Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Brothers” as Want to Read:
Blood Brothers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Brothers

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,010 ratings  ·  53 reviews
This is a fast-moving, perceptive and entertaining work, which is funny yet ultimately tragic. It tells the tale of twin brothers, born into a large working-class family and the consequences of one of them being adopted by a neighbouring middle-class family.
Published December 1st 1989 by Learning Links (first published 1985)
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 Blood Brothers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blood Brothers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,399)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mariam Abood
This is one of my favourite plays of all time and far surpasses some "classic plays I have read.

This play is raw and intricate because it touches upon issues that are relevant in today's society, and may always be relevant in today's society, contrary to Marxist belief. This play explores whether there is inherently much difference between the classes, or if we have just been conditioned to think there is.

So the synopsis is a bit cheesy, two brothers who were separated at birth, to only meet ea
Love this! Studied it for GCSE and really enjoyed it! So many themes and well developed characters as well as great songs
Ben Gailey
Tragedy is a theme written from the very start of this Liverpudlian play. Russell's tragic work of fiction about two brother's torn apart from each other from birth both supplements the reader and audience with a heavy dose of sadness, comedy and superstition set in the slum environments of 60's-80's Liverpudlian England. What happens to the two Johnstone twins? I dearly recommend you to read this relatively short play and then watch the performance. I must add that the theater production was fa ...more
Leo Goldsmith
I was in a bit of a dilemma here - there are clear faults in the text as a piece of (musical) drama and I might be jaundiced by having now seen in performed three times...yet, yet...every time I teach this to a class they seem to be really engaged by it. So I salute you, Blood Brothers as a GCSE text! Thank you to W.R!
I think that it's hard to judge a musical just by reading it, but as this is the first musical I have read, I was still able to enjoy it. I would suggest to anyone going to read it in the future though, to know all the songs before reading it, otherwise you're just reading lyrics without being able to enjoy the songs for what they really are.
I loved the way Russell shows us the difference between the two classes, and how two different two people can grow up to be just by having different living
Even though they are (somewhat problematically) listed under the same "Blood Brothers" umbrella here, there are actually two versions of the text: the original straight play version, and the musical that was developed from it. While they *are* quite similar - indeed, a good portion of the text is identical between the two - but there are still enough differences (particularly when it comes to the events of the musical's second act) that they merit them being viewed separately.

This particular edi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Lindsay
Well what could i say about this book. At first i didn't expect much from it being a sixteen year old girl into other genres but boy did i grow on this. I even went to see the play and loved it! I'm even going to see it for a second time as i just love it :)

Blood brother is about a two twin boys who where separated at birth into two very different lives. The play covers the themes of superstition, poverty, class, fate, friendship, love, nature vs nurture and so much more. It cover the story of
I don't read plays and I don't go to theatre. But every rule has its exception. In this case, it is this wonderful play Blood Brothers.

I came across this book during my studies for GCSE and I was absolutely enthraled by it. The story is about two brothers who were separated after being born, because their mother could not afford to keep them both. While being brought up in completely different conditions, destiny always brings them together. They feel connected in some way even though they do no
Studied and watched this play for my GCSE - in depth study of a lot of the scenes in it, since I had to write an entire essay on it. What's actually more surprising is, when I was younger, I hated this play. Back before I was fifteen I really couldn't stand to think about it, much less read about it. It just wasn't my thing, so when the prospect came up of having to watch it again (I watched an ammature performance when I was about ten) really bothered me.

But actually I was surprised. A proper t
I originally saw this as a musical in the theater (which I highly recommend) but I had to study the novel for English Literature so read the play too. The story is very well written and there are a lot of plot twists. The parallels used are also very clever and there are strong themes that run throughout to keep you engaged.
Mike Steven
I've been aware of Blood Brothers for some time, although I've never actually sat down and read it. I had previously seen scenes and songs from the play and I knew basically what it was about, however, its introduction into the new specification for GCSE English Literature gave me an excuse to pick up a copy.

