Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  33,053 ratings  ·  420 reviews

Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning play has captured both stage and film audiences since its debut in 1954. One of his best-loved and most famous plays, it exposes the lies plaguing the family of a wealthy Southern planter of humble origins.

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Published 1955 by Signet
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sckenda
“All happy families are alike, but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion.” (Leo Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina," 1876)

Living with someone you love in a household of lies can be lonelier than living entirely alone. Lies are the harvest on the 28,000-acre Delta plantation that is the setting of this Tennessee William’s play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. Everybody flatters the patriarch, Big Daddy, because he is worth $10 million and dying of cancer without a will. The fam...more
Sue
Very powerful, enjoyable read. I particularly liked having the very specific stage directions, so meticulously explained and set out by Williams for readers as well as directors and performers. Also enjoyed the accompanying essays about the development of the play along with director Elia Kazin and Williams' own essay about the play.

These are not people I would want to spend time with; they don't want to spend time with each other. The way Williams lets the anger, frustration, thwarted love, hat...more
Carol Storm
I loved this play as a teenager -- the feverish pace, the soaring poetry of the big speeches, the way Big Daddy was everything my father wasn't and the way Maggie keeps sighing over Brick. But after thirty years of living, I just don't read this play in the same way. There are so many things I swallowed whole as a teen that seem laughably far-fetched as an adult.

Brick is a thirty year old man. Not a fifteen year old boy. Yet he still doesn't know if he's gay or straight? I mean, come on! His se...more
Ahmad
مگی می‌گوید: «می‌دانی من چه احساسی دارم؟ همیشه حس می‌کنم مثل یک گربه روی یک شیروانی داغ هستم.» بریک در پاسخ می‌گوید: «پس، از روی شیروانی بپر پایین مگی! گربه‌ها از روی شیروانی می‌پرند پایین، و هیچ صدمه‌ای نمی‌بینند. این کار را بکن. بپر!» مگی می‌گوید: «بپرم کجا؟ به چه امیدی؟» بریک ‍پاسخ می‌دهد: «یک عاشق گیر بیار.» مگی: «مستحق این کار نیستم. جز تو هیچ مردی را نمی‌بینم، حتی با چشم‌های بسته فقط تو را می‌بینم.»ا.ش
Jennifer
I had only seen the movie several times because I worship Paul Newman. Always have and always will. That said, I did not know about the homosexual undertone of the play... because the movie makers chickened out and turned the whole admiration between Brick and Skipper upside down. There is no mention of the 'old bachelors' from whom Big Daddy inherited the plantation. There is no hint at homosexuality in the play, maybe once in an ironic smile of Big Daddy. And in the film Brick actually desires...more
Amy
I have seen the film version of this play with Paul Newmann and Elizabeth Taylor as the main characters and it is truly one of my all time favorites. Of course, this is why I wanted to read the play. Apparently, (as per the editors notes in the book) Williams did approve several different changes in his play for some stage productions and the film production. I will say that I believe I enjoyed reading this play having already seen it as, of course, there is not much more than simple dialouge to...more
Katsumi
If there is a problem in a marriage it is right here" big mamma says while pointing at a bed. That is just what this play is about; a problemd marriage between a drunken husband and a wife despertly seeking his love.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof involves a lot of screaming, airy Southern talking, and weak and useless characters. I couldn't find a point in the play, and there is no moral to speak of unless it aims to convert a moneybag grubber into a Christian saint. The pages just keep going on and on...more
Alex
"Living with someone you love can be lonelier - than living entirely alone!
- Margaret, Act 1

"Life has got to be allowed to continue even after the dream of life is - all - over..."
- Margaret, Act I

So here is Tennessee Williams coming out, with his customary rage and insight. And darkness.

Once again, I'm surprised. This is the most I've seen homosexuality dealt with, so far; EM Forster hinted at it, and there was Oscar Wilde, but it was all innuendo and shadows before. This feels very bold, and I...more
Mike Jensen
Some works of literature, even some of the great ones, wear out their welcome. I have read or seen this one too many times, and it now just seems loud, bitter, and destructive without something for me to like anyway, such as a character to care about. Everyone is screwed up, everyone is hurtful, and I'm tired of plays and books like that. Three stars for Williams magnificent dialog which so often seems like poetry, otherwise I'm finished with it.
Lavinia
Having seen (and forgotten, as it often happens after a certain age :D) the film many years ago, I sort of knew the plot, but I was nonetheless rewarded with a great deal of domestic drama. I especially enjoyed the first two acts: the confrontation between Maggie and Brick (Act I) with their marriage on the rocks - excellent double meaning btw, (see Brick's alcohol problems) and the confrontation between Big Daddy and Brick (Act II), the climax, which reveals that mendacity is the system that go...more
Connie
The family of Big Daddy Pollitt have gathered at their Mississippi plantation home to celebrate the 65th birthday of the seriously ill man. The play is set in the bed/sitting room of Maggie and Brick, the younger son. Brick has been heavily drinking since the suicide of his best friend, Skippy.

