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Plays 1: The Real Inspector Hound / After Magritte / Dirty Linen / New-Found-Land / Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth
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Plays 1: The Real Inspector Hound / After Magritte / Dirty Linen / New-Found-Land / Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,567 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Paperback, 211 pages
Published April 15th 1996 by Faber & Faber (first published 1993)
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Ian Johnston
Jul 22, 2013 Ian Johnston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Real Inspector Hound is one of Stoppard's finest plays, and this volume has quite a few more gems in it. Hound is one of my favourites for it's blurring the lines between theatre and reality; we watch two critics watching a play who eventually get caught up in the action. It's a comment on the banality of critical reviews, especially for the kind of drama that initially appears to be going on on stage.
Feb 15, 2014 Greg rated it really liked it
Tom Stop-Hard's play on words is catching. Plays 1: The Real Inspector House was great. Good fun. An hilarious whodunnit. The companion play After Magritte was good fun as well. I enjoyed Dirty Linen / New-Found-Land, which are a good send up of Parliamentary sub-committees. All these so far read well on the page, and I imagine actors would have a great time in these plays.
The next two, Dogg's Hamlet and Cahoot's Macbeth are a companion piece. Dogg's Hamlet has to play first. I read half of this
Nov 30, 2016 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 24, 2016 Phillip rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
The Real Inspector Hound: This is exactly the kind of fun, light existential comedy that is so characteristic of early Stoppard. It involves the dissolution of identity, the transposition of characters, and a deep-seated uncertainty about the line between real life, theatre, and criticism. Everything is delightfully jumbled, and it is from this jumble that Stoppard helped launch postmodern British drama.

After Magritte: Initially I wasn't as sold on this play as The Real Inspector Hound. The sett
John Jr.
Sep 07, 2014 John Jr. rated it liked it
Shelves: drama-british
Presented here is the kind of work one imagines a clever young Briton might write upon completing university and going down to London: playful, imaginative, zestful in its learnedness, and above all—did I say this already?—playful. Come to think of it, much of Tom Stoppard’s work may seem like it was produced by someone who accumulated a good store of knowledge in his college years and continued to add to it while playing with it in his scripts. It’s no surprise to find him concluding his brief ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Stoppard is brilliant...and I wish I understood more of his brilliance. "The Real Inspector Hound" is comically farcical. Moon and Birdboot, theatre critics, hold completely parallel conversations that are, nonetheless, intertwined with the play - and actors - they are reviewing. Stoppard's preface states he only had the inspiration for the murder victim's identity well into writing the play. It is remarkably unified. And the sheer joy he took in writing the whole rest of it is obvious.

I rea
Dec 24, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of shorter works from the 1970s is among the better Tom Stoppard I've read. The title piece, a send-up of Christie-style whodunnits, is a seamless work of beauty which effectively blurs the line between performers, audience, and the critics who attempt to mediate between them. Both a poke at the formulaic structure of "classic" murder mysteries as well as a dig at theater critics, "The Real Inspector Hound" is non-stop laughs. Although the word "clever" is chronically over-used, ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Ben rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, i-own
Really enjoyed 'The Real Inspector Hound' and 'After Magritte.' All of the plays were clever and funny, meta and purposefully playing with the conventions of theatre, language, art, and life, but the first two, to me at least, were the most accessible and enjoyable. While I appreciated the commentary on the tendency towards sexual scandal that seems to dog politicians in all countries, it felt mostly like a Monty Python skit. Maybe that just doesn't translate well to paper, but I also think that ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Brett rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, drama
Tom Stoppard is extraordinarily erudite, and often very funny. I love his best known play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and was also a big fan of his one and only novel. This collection didn't hit me the same way, though.

The first play, the Real Inspector Hound, was my favorite. As others have said, it is both a send-up of the mystery genre and a commentary on criticism, while also managing to be funny to boot.

Unfortunately, I thought there was diminishing returns on the rest of the pl
Mar 02, 2008 Julie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
See my comment on author David Ives' All In the Timing: Fourteen Plays:

This book came up in conversation, totally independently from my reading of Word Freak, from a discussion on ambiguity in language (and there from a discussion of the illustrated Strunk & White) which let to "Hamlet... in love... with the old man's daughter... the old man... thinks" in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead", which led to David Ives' "The Universal Language" and to the language in "Dogg's Hamlet" (in thi
Peter Orvetti
I enjoy the work of Stoppard, but found this collection confusing. I had never read nor seen "The Real Inspector Hound," and I'm at a loss for why it is considered one of his stronger works. I enjoyed the conceit and the blurred lines between actor and spectator, but it seemed unfinished and the conclusion was unsatisfying.

