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

An Inspector Calls and Other Plays

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  10,143 Ratings  ·  523 Reviews
The action of the play occurs in an English industrial city, where a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate the family, and during the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl's undoing. The ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 29th 2001 by Penguin Classics (first published 1945)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jean
An Inspector Calls is a memorable play from the mid-1940s, written by the popular English dramatist J.B. Priestley. Partly both philosophical and psychological, partly a moral fable, it is one of Priestley's best known works for the stage. It deals with issues of exploitation, abandonment and social ruin, within the framework of a detective mystery. And just to add a little more spice, it also has hints of the supernatural. However it is firmly rooted in the English society life of the time, and ...more
Mark
May 19, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely anyone with a pulse
Recommended to Mark by: Mr William Flint, english teacher extraordinaire
Shelves: favorites
Re-read this last week and then realized I have never added it to my books. This is one of the most satisfyingly riveting plays i have ever read, seen in the theatre (three times), watched in film (Alastair Sims, goodness only knows how many times) listened to on the radio and now I have an audiobook version. Thus i can now luxuriate, whenever I feel the need to experience the wonderful schadenfreude of the gradual implosion of the horrendous edifice of arrogance which is the middle class Birlin ...more
Nandakishore Varma
The proscenium stage has a romance of its own. You, the spectator, is actually a Peeping Tom, staring into the lives of total strangers through the invisible fourth wall. And what lives! For on the stage, time and space are usually compressed or telescoped according to the whims and fancies of the playwright. Passions are exaggerated on purpose, and action proceeds at an unbelievable pace; all the while retaining the semblance of normality (this is not essential for an arena stage, where the unr ...more
Jonathan
Feb 29, 2012 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With its tightly wound and didactic plot 'An Inspector Calls' is among the finer examples of the play world. While not as fanciful or elaborate as some of the greatest works by masters such as Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde in his style Priestly manages to pull off what he must. It is in fact the simplicity of his work that creates such an appeal, because it touches more at the heart of humanity and society.

The narrative of the play delves around a mysterious Inspector who interrupts the celebratio
...more
Manny
Aug 13, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it were an Agatha Christie, it'd sort of be Orient Express crossed with Roger Ackroyd. Perhaps she bet Priestley that those two plots couldn't be combined?

(view spoiler)
...more
أنس
Aug 12, 2016 أنس rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مسرحية بريطانية مثيرة للاهتمام. تعرضت لها خلال اطلاعي على منهج الدراسة الإعدادية/الثانوية البريطاني وانبهرت بكمية الفائدة في فهم التاريخ وتطور المجتمع البريطاني خلال القرن الأخير من خلال هذه المسرحية.

المسرحية تحكي قصة زيارة المفتش "قول" لعائلة بيرلنق الأرستقراطية ليلة احتفالهم بخطوبة ابنتهم، ليفاجئهم بخبر انتحار فتاة يتضح بعد أسئلة وتحريه أن لها علاقة بكل واحد في العائلة، وينتهي للإثبات أن لكل منهم يداً في انتحار الفتاة المنتمية إلى طبقات المجتمع المسحوقة.

شاهدت هذا الإنتاج لها :
https://www.yo
...more
La Mala ✌
Apr 09, 2015 La Mala ✌ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to come.
MacK
Searching desperately for a fall play to direct, I was handed this brilliant bit of writing, and fell hard and fast.

It's like when you first see a television show that immediatly hooks you. Taut, concise writing that holds you in the moment and a twisting plot line that leaves you guessing until the very end.

It's shocking that this book is largely ignored by Americans (witness the fact that only a few more than 50 people have reviewed it here on "goodreads"). Perhaps the setting and tone lend it
...more
Caitlin
Jun 20, 2015 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so good, best book i studied for english tbh
Goddess Of Blah
I first read this play when I was 14. I didn't understand all the socio-economic and political issues until I was 19. It was during this period that I became a confirmed socialist (or rather left leaning in my politics).

