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An Inspector Calls and Other Plays

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,336 ratings  ·  95 reviews
An Inspector Calls, first produced in 1946 when society was undergoing sweeping transformations, has recently enjoyed an enormously successful revival. While holding its audience with the gripping tension of a detective thriller, it is also a philosophical play about social conscience and the crumbling of middle class values. Time and the Conways and I Have Been Here Befor ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 29th 2001 by Penguin Classics (first published 1947)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,336 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-school
I loved An Inspector Calls, especially the line "if man will not learn his lesson he will be taught in fire blood and anguish". The whole play has such a powerful message.
Adam Crossley
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
An Inspector Calls is great! As an IGCSE English teacher the text has excellent bits for analysis while maintaining a story that is accessible and interesting for G9 and G10 students. The students absolutely loved the play and many listed it as a favorite part of the course. At the ending the students were shouting out loud (I'm not joking) at the plot twists.

Highly recommended as a text for study.

The other plays didn't move me as much and are the reason for the four star review. When ordering
Sabrin Ahmed
Studies at school. Loved the mystery and the themes. Still has me wondering ...
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
An Inspector Calls and Other Plays contains, as you might have guessed, An Inspector Calls as well as Time and the Conways, I Have Been Here Before, and The Linden Tree. Of the collection, An Inspector Calls stands head and shoulders above the rest but they are all of a high standard.

Time and the Conways and I Have Been Here Before both deal with time, fate and free will, but of the two I definitely enjoyed the latter the most. The former sees us meeting a family amidst some sort of party in whi
John Jr.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
These four plays, especially An Inspector Calls, make significant contributions to the 20th-century literature of time.

Time and the Conways (first performed 1937): The first act takes place on a birthday night in 1919 and introduces us to the many members of the Conway family, two of whom have just come home from the war, plus a few others. The second act jumps forward 18 years, to the same character’s birthday. In Act III we return to 1919, see the remainder of the evening, and learn everyone’s
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this play at school. It was a part of my course and might I add, the best part.
I absolutely loved the building up of the suspense, the characters and how each of them had a story, the interconnection of the lives of all the characters, and the message behind it. Stunning work by the play write!
This modern play includes class conflict and differences, the selfishness of individuals, capitalism vs communism, and greed being the root of all problems.
Loved this! 5 stars!
Recommend to all.
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I bought this collection four years ago because I was intrigued by An Inspector Calls but unfortunately, I was never really interested in the other plays, and thus it stayed on my shelves for years. After all these years I’ve decided to just read An Inspector Calls and acknowledge that I might never read the other plays but in case I change my mind I’m glad that I own this collection. An Inspector Calls is an amazing play and I’m glad I’ve finally read it.
Katie Lee-Kearns
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
"We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you the time will soon come when, if men do not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish".
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book :) I would recommend it, in some sense it can change you - into becoming a better person with your actions :) and it has a good ending too.
I've finished An Inspector Calls. I don't intend to read the other stories just yet as I was reading merely to get up to speed with what my son is studying at school so that I can help him.

I enjoyed the play. Its themes are thought provoking.
Marnie Ava
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
It was so enjoyable reading inspector calls again as well as reading some of his other plays which I have never heard of before. Forgot how much I love reading plays....
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-books
There are four plays in this book and the first three of them are superb. The fourth is good but to be honest I also found it a bit boring. Why? For the simple reason that the first three have metaphysical, supernatural, moral, social and paradoxical elements. The fourth only has the moral and social input. But let's not be too harsh on 'The Linden Tree'. Certainly the characters in the play are very engaging and the ending is excellent, namely the hint of the resurgence of the spirit of a great ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dancingfromtheshadows by: VitaMerlini
An Inspector Calls ⭐10 (THIS. WAS. SO. GOOD.)
The Linden Tree ⭐8.5
Time and the Conways ⭐7
I Have Been Here Before ⭐9
Robin Stevens
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You want proof that guessing what the author meant when they made something or someone up doesn't work? Here you go. This is the first time I've ever read An Inspector Calls. Inspector Priestley was totally not (or at least not to my knowledge) named after JB. But I'm an idiot, because he should have been. This is a totally brilliant and totally horrifying play that I'd have absolutely used as book material if I'd read it before. Now's my chance, I guess! (12+)

*Please note: this review is meant
Clare Holman-Hobbs
I recently re-read this again, as I studied it many, many years ago for GCSE English. The BBC adapted it recently, and I thought it was a fantastic version of the play. One of my favourites. Priestley manages to capture the moral complexity of our everyday lives and just goes to show how our behaviour could affect others.
An inspector calls... Man this is a read of all reads. Man...
D.K. Powell
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I recall seeing 'An Inspector Calls' in my youth. I couldn't remember anything about it, truth be told, so when this text turned up in my son's GCSE set texts for English I was delighted to be reacquainted with the play and dive into others of Priestley I didn't know before.

