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

Heartbreak House

by
3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,749 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Entertaining allegory examines apathy, confusion and lack of purpose as causes of major world problems.

One of the distinguished comic dramatist's more somber plays, this entertaining allegory examines apathy, confusion and lack of purpose as causes of major world problems, with larger-than-life characters representing the evils of the modern world.

The house could arguably
...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 29th 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1919)
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 Heartbreak House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heartbreak House

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Buck
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: histrionics
1 pint of Amsterdam Blonde
2 bottles of Sleeman’s Cream Ale
2 gin and tonics
3 shots of rye on the rocks
1 glass of champagne
1 bottle of Moosehead

Such was my alcohol consumption this New Year’s Eve. And yet, as you can plainly see, I remain strangely, depressingly lucid, but with a haunting premonition of a bloated, gassy hangover and a sort of lingering foretaste of a vomitous breakfast in a greasy spoon among the pallid reflections of last night’s beautiful young things, some of them still wearing
...more
Huda Aweys
(منزل القلوب المحطمة)
هي نبؤة او قل أمنية لبرنارد شو بالقضاء على نفوذ الرأسمالية في انجلترا حينذاك عمد من خلالها الى تعرية المجتمع الانجليزي و كشف مساوئه و عوراته ، و قد مثل انجلترا هنا بالسفينة أو بـ(منزل القلوب المحطمة)ذلك المنزل الذي تصور له ديكور و هيكل أشبه بما للسفينة
و من هنا يستطيع القارئ أن يحسن تأويل الشخصيات التي مثلت شرائح هي أحسن ما في المدنية الإنجليزية (من وجهة نظر برنارد شو كما أخبر بذلك داخل النص) .. كـ(مانجمان) رجل الأعمال و السمسار الرأسمالي الذي عبر برنارد شو من خلاله عن الوج
...more
Cemre
Aug 13, 2016 added it
Shelves: plays
İş Bankasınca "Dört Oyun" başlığıyla yayımlanan kitabın üçüncü oyunu "Kırgınlar Evi" idi. Olayı az, karakteri ve diyalogu bol bir oyun Kırgınlar Evi. Kimi kişilerce İngiliz toplumuna dair bir "kara komedi" olarak nitelendirildiğini gördüm, ben de böyle olduğunu düşünüyorum. İyi bir ilk perde ile başlasa da ikinci perdeden itibaren biraz sıkıldığımı söyleyebilirim. Üçüncü, yani son perdenin sonunda yeniden hareketlendiğini hissedebildim.

Okumaktan keyif aldığımı söylesem de sahnede izleseydim muh
...more
Manik Sukoco
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bernard Shaw's 1919 play, "Heartbreak House," is a bitterly angry black comedy - a satire against a British imperial culture in the first two decades of the 20th century that gave rise to the excesses of the first World War, and which could (and would) do a lot worse if given the chance. Consciously drawing on a healthy and proud tradition of Irish satirists, including Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, Shaw brings us into a declining English country house, which seems to be run by no one in partic ...more
El
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I was pleasantly surprised to open this play and find the author's Preface which was not entirely about the play itself. Refreshing, really, because those pesky Prefaces and Introductions can contain spoilers which leads to the reader feeling pretty bummed out. But then I read the Goodreads description of the book and was spoiled anyway because whoever wrote it SUCKS.

