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

The Real Inspector Hound

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,635 ratings  ·  93 reviews
The ultimate parody of the stage and literary convention of the country-house mystery. 'It's an object of pure, virtuoso craft and display, as luxuriously self-sufficient as a netsuke or Faberge Easter egg. But it's as nearly perfect in its kind as a P.G. Wodehouse plot; tiny, ludicrous and beautiful as an ivory Mickey Mouse...It's time we stopped dismissing comedy as an i ...more
Paperback, 44 pages
Published January 1st 1968 by Samuel French, London
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 The Real Inspector Hound, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Real Inspector Hound

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher WrightReal Florida by Jeff KlinkenbergLady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona CarnarvonThe Magic of Reality by Richard DawkinsReality and Dreams by Muriel Spark
Get 'Real'
496 books — 12 voters
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom StoppardThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyParadise Lost by John MiltonPygmalion by George Bernard ShawThe Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Fanfiction!
146 books — 29 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,635 ratings  ·  93 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Real Inspector Hound
Gerlinde
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-school
I have no clue what just happened, but I think I enjoyed it?
عماد العتيلي
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
description

This play is truly a maze. Sure, it is hilarious, but it leaves the reader with a peculiar sense of loneliness and strangeness! Just like life itself! I think that this play is meant to represent reality.
“MOON: Does this play know where it is going?
BIRDBOOT: Well, it seems open and shut to me”

While reading this play, readers cannot figure out where it is going. We, humans, actually ask the same question regarding life: Where is it going?

[image error]

In my opinion, I think that Moon is the mos
...more
Cindee
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hilarious and clever! It was a parody of Agatha Christie's famous 'The Mousetrap'. Every scene, character and action of the genre was wroughtly exaggerated and overstated to play on the traditional conventions. Stoppard played on everything to make it comical and humourous. It also shows how the 'cosy' murder mysteries are sometimes a little bit illogical and too coincidental (especially where Mrs Drudge comes in) but it is also how mysteries work. The little coincidences in mysteries are often ...more
Stas
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Suggested to me by my gf. Glad I listened to her: A very short but very entertaining read. Puckeridge, you cunning bastard!
MacK
I like Tom Stoppard. I really do. Shakespeare in Love and Rozencrantz and Guildenstern, really inventive takes on the Bard.

But this blows everything else out of the water. To take your standard blase muder mystery and explode it into a post-modern absurdist reflection of modern society and aesthetic idiocy (much like my phrase "post modern absurdist reflection of modern society") is pure genius. You can really tell that it's excellent though because even without delving into the figurative depth
...more
Lara Mi


I feel rather bad – it does not seem particularly fair to give a low rating if you know from the start the book is not your cup of tea. I doubt it was bad, but I could not care for it at all. One of its main issues is certainly the fact that it is a play. I simply cannot enjoy plays the same way I enjoy novels. But then again, The Importance of Being Earnest was not entirely lost on me. So perhaps my rating is not all that unjustified after all? The stage play itself, though, might be interestin
...more
Rachael
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit
Ha! Fantastic. Hilarious. Lighter fare than some of his others, but definitely worth the read. Am planning on remembering the "Stand-ins of the world stand up" speech.
Tamara
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wonderfully metafictional.
Christina Packard
A short play that would be fun to watch. Free online to read.
Ella
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"How long have you been a pedestrian?"
"Ever since I could walk."

I do always love me some Stoppard. This wasn't my favourite play by him and I think I'd give it 3,5 stars, mainly due to the buildup. As the characters also readily admit, the pacing was odd and slow to start with, which made it less invigorating than I'm used to from Stoppard -- but of course that is part of its genius. This play is a parody of British crime like Agatha Christie and can easily be read in the light of crime shows l
...more
Briony
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I went to see 'The Mousetrap' last night, and I just *had* to re-read this afterwards. What a cleverly written, hilarious disaster of a play xD The detective genre has always interested me, especially when an author subverts the 'rules' of the genre, and Tom Stoppard is an exceptional example of the funny results this can produce. I've always believed that plays are meant to be seen, rather than just read, but of course you can't be lucky enough to see EVERY play, so reading them is the next ...more
Barbara
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: play-scripts, own-it
FYI: (Black Magic is a British brand of boxed chocolates created in 1933; sold as an affordable version of an expensive luxury product; marketed as a courtship gift.)