When I first read the play - I remember a few classmates being confused that one family encountered the same girl, which went beyond coincidence - far too contrived. This is NOT the case - that's just a twist - if you had assumed that than you'll not be able to sympathise with Ev
...more
Megan
Jan 06, 2015 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
I had to read this for English class and it was actually much better than I expected.

For starters, although it was set in 1912, a period that I obviously wasn't around in, the dialogue used wasn't particularly hard to understand and it seemed to be quite suited to modern day english. I've never particularly liked reading plays, especially for school so I wasn't keen on reading it but I was pleasantly surprised. Granted, I was reading it because I had nothing better to do in a cold, boring engli
...more
Adam Crossley
Apr 16, 2015 Adam Crossley rated it really liked it
An Inspector Calls is great! As an IGCSE English teacher the text has excellent bits for analysis while maintaining a story that is accessible and interesting for G9 and G10 students. The students absolutely loved the play and many listed it as a favorite part of the course. At the ending the students were shouting out loud (I'm not joking) at the plot twists.

Highly recommended as a text for study.

The other plays didn't move me as much and are the reason for the four star review. When ordering
...more
ZOEY
I remember reading this when I was 10.
(during my Sherlock Holmes phase.)
I already knew the ending but it was still a fun trip down memory lane.
Anisha
Jan 26, 2016 Anisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boom! MIND BLOWN!!! Seriously it's just so good how it gets revealed in the end.
Hasna
Jan 21, 2016 Hasna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! The ending was especially hilarious! Who WAS that inspector?!
Yuthika
Feb 26, 2017 Yuthika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I suppose we're all nice people now." Fraught with (dramatic) irony, this play is fast-paced and full of suspense, creating such an intense atmosphere. The parents have such a huge inferiority complex that they feel the compulsion to assert their superiority over others; one feels he is about to receive knighthood, while the other believes she was just doing her duty. They live in denial over Eric's alcoholism, over the secrets they attempt so desperately to hide, and over the truth that glares ...more
Vita Orfeo
Jan 28, 2017 Vita Orfeo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars
I enjoyed this play very much.
It's well-written, easy and quick to read, the characters and the story are relatable and the morale (just as morales are supposed to be) makes you think.
I just overall loved this story.
Amber
Mar 15, 2015 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no-one
Recommended to Amber by: my english teacher??
Includes spoilers.

This is such an awful play. I'm going to try and make something coherent out of this rant, and I'm sorry if it's long-winded, but I guarantee you that it will be more interesting than the entirety of all three acts.

Ok, so let's start.

The play opens up in an upper class English household in 1912. Just in case you couldn't tell, Priestly drops hints about it for the entire scene, including references to the titanic - which, incidentally, hasn't sunk yet - of course, Birling stil
...more
rebecca
Mar 11, 2016 rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
11/3/16: Although I kind of saw the ending coming, I really enjoyed this play and am not only looking forward to studying it this year, but reading more plays in the future. They're so easy to read and pretty insightful, usually.

15/4/16: was 5 stars, but i tweaked it bc i was thinking about it and i realized how bad the ending was. it's basically making the inspector seem like a totally implausible character, and therefore making the whole idea of socialism seem implausible because the inspector
...more
Samantha Kilford
I just found out that the BBC are adapting this for a TV show and I'm so excited!

I studied this for GCSE English last year and I absolutely loved it. There's a post on my blog where I've written about it and chose my dream cast for this play which you can view here

When an ex-employee of hard-headed businessman Mr. Birling's kills herself, an Inspector by the name of Goole shows up and starts asking questions. It seems that everyone in the Birling family had some part in Eva Smith's suicide.