Do not be discouraged by the Preface. I almost was because it took me three nights just to read it which, in the long run, is sill
...more
Ira Bespalova
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: had-to-read
The only reason I gave it four stars is that I'm not into plays very much. Still I realize that the book is one of the greatest of its time with loads of genuinely funny dialogs and monologues and effervescent jokes.
The action takes place on the eve of World War I. And as it had been previously mentioned "lampoons British society as it blithely sinks towards disaster". Somehow I don't quite agree with that. Even though the story deals with Britain and the British, the whole situation, the relati
...more
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Aaron
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
This play starts out as a traditional British class comedy, then the twist happen. The twist is that [SPOILER ALERT:] the rest of the book is awful. Just consider the dialogue that ends the first act:
CAPTAIN SHOTOVER: What a house! What a daughter!
MRS HUSHABYE: What a father!
HECTOR: What a husband!
MH: What do men want? They have their food, their firesides, their clothes mended, and our love at the end of the day. Why are they not satisfied? Why do they envy us the pain with which we bring them
...more
Rebecca Joseph
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Heartbreak House, a handful of well attired, and dishonest, men and striking, not to mention cunning, women, are thrown together in the nautically inspired household of an eccentric old captain.

Each person's selfishness slowly comes to the forefront and what we once thought about them at the start is turned on its head. The play is an interesting perusal into the meaningless pursuits in pre-war England.
Hilary
May 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hilary by: School
Shelves: fiction, 2009
Heartbreak House was not what I would consider the best of George Bernard Shaw's plays. The Preface, in particular, was difficult to get through, but after a time it began to get interesting. The idea of the play was to write about World War I from a civilian's perspective -- the point of view of one seeing the War as a novelty rather than the tragedy that it truly was. The play takes place over (two? one?) night at a country manor in the shape of a ship, symbolic of a leisurely Europe sailing i ...more
Mia
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting blend of satire, drama, and political and social commentary. I saw this play performed at The Shaw Festival last season, and it was difficult enough to watch, let alone read.

This is an experimental play. It starts out "normal" and then teeters into absurd, and then ultimately plummets into confusing. It's fascinating, and a few of the characters really stand out, but overall I found the play too confusing, a little preachy, and not as enjoyable as Shaw's other works (i.e
...more
J. Alfred
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Complete with an author's introduction almost as long as the text of the play, Shaw shows his astonishing capacity to be very angry, very humanistic, and very funny at the same time. He's like a more modern Dr. Swift. The play itself is funny at parts but verges off into the weird and depressing by the end. But then he's trying to write an allegory for English society in war time, so I suppose weird and depressing is the way to be.
Amanda
Mar 16, 2010 added it
Shelves: owned-textbooks
This is actually a play which I read for my 20th Century British Lit. class. I wrote 2 papers using Literary Theory (Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theories) using this text, so I have read and re-read this several times.
It was enjoyable and full of wacky characters and weird situations. Taking place in the early 1900's in England during a time when they were involved in WWII. Shaw was against the war and known for being part of, and a big supporter of the Fabian Society.
Terence Manleigh
This is one of my favourite Shaw plays -- a motley crew of English aristos gather and chatter blithely about their lives and loves until the bombs drop. Written just after the First World War, it's rather like Ravel's La Valse put in the form of a comedy of manners. Somehow Absurdist and Chekhovian at the same time, with that wonderful, ringing Shavian wit.
Marc
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, 2017
story dragged - not that great
Maya Khaldy
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
marvelous! genius!
Elaine
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm disappointed in you, GBS. Your plays are usually awesome. This was utter filth. It was like a mixture of Victorian melodrama and modern teen angst. You must have been in a very bad mood.
Rani
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, play
this is one of my favorite plays.
Timothy Kerrigan
The Captain may be my favorite character in all of literature.
Alyse
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, plays, plays-2008
A classic Shaw play dealing with humanity on the brink of war.
Sarah
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
quirky.

