The Cocktail Party, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A modern verse play about the search for meaning, in which a psychiatrist is the catalyst for the action.

An authentic modern masterpiece (New York Post). Eliot really does portray real-seeming characters. He cuts down his poetic effects to the minimum, and then finally rewards us with most beautiful poetry (Stephen Spender).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780571051885

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The Cocktail Party: A Comedy is painfully tragic from a Christian perspective. A wife leaves her husband because he's having an affair. Years later, the second woman becomes a Christian and is killed on the mission field. The husband and wife meanwhile have worked at repairing their marriage and find solace in meaningless cocktail parties. True passion is punished while superficial escapism is rewarded. But I suppose that's the irony Eliot was aiming at.As you would expect, Eliot's prose reads like poetry. The cadence and interplay of dialogue is sharp and lyrical.This is a fine read from a 20th century master.