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

Betrayal

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  4,674 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
Betrayal is Pinter's latest full-length play since the enormous success of No Man's Land. The play begins in 1977, with a meeting between adulterous lovers, Emma and Jerry, two years after their affair has ended. During the nine scenes of the play, we move back in time, through the states of their affair, with the play ending in the house of Emma and Robert, her husband, w ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 1998 by Faber & Faber (first published 1978)
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 Betrayal, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rachel the Book Harlot
This probably works better on the stage than it does on the page. Frankly, I was disappointed.

True to its title, Betrayal is a story about betrayal and deception. The play is centered on three people: Emma, Robert, and Jerry. Emma, who is married to Robert, has had a long-term affair with Robert's best friend Jerry. The opening scene is of Emma and Jerry meeting for a drink two years after their affair has ended. The play then works its way chronologically backwards in time, feeding us more deta
...more
Arman Mohammadi yazdi
نخستين موردي كه در حين خواندن كتاب نظرم را جلب كرد اين بود كه خيانت در اين كتاب قضاوت نميشود و تنها روايت ميشود. روايتي بيطرفانه و بدون جانبداري. اما پينتر خواننده را به همراه اما و جري و رابرت در تاريكي صحنه تنها ميگذارد تا هر چهار نفر پيوسته رنج كشند. و به نظرم خواننده تنها كسي است كه به هر يك از سه تن ديگر نزديك ميشود و آن سه پيوسته از هم دور و دورتر ميشوند.
من روايتها صادقانهاي اين چنين را بسيار ميپسندم و به نظرم حتا سادهترين و رايجترينشان حتا اگر با خونسردانهترين روايت ممكن بيان شوند، ميتوان
...more
Amir Mojiry
Jun 09, 2013 Amir Mojiry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amir by: Mohsen Rajabi
Shelves: drama
"خیانت" خیلی ساده شروع می شود. به قول خود پینتر در مصاحبه ی پایانی کتاب (این که مصاحبه و توضیح های مربوط به کتاب در سری نمایشنامه های «دور تا دور دنیا» در پایان کتاب می آید، نکته ی مهمی است. چه این که به نظر من روش درست خواندن یک اثر آن است که اول خود اثر را بخوانیم و بعد نکته های پیرامونی آن را. تا نکته های پیرامونی روی خود اثر، تاثیر اولیه نگذارند) «یک زن و یک مرد در یک بار انگلیسی پس از مدت ها هم دیگر را می دیدند» تصویری بوده است که بدون دانستن ادامه ی آن و این که دو نفر با هم چه کاری دارند د ...more
Alexia
May 28, 2012 Alexia rated it liked it

In Betrayal, the focus for me was largely on what is not said than what is actually said between three characters. It is very raw and conversation feels extremely spontaneous, but in virtually every scene my toes were curling with the awkward atmosphere. The dialogue is very simple in terms of words but as to what is actually being 'said' by the characters is somewhat more complex so resist the temptation to read it at lightening speed (it is a very short read) or at least read it twice with the
...more
Clare
Mar 21, 2013 Clare rated it it was amazing
I actually listened to this as a BBC Radio Drama (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kr71s) that starred Olivia Colman and Andrew Scott. I'd heard he'd won the BBC Audio Drama, Best Actor Award for it, and I liked him from BBC Sherlock so I thought it would be worth listening to.

This is a very interesting and thought provoking play. First of all, it's presented chronologically backwards... We meet the two people who have had an affair after their affair is over, as they are having a discussion o
...more
Sarah
Feb 05, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Betrayal is a play about a woman, Emma, who is cheating on her husband, Robert, with his best friend, Jerry. Ok, so the story's been done before, but Pinter gives it his signature twist and has a way of making the characters very, very uncomfortable.