Shaw at his best as a critic of Western hypocrisy.
Breann Barnett
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i read this in one sitting and loved it. i laughed out loud for some parts which is rare. this book will hold a special memory for me since i read this and got engaged the next day. thanks bernard
Greg
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreak House is a good introduction to Shaw’s plays, boldly asserting his views. Although never subtle, Shaw became more skilled at the presentation of his ideas in later plays. Heartbreak House is in your face. The Preface is essentially a long editorial about World War I from a civilian’s perspective. Clearly this is an anti-war play:
THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO LIVE MUST MAKE A MERIT OF DYING
Heartbreak house was far too lazy and shallow to extricate itself from this palace of evil enchant
...more
Chandini
This isn't one of my favorites of Shaw's. It's a good deal more farcical and less witty than I normally associate with Shaw. It's next to impossible to connect with any of the characters because they're such caricatures. I just don't see how this is supposed to be a clever of satire of polite British society. It's certainly a parody, but I'm not sure I'd call it clever overall. It does contain some gems of humor that seem wasted in this play though.
Núria
Aviso que en cuestión de teatro soy más de dramas o tragedias que de comedias (no me pasa lo mismo con las películas o las series de televisión). Y aviso que cuando empiezo una reseña con “aviso” es que el libro en cuestión no me ha acabado de gustar. Al principio, ‘La casa de los corazones rotos’ empieza como una farsa. Y es muy divertida. Y genial. Una serie de personajes insatisfechos, aquejados de spleen en mayor o menor grado, se encuentran en una casa de campo que pertenece a una familia e ...more
Metaphorosis

reviews.metaphorosis.com

2.5 stars

Ellie Dunn, invited to visit Hesione Hushabye, finds a bewildering crew of would-be lovers and husbands among the guests. In the course of the day, she finds out more about them and herself.

There's quite a long and philosophical preface to this place, explaining why it wasn't published during the war (WW I), and giving Shaw a chance to lay out his views about capitalism, socialism, country society, and a range of other things. It's dated and not entirely consist
...more
Realini
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw
Not a smashing play

For various reasons, I am not a fan of George Bernard Shaw.
First of all, he was leaning to the left in politics. As far as I know, he went to the Soviet Union and instead of denouncing the communist policies he praised them.
This is serious for someone who has lived under a communist regime and knows what they did, I strongly believe that Shaw and others like him – famous and influent people who had firsthand knowledge of the soviet realit
...more
Anjum
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
This seems to be a very interesting show. I appreciated that the female characters were not weak in the least. In fact, they all turned out to be a completely different stereotype: using their attractiveness for manipulation. Now this doesn't give women the best reputation, but I think that it's better than the alternative for what they could be characterized as in the WWI era.

But the end of this book...I'm not going to say anything specific, but let's just say that it's a complete cop out. In
...more
Helen
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This is the second Shaw play I've read, the first being Pygmalion. It's always funny reading scripts as I always try to imagine a performance in my head. This play all takes place in the one place, Heartbreak House, and is about a group of characters, mostly related, trying to know themselves and their desires through the actions of the play. Having read up about the play and Shaw's purpose, the characters seem to represent a microcosm of England before the war. The glory days of colonialism, th ...more
Elizabeth
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brilliant and prophetic although slow in the second act. His characters are so humanly oblivious and morally bankrupt. They rush in and out of rooms in a confused manner, never quite sure of who they are or even of who they should be. That's our common dilemma, I suppose. We've jettisoned our "should be" and now have no moorings.

Shaw belongs in the absurdist camp with this play, if you want to stick him somewhere. Although he uses language coherently (no thanks to Becket, who just drivels), his
...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 »
  • Design for Living
  • The Lady from the Sea
  • Miss Julie and Other Plays
  • The Playboy of the Western World & Riders to the Sea
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author and Other Plays
  • The Plough and the Stars
  • The Beaux' Stratagem
  • The Way of the World
  • The Price
  • The Clean House
  • The Illusion
  • Night and Day
  • The Beggar's Opera
  • The Complete Plays: The Hostage / The Quare Fellow / Richard's Cork Leg
  • Camino Real
  • The White Devil
  • Lend Me a Tenor
  • The Zoo Story and Other Plays
5217
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
More about George Bernard Shaw...
“You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.” 164 likes
“Shall I turn up the light for you?

No, give me deeper darkness. Money is not made in the light.”
41 likes
More quotes…