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The Homecoming

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  7,541 ratings  ·  271 reviews
When Teddy, a professor in an American university, brings his wife Ruth to visit his old home in London, he finds his family still living in the house. In the conflict that follows, it is Ruth who becomes the focus of the family's struggle for supremacy. ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 11th 1994 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1964)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,541 ratings  ·  271 reviews


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Petra-X Off having adventures
Max is the self-glorifying, violent old patriarch of the house in which lives his mild-mannered, ineffectual brother, a psychopathic pimp of a son, and the youngest son, whose violence is legal, he's a boxer. They trade taunts and insults and menace and there is nothing positive in their relationships. The old man is widowed, the others all single, there is nothing in even one of them to attract a woman.

One night, sneaking into the house he left six years before comes the oldest son and his wife
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
‎The Homecoming‬‬, Harold Pinter

The Homecoming is a two-act play written in 1964 by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter and it was first published in 1965.

Set in North London, the play has six characters. Five of these are men who are related to each other: Max, a retired butcher; his brother Sam, a chauffeur; and Max's three sons — Teddy, an expatriate American philosophy professor; Lenny, who appears to be a pimp; and Joey, a would-be boxer in training who works in demolition.

There is one woman, Ru
...more
Jon Nakapalau
I have given up hope of ever seeing this play...a surreal perspective on the Madonna-whore complex identified by Freud - Pinter has a gift for 'abstract echoism' that confronts the audience with 'scaffolding of belief' when constructural orientation is lost. ...more
Teresa
Oct 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reread this after reading The Birthday Party & The Room: Two Plays just the other day and it's a natural progression for both Pinter and the reader. The decrepit boardinghouses of the two earlier plays have become an old family home; the characters are more developed; the dialogue is richer and both more and less nuanced. The woman is still a focal point, but she no longer jabbers to herself because the men in her life tune her out: she is reflective, quietly assertive, and silent on her own b ...more
Jon Catherwood-Ginn
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly disturbing...

Without painting broad strokes of flagrant violence, obscene language, or the like, Pinter still manages to create an environment of unparalleled menace. His tools are simply language (or, rather, what isn't said) and layers of paradox that rise from a triumviri of inconsistent character behaviors, statuses, and conceptions of the past.

While reading, I found myself continually doubting the "validity" of what nearly every character did and said. Did I mention this play is
...more
Koen
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Quite a few books you read/movies and plays you watched in your youth tend to disappoint when you are of a "ripe/mature" age - but this play, which I saw on stage in London at age eighteen, had not lost any of its riveting qualities when I read it tonight, thirty-six years later - within the space of less than two hours. In less than a hundred pages Pinter manages to turn the grotesque into the plausible by making an eerily antisocial milieu come to life. "Chapeau"! ...more
Jaksen
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been in a mood to see – and to read – some plays. Here’s one of them…

This is a mad play – a mad, mad, mad play. Mad as in the old-fashioned, before-we-had-names-for-every-kind-of-mental-illness mad. Like before 1980 or thereabouts. Mad as in ‘he’s going mad,’ or ‘what, is he mad?’ Acting outside of all acceptable moral and societal expectations – like way outside. And so…

Teddy is coming home to his working class roots, his family in England. He’s a professor of philosophy in the US and has
...more
Tom O'Brien
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
I didn't like this play. It's seedy and mean, full of horrible characters treating each other badly. That doesn't mean that it's not a good play, maybe even a great one, because that was exactly what Pinter was going for, in his so called comedy menace period.

There are power plays and power shifts. There are threats and responses, as well as sparse pointed dialogue, increasingly absurd behaviour and a nasty spin in the tail.
...more
Charlotte
Oct 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: required-reading
What the actual eff.
I'm curious about what my professor is going to say about this because wtf.
...more
Liam
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
what did i just read ???
Helenn
Ok sure Ruth likes to get around. Yes this might never happen and yes the play is very twisted. It includes profanity and just plain wrong scenes, conversations, actions etc; but I don't see the need to label it as horrible or the worst ever. It has its beauty: complex plot and amazing characters that kept true to themselves from beginning to end.I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they would say next and I was always wrong. Well it did make me kind of sick and embarrassed but that w ...more
Napoleón
Jan 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
Sick. Just Sick. I don't care if there's a deeper meaning to this book. To make up a story so immensely wrong is unbelievable.

