, hopelessness and procrastination; we're all still waiting for the weather to break in order to collect those papers from Sidcup! I commend the film version with Donald Pleasance, Alan Bates and Robert Shaw.
Five Stars 30 Sept. 2014
By Jordan Carrera - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good condition
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