It's
...more
Samuel Zucca
May 10, 2016 Samuel Zucca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It does its job. The play starts off with a plan that the audience can immediately see the outcome of; switching between the different family members until the story of Eva Smith is slowly pieced together. Where the play does its best is where the dramatic irony kicks in strongly, and there's definitely a lot of conflict that the audience can tap into. However, where it falls short is at the point where it becomes too 'preachy' on the subject of socialism. There are a lot of repeated beats, and ...more
Michalle Gould
Jul 26, 2015 Michalle Gould rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I was a little torn about the third act but once I thought about it I decided that it actually was needed to keep the play from feeling too didactic. Reading the play really made me want to see it performed which is pretty much the best you can hope for as a playwright I would imagine! The construction of the plot was super-tight; it would be a good one to show students who are learning about pacing and three-act structure.
Lori
Sep 18, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I studied this at school but watching the recent BBC adaption with David Thewlis reminded me of what an excellent play it is. Sinister, gripping and dramatic, its messages remain relevant and powerful today.
Gemma (Passion for Novels)
I read this as part of my work experience as this is what the kids were learning about. I found I got through it really quickly and it was a really enjoyable play to read. I loved finding out about the scandals of each character keenly forced out by the inspector...
Hayley
Although I read this at school and that usually puts you off a book I did actually quite enjoy reading this play. I liked the Inspector although he was rather creepy but I thought it was an intreresting and captivating charachter who is also rather mysterious. I liked the whole point of this play, and that was to show people that looking after yourself and treating people however you want to is not a good way to lead your life and there are consuquences for this. I liked how it showed how the yo ...more
Ally Atherton
Oct 01, 2011 Ally Atherton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stole this from my son who is studying it as part of his high school curriculum. Having a teenage son can be highly challenging, sometimes entertaining, but occasionally it has its advantages!

Arthur Billing and his family have just finished a special meal to celebrate the engagement of their daughter, Sheila, to Gerald Croft, the son of a business rival.
Everything seems to be going hunky-dory and Sheila has literally just put the ring on her finger when there is a knock at the door. In walks a
...more
Aline
Feb 14, 2011 Aline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This play was fantastic. I don't usually read plays as much as I read novels, but because reading this play was so incredible I definitely want to start reading more plays. Priestley wrote this play during the period after WWII and people were really traumatized with the events that took place, nevertheless the play takes place in a time before WWI. The whole play happens in the period of a single night in the Birling family, a wealthy, snobbish family. Priestley often uses adverbs to describe h ...more
Nina
While I didn't fully enjoy reading this play, I am sure it is pretty exciting on stage.

(view spoiler)
...more
A.U.C.
Apr 29, 2011 A.U.C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: theatre entuthiasts
A pesar de que he leído pocas obras dramáticas (MUY pocas) esta me motivó a leerlos más. Es una lectura diferente, reservada a lo que uno ve y olle, y por ende, debe imaginarse mucho más. ¿Qué estaran pensando los personajes, cómo serán los personajes más allá de lo que vemos representado? Y parte de la genialidad de esta obra es la facilidad con la que uno podía visualizar la representación, y yo me la imaginaba tensa, conflictiva, entretenida; en fin, una muy buena obra. Creo que va más allá d ...more
Eyehavenofilter
I had the pleasure of seeing this in London and then reading it afterward. A gripping tale of a family's involvement in a young lady's death on so many levels it was almost impossible to keep track.
Who exactly had a hand in her untimely death and why?
Who was the inspector who called to investigate?
What was his relationship, if any to this supposedly unknown, low class shop girl?
This play unraveled like a tangled ball of yarn that had been played with by a demented cat on amphetamines.
Each que
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Our Country's Good
  • The Real Inspector Hound
  • Educating Rita
  • Kindertransport
  • Gas Light
  • One Man, Two Guvnors
  • Stone Cold
  • Sleuth
  • Bird Brain
  • Journey's End (Heinemann Plays)
  • The Weir
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • Up Close
  • Oh What A Lovely War (Modern Classics)
  • Deathtrap
  • The History Boys
  • Black Comedy: A Comedy
  • Plenty
87149
John Boynton Priestley, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Bradford in September 1894, and after schooling he worked for a time in the local wool trade. Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Priestley joined the British Army, and was sent to France --in 1915 taking part in the Battle of Loos. After being wounded in 1917 Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going ...more
More about J.B. Priestley...

Share This Book



“We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.” 50 likes
More quotes…