The structure of the play is unique, as the story is not told in chronological order, but time is scattershot throughout the piece. I would be very interested in seeing this play live, as I don't know how they would let the audience know when the sp
...more
Alissa (In Wonderland)✨
I genuinely really liked this play. The play focuses on something we've all seen before - the ups and downs of a love affair. However there's a great storytelling structure used here: we don't see the events going forward, but instead going backward. Each scene informs the previous scene. Definitely recommend this to any fans of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years.
Amene
Oct 05, 2015 Amene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
سه و نیم ستاره آن هم به خاط علاقه ام به تئاتر ابسورد،می کنمش چهار. دوست داشتم چون ماجرا بود و روایتی ساده و سرراست.بدون های و هوی و قضاوت و جهت گیری و جانب داری!
John Jr.
Feb 23, 2012 John Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama-british
It's a commonplace of the theater that the script is not the show: the dialogue and stage directions on the page are only a template for what can be presented in the theater. This means that reading a play belongs in a different category of literary experience from reading almost anything else. We can assume a novel, a poem, an essay, to be as complete and coherent as the author wishes; what we make of it in reading depends on us, but what we've got is the end product. A playscript, though, is d ...more
Pardis Parto
این خاصیتِ نمایشنامههای هارولد پینتر است که «آزار» میدهند؛ تنها داستانِ نمایشنامهها نیست که خواننده را آزار میدهد، شخصیتها، آدمهای بازی هم یکدیگر را آزار میدهند و آدابِاین بازیها، انگار، همین آزار است، اینکه درجهی آزار را تا جاییکه میشود بالا ببرند و کار، کمکم، به تخریب و ویرانکردنِ آن دیگری برسد. درست همانقدر که جری و اِما سرگرمِ آزارِ رابرت هستند، رابرت هم اِما را آزار میدهد و وقتی اِما قیدِ همهچیز را میزند و ترجیح میدهد نقطهای بگذارد و آن پیوندِ نامبارک را تمام کند، سرگرمِ آزار جریست و باز اِ ...more
AC
Dec 25, 2008 AC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is the film you want to see, not the book:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betrayal...

From today's obituary:
Pinter once said of language, "The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don't hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, and anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its true place. When true silence falls we are left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness."

One of t
...more
Farhad
Jan 31, 2010 Farhad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
پینتر به سراغ موضوعی متعارف رفته اما آن را باز نمی کند بل که آنگونه که روی داده می پذیرد به راستی هم دلایل آن چه سودمندی دارد از این رو نویسنده بیشتر به سراغ جریان و روابط بعد از ماجرا رفته.
خیانت یک فلاش بک است از زمان حال آغاز و در گذشته ها شخصیت هایش را بازسازی می کند هنر پینتر در ساخت این شخصیت ها نیست بل که در ابهامی است که در آن هابه جای می گذارد و آن ها با خوانندگان در هاله ای ناشناسی تنها گذارده و به سالهای پیشتر می رود.
Matthew
Mar 02, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it
ROBERT
Oh . . . not much more to say on that subject, really, is there?

EMMA
What do you consider the subject to be?

ROBERT
Betrayal.

EMMA
No, it isn't.

ROBERT
Isn't it? What is it then?

EMMA
I haven't finished it yet. I'll let you know.

ROBERT
Well, do let me know.

Pause

Of course, I could be thinking of the wrong book.
CHERRY
Jan 07, 2017 CHERRY rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to Pinter's writing to see Nobel-winning subtlety at work. The pauses make the play.

