Andrew McFarlane indulges his dark side as playwright Sidney Bruhl. Credit: Helen White. The dramatic principle known as Chekhov's Gun has it that if a weapon appears on stage, even if it's hanging on a wall as an ornament, it must be used. Novelist and playwright Ira Levin took that maxim to absurd lengths in his smash hit comedy thriller Deathtrap , which presents its audience with a pick 'n' mix of clubs, swords, knives, battle axes, pistols and a medieval crossbow. It's not so much "will someone die? This grisly arsenal, which also includes a garrotte and pair of Houdini's handcuffs, is arranged above the Connecticut fireplace of Sidney Bruhl, a creatively blocked writer of Broadway thrillers who hasn't produced a turnstile-spinner in 18 years.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Deathtrap by Ira Levin.
Deathtrap by Ira Levin. Seemingly comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a "dry" spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds.
A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college a thr Seemingly comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a "dry" spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds.
A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college a thriller which Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway hit. Sidney's plan, which he devises with his wife's help, is to offer collaboration to the student, an idea which the younger man quickly accepts.
Thereafter suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness, and with such an abundance of thrills and laughter, that audiences will be held enthralled until the final, startling moments of the play.
Get A Copy. Paperback , 72 pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Deathtrap , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of Deathtrap. What a set-up! If you like plays and want to read an ingenious and suspenseful multi-layered murder-mystery play about a murder-mystery play x 3 or was it 4?
View all 12 comments. Oct 19, Helga rated it it was amazing Shelves: mystery , play , crime. View 2 comments. Sep 18, Candi rated it liked it Shelves: mystery-crime , plays. This was an entertaining play with a good amount of suspense! I was completely ignorant of this play previously, so the various twists and turns were quite surprising.
I enjoyed the bit of humor sprinkled throughout as well. The psychic next door was a nice addition to the plot and added a bit of interest as well. I think I would have enjoyed this more as a live production, but the written rendition was definitely a great diversion.
I recommend this play to anyone looking for a fun and quick thriller. View all 6 comments. A whole lot of fun, an equal amount of creepy, and a pinch of wtf is going on here. I've never enjoyed reading a play, after having already seen it, as much as I enjoyed this one, and that's saying something because I don't usually read plays.
But this one is highly recommended for people who like metafiction and mind games as this is a story within a story pretending to be an imitation of a play for the purpose of carrying out the perfect murder. You'll never guess who dies, who really dies, who' A whole lot of fun, an equal amount of creepy, and a pinch of wtf is going on here. You'll never guess who dies, who really dies, who's behind it all, or why. Well, unless you've seen the play or read a couple of the reviews on the book page.
Seriously, people, there's a spoiler html script for a reason. So, yeah, give this one a try. Hard copies might be hard to find, but I'm sure your local library has a few that haven't been checked out in years. She had no idea she'd be subjected to such "debauchery.
The subject matter being contested is: the two male leads share a brief kiss, but that varies from performance to performance. In this particular one though, the director chose to include the kiss, but judging by this patron's letter, you might be led to think there had been full frontal nudity on the stage that night.
Jan 28, Kelly Winters rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , 8-perfect-murders. This play was so much fun! Some humor mixed in with murder and deceit makes for a thrilling romp!
I have now read about half of Levin's works and not one have been a disappointment. This time, he writes about a murder-mystery-thriller inside a murder-mystery-thriller, packed with creepy moments, humor, and of course, twists that you were not expecting--even though Levin is notorious for his unexpected twists even though you were expecting a twist yet were still surprised by it.
Are you confused by this statement? Trust me, read Deathtrap and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. That was absolutely great. It had me laughing and at the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved the Princess Bride vibes with this being a play Super quick read and totally worth it. Solid 4.
Mar 03, Rachel rated it liked it. This play is morbidly fun. The intertwining of both plot and script make it fun in a way that shouldn't work but does. Jan 17, Heather rated it really liked it Shelves: read-for-work. Kind of brilliant! Tongue-in-cheek murder mystery - actually, it's funny. Justin and I were watching American Horror Story several weeks ago, and they showed a murderer's lair for the first time on the show.
I said, "Hey, it looks just like the set of that murder movie Or any more details about it, except I was pretty sure it had Michael Caine. Then this morning my colleague walks into my office with the script of "Deathtrap," which is Kind of brilliant! Then this morning my colleague walks into my office with the script of "Deathtrap," which is being considered for PTC's season next year. Within a few lines, the main character had referenced the play being performed Much more memorable of a read - several out-loud laughs and satisfying humorous reversals.
A little like "Adaptation" in its self-references - the story builds as the writers in it create the story - "Theatre verite. Borrowed from Open Library. Highly entertaining, I would love to see this on stage! The dialogues were full of dark humour, the sense of impending danger was masterfully done and the twist absolutely great. I am a little sad I was spoiled by Peter Swanson's Rules for Perfect Murders , but it is also true I wouldn't have picked this up if I had not read about it in Swanson's latest novel.
A perfect murder indeed I was reminded of this play after reading Eight Perfect Murders, which spoils it and realized I had a copy and reread it. I saw this in London many moons ago, and had the classic jump-out-of-your-seat and scream moment in the theatre, which was very fun.
I remembered the movie as not as good, re-watched it, and felt that way again. But I might very well have liked the movie more had I not known was going to happen.
This is a play that is going to suffer if the element of surprise is gone. So d I was reminded of this play after reading Eight Perfect Murders, which spoils it and realized I had a copy and reread it. So don't read it before you've seen it.
I couldn't put this down. I got it from the library at four and was done by , with a normal night at home in between. I took a star off because the psychic character was annoying and didn't add anything important to the plot.
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Deathtrap is a play written by Ira Levin in with many plot twists and which references itself as a play within a play. It is in two acts with one set and five characters. It holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway , and was nominated for four Tony Awards , including Best Play. Sidney Bruhl, a previously successful playwright, has had a series of box office flops and is having trouble writing.
Deathtrap is a American black comedy mystery film based on the play of the same name by Ira Levin. Critics gave the film mostly favorable reviews, while noting its plot similarities to Caine's film Sleuth. Famed playwright Sidney Bruhl debuts the latest in a series of Broadway flops and returns to his opulent Long Island home and his wife Myra. Although their financial situation is not dire, Sidney is starving for a hit. He receives a manuscript of a play called Deathtrap , written by one of his students, Clifford Anderson, that he considers to be near-perfection.