About The Book
A black comedy set in a government-run mental institution, The Hothouse revolves around a sinister murder plot hatched against a backdrop of corruption, sexual favors, and hopeless bureaucratic ineptitude. Beneath the surface comedy there are frightening implications concerning a bureaucracy ostensibly dedicated to humanitarian concerns, but where people are referred to by numbers and forgotten as easily as troublesome figures on a balance sheet. Written in 1958, The Hothouse was first performed at London’s Hampstead Theatre in April 1980, in a production directed by Pinter himself.
“A blistering funny play . . . Hothouse is wild, impudent, fiercely funny.” —Jack Kroll, Newsweek
“The Hothouse is Pinter’s funniest play.” —Ted Kalem, Time
“The playwright has an unfailing ear for institutionalized doublespeak, and The Hothouse is full of rapid-fire bits that sound like old vaudeville routines as they might have been rewritten by Ionesco.” —Frank Rub, The New York Times
“Characteristically cryptic and very funny, just what Kafka might have come up with.” —Carolyn Clay, The Boston Phoenix
“The Hothouse fuses tragedy and farce, terror and nonsense in a unique mix that is sometimes chilling, sometimes bewildering, yet always, at every moment, fiercely alive and vital.” —Elliot Norton, Boston Herald American
Winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature