Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: The Cocktail Party

The Cocktail PartyThe Cocktail Party by T.S. Eliot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were some wonderful lines in this play, but overall I didn't think it was as impressive a piece of writing as Murder in the Cathedral.

The premise is quite interesting: at the start of the play a party is beginning and we come to find out that the hostess, who invited everyone, isn't there. There is an unidentified guest on hand however. The second act adds to the layers of unexpected actions and connections. The third act is just weird. One of the reviews on Goodreads suggested that you skip the 3rd act. I think that is a bit harsh, but I understand the reaction. Eliot makes various intriguing observations about the human condition in this modern morality play.
"It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous. Resign yourself to be the fool you are."
"Two people who know they do not understand each other, breeding children whom they do not understand and who will never understand them."
This is a play worth reading, possibly even re-reading, but it is not Eliot's best.
This book counts toward the What's in a Name Challenge in the category of "a party or celebration".

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