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An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley

An Inspector Calls (1945)

by J. B. Priestley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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The Edwardian drawing room of smug, satisfied haves is rattled by the disruptions of new classes and technologies and connections, all unravelling in the 20th century maelstrom that Priestley and his peers witnessed, and ushered in. Entertaining, artfully conveyed, albeit with a simplistic, rather preachy tone. Hard to read now without pondering current parallels. Do we now see the same with our 21st century technocratic prosperity under onslaught, as the loss of faith in our comfortable conventions spirals forth? Inspect thyselves, Priestley was doubtless warning his audience, even three decades on, when that disruption was finally settling down, and perhaps that same warning is due today, as once again society and culture realign. ( )
  eglinton | Aug 10, 2018 |
I do not read plays often. In fact, apart from an occasional Shakespeare, I do not read drama at all, which explains why all these pieces seemed way too theatrical to me, and the lines come, well, delivered. In "normal" prosa that'd be pejorative and translate to "laboured" and "contrived". But when I imagine actors on stage having to strike a pose and expectorate their messages towards the audience, that the audience, in turn, has to construct a context beyond the three walls and the fragile promise of unity, it works in a certain way and other, more appropriate questions arise. So, that established, and a very short introduction to drama delivered, please start eating salt.

Priestley is a very engaged writer. While his perspective is explicitly and deeply humanistic, social problems are never marginal, and all the issues strictly contemporary. What time does to people and to families may be a question as topical as to actually break the unity commandment (unless I got the latter wrong), but it's never just Time. War and less prominent social change catalysts are dealt with and the resolution leaves the reader - alas! - as angry, aged and bitter as most of the characters are (which is, possibly, characteristic for drama. "We too shall see a sky of diamonds" I call that kind of ending).

He seems on the other hand very preoccupied with certain outlandish ideas about time and personal change, which takes his pieces quite close to the gaping abyss of the sci-fi genre, into which, as we know, whole characters in all their potential depth get sucked and vanish. Which, I am happy to say, does not happen fully, but is a gnaw on the margins and hinges.

This is why I always had an impression that Conway's Game of Life is a great version of the play "Time and the Conways". ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
Normalerweise lese ich nicht Schauspiele in jeder Sprache. Wahrscheinlich aus diesem Grund finde ich es ein bisschen langweilig wegen der langsamer Dialog. ( )
  ursula-gaosili | Oct 23, 2016 |
Review to come. ( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
3 Acts
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. B. Priestleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bowes, Saracast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crowe, Bencast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallimore, Patcast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hardiman, Terrencecast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawksworth, Willcast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelham, Christophercast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindford, Petercast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lomas, JonathanCommentary authorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maine, GilCommentary authorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Myers, HarryMusicsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reeves, MikeCommentary authorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheckels, JenCover & insert designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SmartPassPost-productionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorpe, Davidcast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viner, JoolsProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viner, PhilDirector & cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, Joancast membersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A new BBC Radio production of J. B. Priestley's famous play, considered to be a classic of 20th-century theatre. The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl. As the Inspector reveals more about the circumstances that led to the death of Eva Smith, each member of the family comes under the spotlight, and questions of guilt and responsibility are raised.… (more)

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Average: (3.57)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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