On a continuum of clarity, the script of Betrayal is enigmatic but on audio, as performed on BBC Radio 4 (Andrew Scott as Jerry!), the play reaches the other end of the scale. Judging this piece of work by its words on paper alone would not be doing it justice. Having read and listened to the play, I want to see it on stage, because as little is stated in black and white, the story is clear and d
...more
Mikael Kuoppala
Jan 26, 2012 Mikael Kuoppala rated it really liked it
Some time ago I saw an excellent performance of this Harold Pinter play by an amateur theatre group The Finn-Britt Players, and finally decided to try this one out in written form as well. The story of an affair between two married people in a situation where all involved know each other might easily turn soapy or disinteresting, but Pinter has loaded his scenes with intense emotion and perfectly sharp dialog. His talent makes “Betrayal” a nail-biting drama, employing the sometimes tricky method ...more
Akemi
Dec 13, 2008 Akemi rated it liked it
Shelves: school
Depressing, ugly picture of human life. Also, class made me feel rather stupid considering we spent most of our time talking about the possibility of a homosexual relationship between Robert and Jerry, which I did not pick up on AT ALL the first time I read it. Oops. But then later, my professor switched gears and acted as if that was just a totally hypothetical possibility, probably thought of by the characters but never realized because of their British sense of propriety. Rather confusing of ...more
Mohsen Rajabi
این نمایشنامه هیچ نداشت، اگر از حال به گذشته نمی رفت...
منظورم از هیچ نداشت، این است که هیچ چیز جالب و جدیدی نداشت. می شد در ردیف این نمایشنامه های آبکی و آب دوغ خیاری، اما با روشی که نویسنده دنبال کرده، به نظرم یک نوشته خوب نوشته.


یک توضیح: واقعا در امتیاز دادن، ماندم که چهار بدهم یا سه. با سایر نمایشنامه هایی که خواندم مقایسه کردم و سه دادم... شاید یک وقتی باز مروری کردم و به این نتیجه رسیدم که حقش چهار است. الآن به نظرم چیزی بین سه و سه و نیم است.
Alborz Taheri
Apr 19, 2013 Alborz Taheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
تشخیصِ اینکه چهچیزی واقعیست و چهچیزی واقعی نیست، آسان است؛ همینطور تشخیصِ چیزی که درست است و چیزی که درست نیست. اصلاً لازم نیست چیزی یا درست باشد یا غلط؛ چون هر چیزی میتواند هم درست باشد و هم غلط.
هارلود پینتر .
روایت جالب - این که داستان در هر صحنه از نظر زمانی عقب می رفت - ، دیالوگ نویسی عالی ، داستانی که همه یکدیگر را آزار میدهند ، والبته یه موضوع کثیف .
جالب بود.
...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
May 09, 2016 Samir Rawas Sarayji rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nobel-laureat, play
Really good stuff! The scenes are told in reverse chronology with the theme being an affair - where Jerry is Robert's best friend, and he has an affair with Robert's wife, Emma. It's not just the plot that makes it, or the subliminal tension of each scene, but the combination of that with the structure and returning motifs throughout the play that really take it to the next level.
Daniel Simmons
Jul 08, 2014 Daniel Simmons rated it really liked it
How can a play with so few words communicate so much about human deception and disloyalty? Pain, uncertainty, lacerating self-doubt, and heaps of emotional violence reside in this work's silences, in the spaces between the words, in what is left unsaid. Love here, if it exists, is a horror story spun backward in time, a dark star collapsing slowly in on itself. Disquieting and brilliant.
Laura
Jul 12, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
From BBC Radio 4:
Harold Pinter's acclaimed drama about a love affair and the intricate nature of deceit which is told in reverse time from its poignant ending to its thrilling first kiss.


Trever Polak
3.5. The structure here is much more interesting than the story itself. Very Pinter-y in the conversation style, although this is much more realistic than his earlier work. Maybe if I saw it played I'd be more invested in the story. Very well-executed overall, though.
Molly
Mar 16, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
A very quick read. I enjoyed it. It was simple but interesting. I do wish more happened, but maybe a lot rests on seeing it performed.
Bettie☯
Jul 12, 2012 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
Shelves: radio-4, summer-2012