Great job, Harold. You just proved yourself one of the most twisted-in-the-head people on Earth. Oh, sorry my mistake. In the afterlife. Hopefully this strange imagination of yours didnt go with you... rest in peace.
...more
TK421
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-drama
Absurdity at its finest. I do not know whether to be appalled or sad or mad or grief-stricken by this play. Truly Pinteresque!
Sarah AlObaid
Man, this play. I only have three words: what the hell?
Brian
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The Homecoming" was labeled by one early critic as a "comedy of menace", and I feel that sums it up better than anything else I have heard. This is a dark, deeply ambiguous, and funny play. I first read this play in college, and then again recently, soon after seeing an excellent production of it at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario Canada staring Brian Dennehy. Being older and more experienced, I feel much better about the play then I did when I first encountered it years ago.
I am
...more
Trever Polak
This wasn't as good as The Birthday Party, and it's much more cryptic, but Pinter really can rip the mask off of human interaction. This one's much more realistic than The Birthday Party; it depicts a dysfunctional London family, whose oldest son, who's been in America for six years with his wife (who he eloped with immediately before leaving London). No spoilers, but the strange ending depicts the same kind of isolation as that of The Birthday Party. Pinter is definitely becoming a favorite. ...more
Jessica
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
I just saw this play at The Cort in Manhattan. I can't imagine a better production. Superb acting, excellent staging & timing. What a terrific play, my favorite of Pinter. ...more
Brown Bear
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite plays, a great work, even for Pinter. The plot may seem arbitary to most, bordering on the pointless. But the imagery created and the constant power struggles between the main characters make for an amazing read. Once again, i can't stress enough how much better it is to see a play performed, there is, however, a great film adaptation of this which does a good job of getting the story line across. The best thing about this play is its use of the unspoken word, the constant us ...more
Resa
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant.

"Very few people in the world understand this play, and Harold Pinter refuses to let anyone in on his secret." Dr. Magidson told my class. "When I directed this play, a couple people threw-up."

The setting of this play is simple: a grown-up, educated, man and wife visits his dad and brothers in the house they grew up in. But right off the bat, the reader realizes that even the simple plot is mixed with this absurd "Waiting For Godot" conversation.

A highlight of the absurdity:
-The dad tr
...more
Chris
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are a few authors (more often playwrites than novelists) from a certain school that seem to be able to get away with seemingly doing the same thing again and again, and Pinter is one of those to me. His form seems to be "amass a group of insane characters together with one straight man, and then let them play out their various madnesses."
In this play, he does that, but as the play went on, it turned into a disturbing criticism of the roles men expect women to play in the world and women's
...more
SB
this is the fourth pinter play that i have read. and, from my reading experience, i can tell you that he can create some beautifully disturbing universe in the relationships between the characters. this play is no exception to that. the pace got slightly slackened at times but it keeps its momentum intact in excellent and fissured conversations between the characters. the main soul of this play is its characters. but also, this play reached its peak in the last scene when ruth came down and the ...more
Salikh Tursunov
After reading this book you start to think differently than you used to do. The book is written by great author Harold Pinter, who has numerous published books. The Homecoming, one of the masterpieces by Harold Pinter, where he shows the power of the female character and the use of beauty in men's society. The play takes place in one room with returning sun and his wife from US back home to England where he has brothers and dad. ...more
Shauna
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, plays
This is one of my favorite plays, it's SO,OOOO good! It takes a couple of reads (and in my case a script analysis class) to understand all the meanings and subtexts and such but once you get it it's crazy good! I actually enjoyed it even when I didn't understand it to be honest. There are a lot of WTF moments, such a brilliant story! ...more
Frederico
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. As a reviewer who hated it put it, sick. Terrifying. Unforgettable. For those who've been under the menace of alpha dogs and entertained grey ultrasounds of revenge. I'd love to see it performed one day. ...more
Maria Felgueiras
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! This one is tough to read. So many dysfunctional characters and a story that blows you away. I'm still trying to figure out what that character Ruth was up to. Was she mad or too intelligent and manipulative? ...more
Rolls
Mar 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Truly great. An icy stiletto of a play.
Ivy-Mabel Fling
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great play to read if you want something to show you how the other half lives. And not in a positive way. Pinter is a genius when it comes to creating a menacing atmosphere!
Ana
Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it

The Homecoming is an entertaining play and I enjoyed reading it. While the story is slow at times the interaction and struggle between the characters makes up for it. I like how Pinter criticized how men just assume women will play certain roles in the world and how women puzzlingly go along with them. The final seen was quite powerful with Ruth in a position of power over all of the male characters. Albeit vulgar at times, Pinter’s use of crude references and profanity make the play seem much m
...more
Malemnganbi
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Beware! The name of the title might fool you. Homecoming is about this guy coming home with his new wife who his other family members knows nothing about, even the marriage, but the essence lies in its dialogues that confuse you in the first reading. The dialogue is both hilarious and ridiculous at the same time. One is bound to ask the question, is this even possible? Then again, the whole plot itself is a parody and one accepts the story as a spoof of the superficial life we live in the age of ...more
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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

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“You wouldn't understand my works. You wouldn't have the faintest idea of what they were about. You wouldn't appreciate the points of reference. You're way behind. All of you. There's no point in sending you my works. You'd be lost. It's nothing to do with a question of intelligence. It's a way of being able to look at the world. It's a question of how far you can operate on things and not in things. I mean it's a question of your capacity to ally the two, to relate the two, to balance the two. To see, to be able to see! I'm the one who can see. That's why I can write my critical works. Might do you good...have a look at them...see how certain people can view...things...how certain people can maintain...intellectual equilibrium. Intellectual equilibrium. You're just objects. You just...move about. I can observe it. I can see what you do. It's the same as I do. But you're lost in it. You won't get me being...I won't be lost in it.” 24 likes
“RUTH: If you take the glass…I’ll take you.” 2 likes
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