Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter was a renowned British playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He was one of the most influential modern British dramatists, known for his distinctive writing style and the creation of the 'Pinteresque'—a term used to describe his unique use of dialogue and pauses.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Caretaker

    The play revolves around three characters: Aston, a quiet, reserved man who befriends a garrulous, homeless man named Davies, and Mick, Aston's enigmatic brother. Set in a cluttered room in a house in London, the narrative explores the complex relationships between the trio, particularly after Aston offers Davies a job as a caretaker. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that each character harbors their own secrets, insecurities, and motivations. The interactions among the three men are marked by misunderstandings, power struggles, and the elusive search for identity and security, culminating in a tense and ambiguous conclusion that leaves the audience questioning the true nature of altruism and the reliability of perception.

    The 2242nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Homecoming

    "The Homecoming" is a play that delves into the complex dynamics of a dysfunctional family when the eldest son returns home after a long absence. Set in North London, the story unfolds in the family's house, where the son introduces his wife to his domineering father, his uncle, and his two brothers. Tensions rise as the family's power struggles and hidden resentments come to the fore, leading to a shocking and unsettling realignment of relationships within the household. The play explores themes of power, sexuality, and the search for identity within the confines of a seemingly traditional family structure.

    The 2785th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Birthday Party

    This play is a dark comedy that unfolds in a rundown boarding house in a nondescript English seaside town, where the mundane lives of its residents are disrupted by the arrival of two sinister strangers. The narrative centers around Stanley, a piano player hiding from his past, who becomes the target of a bizarre and menacing birthday celebration orchestrated by these newcomers. Through its claustrophobic setting and cryptic dialogue, the play explores themes of identity, power, and the thin line between reality and illusion, leaving audiences to ponder the characters' true intentions and the nature of the threat they pose.

    The 3115th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. No Man's Land

    This work is a compelling drama that delves into the complex and often ambiguous nature of memory, identity, and the human condition. Set in a single room, the play unfolds through the interactions between two men, Hirst and Spooner, who meet in a London pub and continue their encounter at Hirst's upscale home. As the evening progresses, their conversation becomes increasingly enigmatic, revealing layers of manipulation, power dynamics, and the fragility of their pasts. The presence of two other characters, Briggs and Foster, adds to the tension and mystery, leaving audiences to ponder the realities of the characters' lives and the truths buried in their stories. The play is a masterful exploration of language, silence, and the spaces between people, showcasing the playwright's signature blend of wit, irony, and emotional depth.

    The 3199th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Old Times

    The play delves into the complexities of memory and the power dynamics within relationships. Set in a converted farmhouse, a married couple hosts an old friend who shares a past with the wife. As the trio reminisce over old times, the conversation becomes a subtle battle of wits and control, revealing conflicting versions of past events. The dialogue blurs the lines between truth and illusion, exposing the characters' desires, jealousies, and the elusive nature of memory itself. The tension escalates as the characters vie to shape the narrative of their shared history, leading to an ambiguous and thought-provoking conclusion.

    The 7002nd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. The Dumb Waiter

    The play is a tense, psychological drama that unfolds in a single room where two hitmen, Ben and Gus, are waiting for their next assignment. As they engage in mundane conversation and bicker over trivialities, the underlying power dynamics and their dependence on unseen forces become apparent. The arrival of mysterious messages through a dumbwaiter further heightens the suspense, as the orders they receive become increasingly absurd and their mission's purpose grows more ambiguous. The play explores themes of communication, existential dread, and the human condition, culminating in an unsettling, unresolved conclusion that leaves the audience questioning the nature of control and the fate of the characters.

    The 10386th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Betrayal

    "Betrayal" is a play that explores the complexities of human relationships through a reverse chronological narrative, focusing on a love triangle among the central characters. The story delves into the intricate dynamics of infidelity, friendship, and deceit, as it unfolds the emotional and psychological consequences of a long-term extramarital affair between the wife and the best friend of her husband. The play dissects themes of loyalty, trust, and the passage of time, revealing the characters' inner struggles and the ultimate impact of their deceitful actions on their lives and relationships.

    The 10464th Greatest Book of All Time