sat 2:30

Harold Pinter's acclaimed drama about a love affair and the intricate nature of deceit.
Christy
Kind of too small to develop a real opinion, especially after A STRANGENESS IN MY MIND. It was over in 1 hour, after all. It went backward in time which made it hard for me to catch all the nuances. It left me feeling sad, there's so much Robert ought to say but doesn't. Where is his outrage, why doesn't he fight for his wife? I'd have to read it again to really feel I'd absorbed it all.
Angelique
Feb 05, 2017 Angelique rated it it was amazing
God. It really is such a well crafted play. I saw it 6 years ago and didn't think much of it. But kept thinking about it. It is written so simply, but manages to be complex. It is very inspiring. The man is a genius.
Miriam Smiley
Feb 07, 2017 Miriam Smiley rated it liked it
Like all of Pinter's works, it was one giant WTF all the way through
Realini
Apr 23, 2016 Realini rated it really liked it
Shelves: nobel, theater

Betrayal by Harold Pinter
Really Good play

The subject is obvious from the title.
Harold Pinter has won the Nobel Prize for his work.
But although I have a feeling that I have seen quite a few films based on his writing, I am not sure which.
Google would answer that and indeed, almost any other question.
Betrayal is the name of a film I think I recall, with Ben Kingsley in one of the roles, if I am not mistaken on both counts.

The play is about infidelity, without an incriminating approach notwithstan
...more
J.V. Seem
Sep 06, 2013 J.V. Seem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I saw Pinter's Betrayal at the theater last night, directed by my boyfriend's current director. I acted in some Harold Pinter sketches in 2011 myself, and have since loved his turns of phrase, his words. In last night's program, another Norwegian actor was quoted: "Pinter's words are like butter in your mouth," and they really are. The text is simply wonderful.

The play gives one a look into the extramarital affair of Emma and Jerry, and Emma's husband Robert, who has affairs of his own. It shows
...more
Mimi
Dec 13, 2013 Mimi rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly written with what is left unsaid is more important than what is. I saw this play recently in New York and was deeply disturbed, but intrigued with its nuances. I decided to pick up the book so perhaps catch some of what I felt I may have missed as well as contemplate on some of the themes - deception versus self deception, addictions, submerged feelings, friendship, honesty, trust, illusion versus reality, the concept of chronological time, man's skewed memory, and of course, the rep ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publication dates 3 18 Dec 28, 2013 02:21PM  
top 10 selling books of this year 1 7 Aug 27, 2013 09:08AM  
  • The Real Thing
  • Burn This
  • True West
  • Three Tall Women
  • Far Away
  • Closer
  • Sexual Perversity in Chicago & The Duck Variations
  • Private Lives
  • This is Our Youth
  • The Clean House and Other Plays
  • The Complete Plays
  • The Shape of Things
  • پيکر زن همچون ميدان نبرد در جنگ بوسنی
  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore
  • A Taste of Honey: A Play
  • I Am My Own Wife
  • Homebody/Kabul
  • Rabbit Hole
1197
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE, was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, political activist and poet. He was one of the most influential playwrights of modern times. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

After publishing poetry and acting in school plays as a teenager in London, Pinter began his professional theatrical career in 1951, touring throughout Ireland. From 1952,
...more
More about Harold Pinter...

Share This Book



“I hate brandy...it stinks of modern literature.” 412 likes
“JERRY: Look at the way you're looking at me. I can't wait for you. I'm bowled over, I'm totally knocked out, you dazzle me, you jewel, my jewel, I can't ever sleep again, no, listen, it's the truth, I won't walk, I'll be a cripple, I'll descend, I'll diminish, into total paralysis, my life is in your hands, that's what you're banishing me to, a state of catatonia, do you know the state of catatonia? do you? do you? the state of...where the reigning prince is the prince of emptiness, the prince of absence, the prince of desolation. I love you.
EMMA: My husband is at the other side of that door.
JERRY: Everyone knows. The world knows. It knows. But they'll never know, they'll never know, they're in a different world. I adore you. I'm madly in love with you. I can't believe that what anyone is at this moment saying has ever happened has ever happened. Nothing has ever happened. Nothing. Your eyes kill me. I'm lost. You're wonderful.”
23 likes
More quotes…