Maggie, the title character, feels like she's a "cat on a hot tin roof." She is nervous, jumpy, lonely, and frantic from living with a man who acts indifferent to her. She wants to be loved and desired by...more
Mohamed Zohny
لم تكن في مستوى رائعة تينيسي وليامز الأخرى "عربة اسمها الرغبة" ولكنها مسرحية جيدة غرضها كما قال وليامز نفسه في قلب المسرحية نوع التجربة التي يمر بها مجموعة من الناس والتصرفات التي ينتج عنها جو عاصف وأزمة مشتركة. و مع ذلك فما لم يقصده ويليامز كان هو الأفضل. أعني شخصية برك المحبوبة والتي نجح ويليامز في جعلها محبوبة تماماً مثلماً كانت شخصيتي أخيه وزوجة أخيه بغيضتين. علاقة برك بسكيبر "أساس أزمته" و شخصية مارجريت العنيدة ونجاح وصول ويليامز لإحساس القارئ بمدى شهوانيتها وأيضا كم هي جميلة وشهية. هذه الق...more
John
Apr 03, 2013 John rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: plays
Didn't care much for the story, but Williams' outstanding writing made CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF a powerful experience for me. This is one of those stories where the impending death of a disgustingly rich patriarch has people rushing out of the woodwork for one final attempt to schmooze him into upgrading their status in his will. Bickering, screaming, and overall general unpleasantness ensue. I probably wouldn't pay to see this play performed live (all that squabbling would likely give me a headach...more
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
What a topnotch play! This is one of Tennessee Williams' works that I have not seen on stage or screen. We will be discussing it at my library's book club next month. I have not read any plays in awhile and had forgotten how great they can be to experience off stage. These characters are larger than life and you immediately begin to picture every scene. I found myself hearing the dialogue with tones, accents and certain cadences. The subject matter of marriage, family and sexual issues, sibling...more
Nazish
My first play of Tennessee and hits right up on my favourites shelf. Though I would say, this Southern king of plays could've done better which I yet have to find out.
Lauren
Let me tell you a story. I started this at 10:30 p.m., thinking I would read Act One then go to bed. After reading The Glass Menagerie, I was excited to read more Tennessee Williams, but I was also eager to get to bed reasonably early.

Fast forward to, like, 11:15 p.m. I finished Act One. I was engrossed in the lives of the Pollitts and knew it would be an injustice to stop there. Williams had mastered the art of tension within the script, and I had to know what happened at the end. My desire to...more
Paul Gelsthorpe
Sometimes it's nice to get away from novels and read something of a different format. This famous Tennessee Williams play really hit the spot for me after several stamina sapping excursions into classic novel territory.

Reading plays is something that hasn't really been a big part of my literary life as I see them as scripts for stage really, but this works on it's own as a brilliant piece of writing.

The action focuses on the family of 'Big Daddy' Pollitt, plantation owner in the deep south. His...more
Chris
One evening in the life of a severely dysfunctional southern family. I think what I found most surprising about this classic drama written in the 1950s was the raw sexuality of it. It's a lot more than Maggie parading around in her slip. They make no pretense about the fact that the two men who originally owned the plantation were a gay couple. Brick's best friend Skipper killed himself, apparently because he was in love with Brick, which has sent Brick into a drunken tailspin, leaving us to won...more
Reza
نمایشنامه گربه روی شیروانی داغ :تنسی ویلیامز در سال 1955 نوشته شد که چند فیلم هم از روی اون ساخته شد.
این نمایشنامه در مورد روابط یک خانواده ست که هر کدام از چیزی بزرگ رنج می برند و این درد هیچ وقت به پایان نمی رسد مگر با کنار آمدن با آن.
بریک الکلی ست که به خاطر بهترین دوستش همواره احساس گناه می کند.
مارگارت همسر بریک به خاطر بی توجهی شوهرش در عذاب است.
پدر بزرگ خانواده به علت آگاه شدن از اینکه سرطان دارد در عذاب است.
می و کوپر زن و شوهری هستند که نظارت بر اموال پدر بزرگ را بر عهده داشته اند ولی پدر...more
Kris
The second of a pair of Williams plays I read recently. "Cat" takes place in the bed/sitting room of Brick and Maggie Pollitt in the plantation home of "Big Daddy" Pollitt, Brick's father. Big Daddy is a rich man, owner of a huge plantation; the occasion that takes place in the play is the celebration of Big Daddy's birthday and his (supposed) clean bill of health from recent medical tests. All the family members (except Big Daddy and his wife, Big Mama) know that the medical tests actually came...more
Anne
Shocking, vitriolic, frustrating, raw and exhilarating - all these adjectives and more could be used to describe the experience of reading Tennessee Williams' astounding "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".