Just a few of the crazy bits that jumped out at me as I began reading:

"The Help" answers the phone: "Hello, the drawing-room of Lady Muldoon's country residence one morning in early spring? ... Hello?" (This bit is repeated several times.)

(The sound of a wheelchair approaching down several flights of stairs with landings in betwee
...more
Judith Graham
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Not used to reading a play as a book and part of a book group so found it quite hard going by myself. However, as we planned to read it over a meal I waited and found the humour in it (or was that just the way we acted it out?)
It is actually a play within a play and each act becomes more confusing than the last! Not sure what the plot is to be honest - murder, womanising concealed identities. What a laugh we had though. Look forward to reading another play.
Ric
A play within a play within a play. 4th walls broken down left, right and centre; leading to a metafictional mayhem of immense proportion. A who done it were every body knew that nobody did. Confusing but amusing... mad dogs and Englishmen.
James
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A la Pirandello's Six Authors, this play is also a self-referential meta-drama. The effect here presents itself as an absurd comedy whereas Six Authors hinges around tragedy and philosophy. Both are equally great.
Lucy
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was one that keeps you on your toes! Loved reading it - can't imagine how I would keep up with it live if I was seeing it for the first time on stage. But worth the price of admission for Mrs Drudge alone.
Elijah
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as good as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, but still humorous. In some ways, it feels like it's too short.
Raghunath Kalpana-Ananth
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy
Absurdist. Lot of Meta - elements. Play with in a play and a parody at that. A little confusing to read. Must have been better watching the performance rather than reading it.
Kirsta
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: college
One of my favorites. I had forgotten I had read this is college until a friend put it on his list.
Laura
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Puckeridge, you cunning bastard.”
ʂɔσʋʈ
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
The fuck did I just read
B
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tom Stoppard is one of the most brilliant playwrights in all of English literature and “The Real Inspector Hound” continues that legacy. Witty and riveting to the end.
Grace Harris
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very unique and entertaining
John Blais
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A clever play with one character becoming another, and in the end we see who the real Inspector Hound is.
Zoe
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julianne
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ok, maybe i'm biased because i'm literally playing moon in this show, but the real inspector hound is genuinely the most brilliant play i have ever read
Caoimhe
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A riotous play that has so much creative meat for a production to work with
Audrey
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
stoppard certainly knows how to write an interesting play. I recommend reading at least Christie's The Mousetrap before reading this, for context
Squeric
A funny play that skewers English mystery theatre with a satisfying, walloping end.
Flick Anderson
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of Stoppard's finest comedies. Fantastic fun.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Mousetrap: A Play
  • Middletown
  • The Trojan Women
  • Clybourne Park
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Betrayal
  • Rhinocéros
  • It's Only a Play
  • Pygmalion
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • The Beauty Queen of Leenane
  • Appropriate (Acting Edition)
  • The Laramie Project
  • The Three Sisters
  • Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
  • Free as in Freedom (2.0): Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution
  • South Pacific
  • Under Milk Wood
See similar books…
826 followers
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL, is a British screenwriter and playwright.

Born Tomáš Straussler.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Stop...
...more

News & Interviews

There are many ways to take action against racism. Reading in order to learn more about oppression and how to oppose it is just one of those ways...
492 likes · 297 comments
“To say that it is without pace, point, focus, interest, drama, wit or originality is to say simply that it does not happen to be my cup of tea.” 9 likes
More quotes…