The Norman Conquests: A Trilogy of Plays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Norman Conquests: A Trilogy of Plays

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  271 ratings  ·  23 reviews

This brilliant comic trilogy details the amorous exploits of Norman, assistant librarian, whose one aim is to make the women of his life happy—these women being, as it happens, three sisters, one of them his wife, who can’t wear contact lenses because “life with Norman is full of unexpected eye movements.” Each play stands uproariously on its own yet interlocks with the ot

...more
Paperback, An Evergreen Book, 226 pages
Published January 22nd 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1973)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Norman Conquests, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Norman Conquests

Relatively Speaking by Alan AyckbournThe Norman Conquests by Alan AyckbournIntimate Exchanges, Volume II by Alan AyckbournWoman in Mind by Alan AyckbournMan Of The Moment by Alan Ayckbourn
Best of Alan Ayckbourn
2nd out of 56 books — 2 voters
The Quiet American by Graham GreeneDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleQuo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Q is for quality
261st out of 273 books — 25 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 416)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Justin
There isn't too much to say about The Norman Conquests because it is something that absolutely must be experienced. I dove head-first into reading the trilogy after seeing all three parts on Broadway and found it to be just as joyously hilarious to read as it was to see, and I even caught myself audibly laughing at moments I hadn't during the actual play, and I was practically doubled-over in laughter for the duration of the live performance. This gem of a trilogy seems to be tragically unknown,...more
Christina
If you are looking for a laugh and enjoy dry, British humor... this trilogy is for you. Each play takes place over the same period of time, but in different rooms. While each play stands alone, if you take the time to read all three, you see and interesting build on the plot and rich character development. Ayckbourn cleverly shows the reader how important off-stage action can be.
Laura
Mar 13, 2011 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
A weekend of tangled relationships begins in the dining room of a country house. Stars Robin Herford and Diane Bull.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b009snzt
Jonathan
Witty and enjoyable. The Norman Conquests consists of a trilogy of plays, each of which takes place in a different room in a country house over a single weekend. "Table Manners" takes place in the dining room, "Living Together" takes place in the living room, and "Round and Round in the Garden" takes place in the garden. As a reader (of the book) or audience member (of the play), you, by the end, see everything that happened over the weekend--although, of course, the characters do not.

The BBC p...more
Therese Ptak
Something that struck me about these series of plays is how incredibly funny they were! It's a first for me because prior to reading these plays I had felt that plays were rather boring while musicals were funny. But this turned that concept promptly on it's ear. It's a bit hard to get the jist of what's going on and i feel that seeing it performed on the stage would eliminate some of the confusion but the characters are fun and the situations can be side-splitting. If you hear of a dramatic pro...more
Ann Canann
Side sidesplitting funny! This is Ayckbourn's Pulitzer Prize winning trilogy, "The Norman Conquests" which follows six characters through an increasingly destablizing week end.

In the first play, "Table Manners," Norman sets off to seduce his sister-in-law.

In the second play, "Living Together," he gets drunk on home-made wine and everyone goes down to defeat except Norman.

In the third play, "Round and Round the Garden." in mother's overgrown English garden, the satirical masterpiece comes to a h...more
Jillian
Dec 27, 2013 Jillian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jillian by: Cece
What an undertaking Ayckbourn pulls off with this trilogy. All three plays depict the same weekend of domestic misadventures from different areas of the house. Each play enriches the others without feeling repetitive, and any of the three could also stand entirely on its own for viewers only in town for one night. Despite featuring few to no likeable characters, the plays themselves are charming and hilarious. This is my second Ayckbourn collection and I can't wait to discover more, and hopefull...more
Steve
Such an original piece of theatre. Each play may claim to stand on its own, but seeing all three really raises this work to new heights. Each character has their moment to shine across the set, while still finding their place within each respective story. I can't imagine how difficult it was to write this trilogy, but I'm glad I've seen it on stage.
Corey Murray
Each of these three plays can exist on its own, for they each tell the same story with the same characters; but reading all three gives you a much deeper appreciation for the complexity of the situation, the hilarity of the situation, for Norman the protagonist's skills as a charmer, and for Ayckbourn's talents as a playwrite.
Bette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven
Funny trio of Ayckbourn plays that can be read in any order, filled with the usual painful English middle class misunderstandings and misfortunes that Ayckbourn observes so sharply.
Christie
One of the most hilarious trilogy of plays I have ever had the joy to watch. Reading the play brought back memories of when I saw them and it's an experience everyone should have
Adam Tramposh
Palatably frivolous – well suited for train commutes. Central premise: people are intolerable to one another, no matter how you frame the narrative.
Barb
The Norman Conquests was written in the 1970's, but it's a timeless plot, and I enjoyed the character development of this trilogy of plays.
Ayne Ray
Sharp, witty, and thoroughly amusing, each play in this trilogy stands on its own merit but works best when read as a whole.
Iain
The Englishman killing himself laughing on the Madrid Metro was me, reading this. A modern masterpiece.
Catherine
Clever trilogy of interlocking plays from a great British dramatist. Well worth a read.
Jason
Great concept-wonderful characters-fantastic construction-immense fun!
Amy
This trilogy is reminiscent of Oscar Wilde. I enjoyed it!
Abby
HILARIOUS. GOOD JOB GRANDPA!
☯Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Llovía
Read for class
Pithee
BBC Recording
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Llamafirehazard
Llamafirehazard marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Private Lives
  • Fifth of July
  • A Delicate Balance
  • The Lady's Not for Burning
  • The Madness of George III
  • The Complete Plays
  • Stop Kiss: Trade Edition
  • The Rivals
  • Incident at Vichy
  • The Real Thing: A Play
  • The Normal Heart
  • Betrayal
  • Beyond Therapy
  • The Weir
  • A Few Good Men
  • The Servant of Two Masters
  • Bent
  • Herself Surprised
55054
Sir Alan Ayckbourn is a popular and prolific English playwright. He has written and produced seventy-three full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal Nat...more
More about Alan Ayckbourn...
Absurd Person Singular Three Plays: Absurd Person Singular / Absent Friends / Bedroom Farce Woman in Mind (December Bee) Bedroom Farce A Comedy In Two Acts Comic Potential: A Play

Share This Book