For me it was a successful reading on two counts. Firstly, I enjoyed it as a story - I felt that there was a reasonable amount of realism in what is, after all, an utterly contrived notion.
I am studying this play as part of my English Literature coursework at GCSE, and it is such a funny, but hard hitting play. The way Willy Russell uses the common format of Greek tragedy, the opening lines telling us more than what the character's know, the optism we see at end of Act 1 and the tragic ending we sadly knew was coming, is such a perfect way to show what class can do to the British society.
With Liverpool right near to my home town and it being my nearest City it is interesting to se
Louise Jones
with being from merseyside it is a play i have seen countless times but must admit i enjoyed taking it at a slower pace reading it in reading group their is quite a few things to consider no matter how difficult life is would u give a baby away and how would choose if twins you would always be wondering . It was slightly far fetched in a greek tragedy sort of way and with superstition do bad things happen because you expect them to and in life is it really a nice house and the in toys which cre ...more
Love this! Studied it in GCSE English it was the only book I actually enjoyed studying! I even went to see the theatre production because of how much I loved the book!
Alice Crook
Just finished reading this in my English lessons! Blood Brothers is one of my favourite musicals. so studying it has been really fun! :)
I read the screen play in high school and oh my god!!! I must read this again
HATED this.. Read for GCSE and OHMYGOD is it boring.
Lorna Marie
I read this during A Level English.
Alison Chan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I finished this book the day i borrowed it from the school library. Well I thought this book was very interesting and not suitable for children. It had a lot of swear words in the book and a lot of mean languages. This is actually a play with scripts in the format of a book. I don't know whether it is based on a true story or not, but I hope it isn't because I really don't want someone to actually die so tragically...

See more...
Rachel McQuoid
i remember studying this for drama in school, i thought it was crap back then but after finding the book during a clear out and re-reading it i remember just how much i hated it. i wasnt a fan of plays then but now im a big fan of them and i really like this. i went to see this performed and i feel that reading it doesnt do it justice, you simply must see it in its true form, on the stage. its a truely great play!
My first attempt at reading a musical; 'Blood Brothers' is an exciting tale of two twin brothers separated at birth; and grow up at different ends of the social spectrum showing the differences between classes in the 70's and 80's of British Society. The brothers, by chance, are reunited at different times during their lives, but it is only at birth and death when they are truly reunited as brothers.
It's just... so incredibly moving. I encourage anyone and everyone to go see the musical in London before it closes in October - I did and it was the best experience of my life. I could not stop crying afterwards, for literally 5 minutes. I stood in the lobby of the theatre, with red eyes. I fell in love with every character. This story will always hold a special place in my heart.
Ali Adenwala
Just read this for my GCSE Drama course, and it was pretty enjoyable, and so much better than the last play we had to read (which I hated ).

I also liked how it was a musical so it was cool imagining all the musical numbers in my head, but I’ll be seeing the show live in a few weeks for my assessment so that should be fun too. :3
I had to read this for Drama.

Picture this:
Me sitting on my bus, head shoved into my copy of the script. Lauhging hysterically when Eddie swore at Mrs Lyons, nearly crying at the mind goes dancing song...

I have no idea how I'm goign to do my internal. Such an amzing play, I don't know where to start.
Lou Amy
I am currently studying this play for my English GCSE and I have to say that it is the most interesting and well thought out book I have looked at, at this level (compared to Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men). The stageshow is fantastic and my attention was never lost.
Okay so in all honesty the, first time I read the play I didn't quite understand the hype BUT on second reading and an over indulgence of listening to the songs on spotify I WAS ABSOLUTELY SMITTEN. And ~-*spoiler alert*-~ I did cry. Tell me it's not true.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 46 47 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Journey's End (Heinemann Plays)
  • Chicago   The Musical: Vocal Selections
  • Beautiful Thing Drama Version
  • subUrbia
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Boys for Beginners
  • 1776
  • Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata
  • Torch Song Trilogy
  • Love! Valour! Compassion!
  • Dancing at Lughnasa
  • Take Me Out: A Play
  • 32c That's Me
  • An Inspector Calls
  • 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
  • Next to Normal
  • My Friend Walter
  • Fools
William Russell is a British dramatist, lyricist, and composer. His best-known works are Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, and Blood Brothers.

Willy Russell was born in Whiston, on the outskirts of Liverpool, where he grew up. His parents worked in a book publisher's and often encouraged him to read. After leaving school with one O-level in English, he first became a ladies' hairdresser and ran hi
More about Willy Russell...
Educating Rita The Wrong Boy Our Day Out (Heinemann Plays) Shirley Valentine Stags and Hens

Share This Book