"Dogg's Hamlet" and "Cahoot's Macbeth" are, like all plays, written to be seen, not read, so perhaps it's unfair to be too critical. But on the page, they make no sense at all
Jun 02, 2010 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are (I'm pretty sure) by no means Tom Stoppard's most brilliant plays, but, you know, it's Tom Stoppard. And he is one very, very clever dude. His theatrical devices - like having the critic characters of "Inspector Hound" first sit in the audience being critical, and then enter into the play - well, that was quite delicious. And plus, he used the phrase "ubiquitous obliquity," which, if I can twist my tongue around it, may be my new favorite thing to say.
Moira Burke
Feb 21, 2010 Moira Burke rated it really liked it
"Well, this one's not actually on my bookshelf, but the UO library has tons of the Stoppard oeuvre, and I devour as much of it as possible. Nice short plays are great for someone like me who only reads in bed at night and in the occasional coffehouse trolling for guys. Just about anything by Stoppard rocks my dog."
Having seen this performed and read it before and after.. Is just so much is brilliant, irreverent, impossible, and reminds me now if the new BBC series "Sherlock". I could see it, watch it, and read it again and again and howl with laughter.... Just thinking of crossing the moors in those,contraptions ....! I can't give it away... You must read it to find out for yourself.
Jul 05, 2008 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny how being forced to read a book in school can destroy your will to read. Despite this, I have fond memories of the Real Inspector Hound, proof that Stoppard's skill as a playwright conquerer even the tedium of afternoon English classes. The play features some clever things and I wouldn't mind seeing it performed one day.
S.K. Levy
Post modernism encapsulated! Not my favourite genre at all, but these plays were so strange and off-beat that they intrigued me enough to continue reading them all. Tom Stoppard comes across as very intelligent in his way of creating scenes, the plays are clever and funny and leave you asking a lot of questions at the end...
Nov 12, 2016 Kyle rated it it was amazing
The early plays that prove more was going on beneath the surface than silly puns and women down to their undies. Each of the five or so plays have an urgency that wants to be understood, yet a cleverness that wags a finger in the audience's face warning them not to miss one non-sequitur (or in Dogg Cahoot's plays, an entire language).
Julie Helmandollar
Stoppard will forever be a favorite playwright of mine, so I write this acknowledging my bias. Still, this is a fantastic collection of plays (many of them older works) full of Stoppard's characteristic plot twists and quirkiness. Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth were particularly enjoyable, especially with how they linked together. But The Real Inspector Hound definitely took the cake for me.
Thom Dunn
Simply the funniest play I ever read. It would, however, be a bitch for a community theater company to stage with its period set including a wheel chair coming downstairs, a body periodically hidden by a couch and its bleachers for the watchers Moon and Birdboot for the play-wrapped-around-a-play. But it reads well and my copy is not the one listed here but one I have in a textbook.
Feb 29, 2008 Aude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Stoppard is an excellent playwright. While he has written a variety of styles, this book holds some of his earlier plays written in the absurdist style. Very good for people who like abstract, out of the box writing.
Nick Thomas
Jul 07, 2013 Nick Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stoppard's early short plays yoke the mad concision of farce to interesting big ideas. They don't feel the obligation longer plays do to establish characters sympathetic enough to carry our involvement. They're diamonds of the playwright's art!
Mar 29, 2010 Amira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this play, the writer is superb on many levels, how he has portrayed the classic and pretentious upper class characters and I especially liked the parody of murder mysteries!
This was a Book Club read. We didn't read it ahead of time like most books we read it and discussed the night we met. It was fun and not a bad play but other then what I've already mentioned I don't recall any particular points.
Sep 14, 2009 Albie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays by Tom Stoppard (1998)
Al West
Sep 09, 2012 Al West rated it really liked it
LOve Dirty Linen
Jun 23, 2009 j_ay rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
The Real Inspector Hound ***oo
After Magritte **ooo
Dirty Linen **ooo
New-Found-Land *oooo
Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth *oooo
Jan 03, 2008 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've loved parodies since I listened to "Weird Al" Yankovic as a kid. This is a great parody of the drawing room mystery. Absolutely hilarious.
Jul 03, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Stoppard explains that a "friendly critic" described Inspector Hound as being "as useful as an ivory Mickey Mouse." True enough. But man, is it funny.
Jan 25, 2009 Dinah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
As far as Stoppard goes, this is probably my favorite. You should know that I don't think Stoppard goes very far at all.
Sigurd Magnusson
Sep 14, 2013 Sigurd Magnusson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intellectual dry brit humour, love all the plays on words
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Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL, is a British screenwriter and playwright.

Born Tomáš Straussler.

More about Tom Stoppard...

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