Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Garden Party and Other Plays” as Want to Read:
The Garden Party and Other Plays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Garden Party and Other Plays

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Gathered together here for the first time are seven plays that span Havel's career from his early days at the Theater of the Balustrade through the Prague Spring, Charter 77, and the repeated imprisonments that made Havel's name into a rallying cry and propelled him to the leadership of his country. They include The Garden Party, The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published January 18th 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1994)
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 Garden Party and Other Plays, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Garden Party and Other Plays

Hrdý Budžes by Irena DouskováThe Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaOněgin byl Rusák by Irena DouskováHovno hoří by Petr ŠabachThe Garden Party and Other Plays by Václav Havel
World of Czech Communist Era
5th out of 11 books — 4 voters
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami1Q84 by Haruki MurakamiSputnik Sweetheart by Haruki MurakamiAfter Dark by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Franz Kafka Prize Laureates
21st out of 36 books — 8 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 599)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A book that was given to me as a present by one of dearest mentors in high school, my public speaking coach who wrote a dedication on the first page saying "It's time to stop fooling myself: smart books belong with smart people." So, taking my mentor's word for it, I assumed that this would be a smart book (one which a smart person like myself could handle) and I embarked on a voyage that took me along unexpected paths, surprise twists and turns, all the while, keeping the Northern Star in sight ...more
Started for this book group.

All unquestionably interesting as historical artefacts, as drama some of Vaclav Havel's plays have aged better than others. In general, Theatre of the Absurd appears very unfashionable at the moment and it's a rare sighting except at large festivals like Edinburgh.

Reading these plays outside academia, there are few resources: the odd article on Havel, occasional reviews of performances, but films or detailed commentary are absent. This edition has no introduction nor
I didn't like this book of plays until I understood something after the last play. That is, suffering is not a normal thing. It takes a person or entity to subject someone to it. Vaclav Havel was a revolutionary of sorts and his suffering did not go in vain. His plays reflect a kind of catharsis of reasonable rational behavior to an insufferable enemy. The pain inflicted on the Eastern block countries was a human tragedy. No less than Hitler's Germany and the sufferings of the Israelites in Baby ...more
There are some who say that Havel's plays have aged poorly, and now lack a power they formerly had. While it's true that Havel's work is clearly shaped by a specific period and context, his plays are not any worse for it; they touch on a series of more universal themes and messages, and it is still possible for a modern audience to find the humour and wit in Havel's work. Certainly, Havel's ability to manipulate and play with language is something which enriches these plays, and makes them worth ...more
Everyone should read some Havel.
I found the earlier two plays (The Garden Party and The Memorandum) boring at best and incomprehensible at worst; however, I'm glad I stuck with it, as The Increased Difficulty of Concentration was good, and the loosely-connected trilogy of Audience / Unveiling / Protest were really brilliant. I suspect I might have enjoyed these more if I had a better understanding of the political context and subtleties.
I kinda devoured this. I forget how much I enjoy reading plays, and Havel has a sharp wit and flair for dialogue. Good stuff. It's sort of a wonder he was able to pull off this kind of socially perceptive and critical work under the shadow of the Soviet regime. I guess that whole 'genius' tag is really appropriate here.
Havel's ability to find humor and satire in the simplest things (ie Memorandum) is delightful. His life story is so unique. How many playwrights got elected president of the country where they spent so many years as a dissident? Interesting man, interesting work.
If you're interested in the Czechoslovakia during the communist era, these plays are intriguing. I liked reading the artistic work of one of my favorite statesmen, but I still find it challenging to read plays.
Farsi Zabanam
I was writing my high school senior thesis on Vaclav Havel, so I read this book. It's absolutely fantastic, in my opinion.
Excellent writing, not used to reading plays but enjoyed it
Adam Šimice
Žabinec bez brčka neusmažíš!
Very good, very memorable.
Jesse Wolfe 5199
I can't get enough of this.
GAP marked it as to-read
May 29, 2015
Andrew Maccallum
Andrew Maccallum marked it as to-read
May 27, 2015
Deniz Mohammed
Deniz Mohammed marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
Christine is currently reading it
May 09, 2015
rachel marked it as to-read
May 05, 2015
Cuzzco marked it as to-read
May 04, 2015
Max marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
Zuzana Fedáková
Zuzana Fedáková is currently reading it
Apr 22, 2015
Nathan marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
A Lifetime's Read...: The Garden Party 4 10 Jan 21, 2012 05:28PM  
  • Makropoulos Secret
  • Markéta Lazarová
  • Labyrint světa a ráj srdce
  • Záhada hlavolamu (Stínadelská trilogie, #1)
  • May
  • Spalovač mrtvol
  • The Grandmother (Babicka)
  • Slavnosti sněženek
  • Bylo nás pět
  • Romeo, Julie a tma
  • The Servant of Two Masters
  • Staré řecké báje a pověsti
  • Maryša
  • Mama, I Love You
  • Křest svatého Vladimíra
  • Těžká hodina
  • Pejsek a kočička
Václav Havel was a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia (1989–92) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He wrote over twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally. He received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the free ...more
More about Václav Havel...
Power of the Powerless Audience (Acting Edition) Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation with Karel Hvížďala Open Letters: Selected Writings, 1965-1990 Largo Desolato

Share This Book