- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (21 Jan. 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571160808
- ISBN-13: 978-0571160808
- Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 1.3 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Homecoming Paperback – 21 Jan 1991
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In The Homecoming - an intense expression of compressed violence that inspired fourty years of critical debate - Harold Pinter explores family relationships, marriage and role-reversals with clarity, humour and wit.
From the Back Cover
In an old and slightly seedy house in North London there lives a family of men: Max, the aging but still aggressive patriarch; his younger, ineffectual brother Sam; and two of Max's three sons, neither of whom is married-Lenny, a small-time pimp, and Joey, who dreams of success as a boxer. Into this sinister abode come the eldest son, Teddy, who, having spent the past six years teaching philosophy in America, is now bringing his wife, Ruth, home to visit the family she has never met.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The quality of the dialogue knocked me off my feet. Conventions seem well-established but aren't quite the expected conventions. The family is close but not quite the expected closeness. This is hardly a dysfunctional family: it's just a family not functioning as you might have been taught a family should.
I recently watched the 1973 American Film Theatre performance of this play on VHS. Vivian Merchant, who also starred in the American Film Theatre's version of Jean Genet's "The Maids", plays Ruth in "The Homecoming". How to expect a better cast? In the hands of those incredible actors, this play slammed into me. It will take me days to find suitable words to describe what hit me. Unlike the plays of Pinter's friend Beckett, "The Homecoming" can't be dismissed as Theatre of the Absurd. Not that there isn't absurdity, but that Pinter works hard to interwine it with familiar daily routines.
No boring moments. At the beginning the hostilities seemeed contrived but very soon a lot more was going on. Most of us aren't as creative as this family in finding a way to make the family work ... and most of us probably wouldn't want to be. But they are close and not just because of what they share during this visit. The father especially struck me as rising above his angers to find a love (however unconventional) for his sons and that warmth became unmistakeable as the play progressed. No? Well, something special is going on in "The Homecoming" and I'll probably need many passes to understand what it is. But, with such rich dialogue, many passes seem warranted.
A short concise outline of the film is as follows: Max's long estranged son Teddy who is a Professor returns from America with his wife Ruth. Max is upset and shocked when they reveal they have arrived unannounced, the previous evening. Their arrival has an affect on the whole family with repercussions and devastating consequences. There are incredible performances as we observe the bitter old bullied brother Sam as he tries to outwit Max in a constant vengeful battle of wits. Younger brother Lenny is the crafty sarcastic jack the lad, who resents his father and what he stands for, while joey is the dim witted put upon son who dreams of boxing glory to lead him out of his life of drudgery. What ensues is a monumental clash of wills, personalities and ideals, leading to a devastating and shocking finale which still has the power to shock even in this day and age.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Almost every page had scribbled, illegible notes written in pencil and ink. This spoilt the appearance of the book and was off putting when reading it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Hard work this play, it's very misogynistic and suddenly unexplained events happen, can't quite work it out!Published 18 months ago by Linda of London
Looking forward to seeing Jamie Lloyd's 50th Anniversary production of this in November - and to getting it autographed by the cast I hope! Read morePublished 21 months ago by EJ
To some people the story may be odd, some may feel good about it. Anyway, it's interesting to read it and make your own decision.Published on 25 May 2015 by Harry
came on time and was in surprising really good condition (minus the little highlighting and annotations, but i knew that would be there). Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2014 by shamima islam
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