As I increasingly find these days, doing so did not prove to be the joy I'd hoped for. Instead, yet again, I find another 'well-known' text which leaves me with a 'what were we thinking' feeling when I try to figure out why t
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this play in 2020. Most people are going to be studying An Inspector Calls for their IGCSE’s, or maybe already have, so you may be sick of it. For those who haven’t read or studied this play, read on. Just quickly, it is set in 1912 England/Uk in a wealthy home.

It’s about a upper class rich family called The Birling’s who are celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft. They are pleased with themselves and so on until Inspector Goole arrives. A girl has died. Suicide by
Mark Reece
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
A collection of four plays, the titular work, 'An Inspector Calls', is by far the strongest and most powerful. A police inspector arrives at the house of a wealthy family to question them about their involvement in the suicide of a young girl. Their actions, and their attempts to justify them, expose the tawdriness of their apparently respectable values. The characterisation is a little stock (the young rake, etc), but the tension is built effectively, and the social democratic message fits natu ...more
Hannah Polley
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I got this book as I wanted to reread An Inspector Calls which was a play I loved when we did it at school and it was just as good as I remembered. It's a great thriller and I would love to see in performed on stage. However, there are three other plays in this book and I enjoyed them immensely as well. The plays in the books are:

Time And The Conways - set at a family birthday party where they are playing charades in the first scene, you are introduced to the Conway family who all seem happy and
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I had to read An Inspector Calls for my English Theatre class and, since this edition came with three other plays I thought I'd give them a try.
I found And Inspector Calls very intriguing. More than once I felt I wanted to yell at a couple of the characters while encouraging Sheila (thank god for Sheila). I loved how the moment you thought you have pieced everything together, Priestley put things upside down. The way the characters unfold throughout the acts is wonderful, both in the way they de
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The gradual implosion of the initially self-satisfied Birlings, a middle-class family with sin deep inside, leads the audience, slowly, patiently, yet in a manner daunting and even forceful, to a final realization that people are bonded in the very society we live in. With Inspector Goole's strong and powerful statements and low-key implications the author made by the setting since the very beginning of the play, the scenarios build up a prophetic, mysterious role of the inspector and appeal to ...more
Anuszka Gojke
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I had never even heard of this play before I picked up this book in the library, despite finding out later that this was a famous play, so I basically went into it with no preconception of what it would be like. There were moments that I liked such as Inspector Goole interrogating the Birling family and his characterisation was a bit more likeable compared to the other characters in the story. However there were some moments that I found too predictable. Maybe it's because I've read Sherlock Hol ...more
Stan Skrabut
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of the great things about the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge is that it has encouraged me to read outside my normal reading lane. It has exposed me to books that I would not have read. I would not have picked up An Inspector Calls and Other Plays on my own. The reading challenged prompted this book choice. I'm glad I read this book because I found it quite entertaining. Read more ...more
Velma Mustakeem
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A 3.5, but more towards the four star side. In fact the only play I thought was more a three was the most famous of them and the titular one - I think it was because of the whole set-up. Maybe questioning people regarding a suicide with no possibility of murder was done in the past, but now it seems to me incongruous and unnecessary, which quite weakens the whole impetus for the story. And the inspector annoyed me. But the other plays were extremely good, and - only after reading analysis - even ...more
Mike Collins
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first play scripts that I've read and the style takes a bit of getting used to, but not too much. I saw a production of 'An Inspector Calls' some years ago, hence reading the book. Half-way through this collection, I still hadn't got to the main event! Four plays here, all with common themes - society, civilisation, relationships, families, opinions, politics and the future - but each with something to say. 'An Inspector Calls' is terrific, of course, but the others are not far behind.
A grea
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-classics
This was the third and final item on my list of GCSE texts. I'll admit, I approached it with some trepidation, owing to the fact that it was a play, rather than an ordinary book- an area of literature that I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with. Couple this with the fact that I was rather put off plays a couple of years ago, when we read 'An Enemy of The People' in Year 9. An unrelenting stream of dialogue about bacteria in a water supply proved to be disastrously unpopular in a class of bored 13 ye ...more
Lauren Roberts
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I've wanted to read An Inspector Calls for a long time, as it wasn't on our school syllabus, so it was really nice to get to read this and other JB Priestley plays in the same book. The plays are all broadly set in the pre and post war era and are a lovely insight into livelihoods, attitudes and morals of the day. Of all the plays An inspector Calls was one of my favourite, the mystery and the characters worked perfectly and I loved the ending!!
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John Boynton Priestley, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Bradford in September 1894, and after schooling he worked for a time in the local wool trade. Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Priestley joined the British Army, and was sent to France --in 1915 taking part in the Battle of Loos. After being wounded in 1917 Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going ...more

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