Inspector Calls

ISBN-10: 0822205726
ISBN-13: 9780822205722
Edition: N/A
Authors: J. B. Priestley
List price: $9.00 Buy it from $7.52
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Description: THE STORY: The action of the play occurs in an English industrial city, where a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1948
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 68
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.374
Language: English

THE STORY: The action of the play occurs in an English industrial city, where a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate the family, and during the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply inthe girl's undoing. The family, closely knit and friendly at the beginning of the evening, is shown up as selfish, self-centered or cowardly, its good humor turning to acid, and good fellowship to dislike, before the evening is over. The surprising revelation, however, is in the inspector—who turns out to be no copper at all but a mysterious individual with full knowledge of everyone's connection with the suicide. After the false inspector has been shown up, and it is discovered that no suicide had been recorded, an actual copper shows, and a last-minute suicide is reported, which ties in mysteriously with the foregoing.

English novelist, playwright, and critic J. B. Priestley was born in Bradford in Yorkshire, the setting for many of his stories, and was educated at Cambridge University. Although he first established a reputation with critical writings such as The English Comic Characters (1925), The English Novel (1927), and English Humor (1928), it is for his novels and plays that he is best known. Priestley was, like John Galsworthy and Somerset Maugham, a novelist only partially committed to his playwriting. Yet he became the dominant literary figure in the London West End during the 1930s, as he attempted to make realistically rendered domestic conversation the vehicle for a mature study of personality and emotion. Philosophical theories about time, Socialist dogmatism (often erupting into sermons), and a taste for dramatic expressionism may be said to have finally deflected him from his goal. Priestley's experimental bent nevertheless yielded, among his more than 25 plays, a number of striking theatrical situations---the soliloquies of Ever since Paradise, the reviewed life in Johnson over Jordan (1939), the replay of an ill-fated conversational turn in Dangerous Corner (his most successful play, 1934), and the supernatural visitation in An Inspector Calls (his acknowledged masterpiece, 1946).

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