I don't think I have ever read such a stark and honest treatise on the human condition. My head has yet to stop spinning, so a more comprehensive review right now is impossible.

---------------

Coming back to review this a few weeks' later, Cat still deserves every bit of my five-star review. Williams has a...more
Amir ali
"گربه روی شیروانی داغ "اثر 'تنسی ویلیامز', نمایش‌نامه‌ای است درباره جوش و خروش حاکم بر خانواده ثروتمند جنوبی که با دورویی و ریا در کنار هم گرد آمده‌اند تا در یک لحظه خرد کننده همه چیز را فاش نمایند' .بریک 'جوانی الکلی است که به خاطر مرگ بهترین دوستش و کوتاهی در دوستی با او, عذاب می‌کشد .همچنین 'مگی', همسرش, به خاطر دوری کردن شوهرش از او در رنج است .از طرفی 'پدربزرگ', پدر بریک, بی اطلاع از داشتن بیماری سرطان برای خوش بودن در زندگی طمع شدیدی دارد .جمع شدن اشخاص در شصت و پنجمین سالگرد جشن تولد پدرب...more
Vicky
This was my first exposure to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - I had heard of it, but never seen or read the play until now.

I was impressed with Williams' ability to hit on such serious topics without the overall work seeming preachy and over-serious.

Unlike most plays I've read, the cast list did not include bits of information about the personality of the characters in the play. Instead, Williams disperses the information throughout the body of the play through stage direction. He states late in the p...more
Paige
It's been too long since I read a play. There's something so pleasantly dramatic (pardon the pun) and exaggerated about the way the dialogue feels to a solitary reader. I liked these characters (well, at least, the ones I was meant to like) very much and am looking forward to watching the Paul Newman film soon.

I couldn't help thinking that Mr. Williams ought to have written this as a novella rather than a play. His stage directions are very long and detailed and he has a lot of "dramatic philoso...more
Ape
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arielle
Maybe it's something I am not getting but Williams infuriates me. Maybe that's the point, maybe I do get it. His women characters are one-dimensional and hopeless. His male characters are driven by demons I don't see or understand. If you are going to give a character no hope and no chance of redemption - or fuck that, even happiness - you have to give me more than summer heat and abusive relationships. Not that that's not enough to drive anyone to insanity and despair, but Camus did it better....more
Amy
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I KNOW! How have I not read this? Or seen the movie? Or seen a production of it? I love Tennessee Williams! Like, kind of passionately! I was totally glad I finally read this. It was typical Williams – all the smoldering passion, all the repressed homosexuality, all the misogyny, all the steamy southern locales, all the drinking, all the scanty clothing, all the sweatiness, all the mommy issues. I need to find the movie and watch a young Paul Newman and a young Elizabeth T...more
Brandi
Tennessee Williams excelled in capturing the essence of the South in this masterpiece. When I finished reading this play I delighted in reflecting upon it's many great themes: greed, marriage, death, superficiality, and sexuality. I praise Williams for his success in capturing the essence of each character's personality through their dialogue, also authentically capturing the region they inhabit with their accent. For example, we know Brick is a more introverted character by his short replies, w...more
Rachel
Before I began to read this I had pretty insufficient knowledge of what it involved, and I wasn’t expecting to love it or anything. Due to that fact, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. In all honestly, it’s great. The play is a short, quick and easy read and yet it deals with some deep human issues.

What really made it enjoyable were the three main characters; Maggie, Brick and Big Daddy. Their relationships and interactions were intriguing and I found myself routing for each of them 100%,...more
Quinn Moreland
I love Tennessee William. Let me put that out there. I appreciate his use of symbolism and Southern Gothic style. I like the way his plays are simultaneously character and plot driven, with the characters' personalities progressing the plot lines to create an effect. However, I found the character progressions too vague in this play, and I was disappointed, because I really wanted to learn more about Maggie and Brick. I found Maggie especially strong, with her determined mind and her coy use of...more
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On the Southern L...: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Initial Impressions--Hide Spoilers 32 35 May 13, 2013 08:02AM  
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...more
More about Tennessee Williams...
A Streetcar Named Desire The Glass Menagerie Suddenly Last Summer The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition) Summer and Smoke

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“I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” 2399 likes
“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...” 98 likes
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