Kat's Reviews > Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
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's review
Aug 09, 2009

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bookshelves: book-to-film, read-in-2009, classics, borrowed-from-library
Read in August, 2009 , read count: 1

I read and enjoyed Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, so I figured I might as well read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as well. I love the film versions of these plays, and it's what made me want to go read the original works on which they're based.

The play takes place over the course of one evening, Big Daddy's 65th birthday celebration. His family gathers at the plantation to celebrate his birthday and his not having cancer (even though he really does, but is initially led to believe otherwise).

Big Daddy's youngest son Brick is like the golden child. His parents adore him and forget all about their eldest son Gooper, who's married and has five children. Big Daddy and Big Mama seem not to care that Gooper has given them everything they wanted, while their darling Brick is a newly unemployed drunk with a broken leg (and no children).

The relationship between Maggie the Cat and her husband Brick is highly dysfunctional, and most of their scenes together are spent bitterly arguing. Maggie loves her husband, but he's become very distant (and alcoholic) since the suicide of his best friend Skipper. She wants nothing more than to be loved in return, but Brick is in love with the bottle and resents Maggie so much for whatever happened with Skipper.

It took me a long time to get through this. I can normally read a play in one sitting, because they're not very long. But I found Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to be less interesting than Streetcar. None of the characters in this play are likable and gained no sympathy from me. The movie is way better, in my opinion. Tennessee Williams reworked the script for the screen, and it definitely works. This original version, on the other hand, it just...okay.


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