Orton's diaries are full of his hedonistic pursuits and talented as a playwrite he may have been, for the sake of those children he abused, the publishers of The Orton Diaries, Methuen, should be banned from ever publishing further copies of his diary. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. He was not a great person. It's been noted countless times that a lot of the great artists of our time were messed up in some way. August 22nd 1996 No Kindle device required. Publication date 1996 Topics Orton, Joe -- Diaries, Dramatists, English -- 20th century -- Diaries Publisher Da Capo Press Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; internetarchivebooks; china Digitizing sponsor Kahle/Austin Foundation Contributor Internet Archive Language English. His diary was written in the last eight months (January-August 1967) of his short life and is spontaneous and very funny, and at the same time that he wrote two highly successful plays, as well as revising others. The introduction, footnotes, photographs, etc are very interesting and informative. For gay readers, the Tangier section gives a wonderfully intricate portrait of a lost gay refuge. For this reason, I rate this book low. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Alan Ben­nett wrote the screen­play. John Lahr's bi­og­ra­phy of Orton, en­ti­tled Prick Up Your Ears (a title Orton him­self had con­sid­ered using), was pub­lished in 1978. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. I loved it. Put simply, I found very little value in reading this book. Prick Up Your Ears is a 1987 British film, directed by Stephen Frears, about the playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell. Orton’s diaries were published in 1986 and a film based on Prick Up Your Ears was released 1987 with Gary Oldman in the role of Orton. The stories were so different than what was required in school. It was written by Orton with a view to publication. As a diary, there is a fair amount of the mundane -- which is rather enjoyable. Then again, I couldn't read 500 of these type of books every year. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2015. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Orton Diaries at Amazon.com. That never happened, but the Tangier diaries making at least one third of this book are proof enough of his pedophilia (not to mention he embraces and announces his pedophilia as one would announce their preference of mohair over tweed.). To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. But as a document, as a piece of writing, it is unusual, biting, funny. the most interesting last six months of anyone's life. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 29, 2019. The stories were so different than what was required in school. It was horrifying to read his sexualization of a five year old boy. However, their common interests led to a lengthy romantic relationship. There are many comments and opinions by friends and fellow artists and most of them are negative re Halliwell. Generally I love reading people's journels or diaries, and Joe Orton wrote a diary that is a masterpiece. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in Joe Orton and/or Kenneth Halliwell. by Da Capo Press, The Orton Diaries: including the correspondence of Edna Welthorpe and others. When Joe Orton (19331967) wrote those words in his diary in May 1967, he was being hailed as the greatest comic playwright since Oscar Wilde for his darkly hilarious Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the farce hit Loot, and was completing What the Butler Saw; but less than three months later, his longtime companion, Kenneth Halliwell, smashed in Ortons skull with a hammer before killing himself. Read this book ages ago and I am currently re-reading it. THE ORTON DIARIES: 1 OF 2 Orton kept diaries over two different periods of his life. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2017. Joe Orton - once dubbed "the Oscar Wilde of the welfare state generation" - is here revealed as one of the great diarists of the 20th century. Joe Orton in 1966 Credit: Hulton O n its initial three-week West End run in 1964, the play, a timeless study of man's capacity for cruelty, received mixed reviews. As well as it being one of the most honest Diaries I have ever read, it's also a great snapshot of the time and place - Swinging London in the mid-60's. The candid and sensational diaries of the brilliant 34-year-old playwright Joe Orton, written six months before he was murdered by his lover in 1967. (It's 'interesting' to read Orton claim that his best sexual encounters were with people he didn't particularly like, and that intimacy was more difficult when genuine affection entered.). I'd be weighed down and slit my wrists. Just from the sound of him, I liked him immensely. This account is irreverent, caustic and, at times, quite hilarious. His fame, skyrocketing. Loot is a black comedy and a satire on arbitrary authority in which Orton blisteringly turns the police, death and religion into ironic farce. He is deliciously irreverent. That really comes across in these diaries. Too many recent diaries by politicians (e.g. I would like to think that attitudes towards him - and therefore those towards himself - would have been different had he been alive today but in the context of the era, there is almost an inevitability that, sadly, things were not going to end well. The writing is of a caliber I rarely encounter anymore. Afterall, he wrote the diaries with the intent of publishing them. I cannot agree with the previous reviewer's opinion regarding The Orton Diaries. I could see him writing plays with the intent of filling them with boys for him to "interfere with" (his words.) There are flashes of great insight and the diaries are often laugh out loud funny. Knowing this means allowing for some self aggrandizing however Orton died before he had a chance to edit it, though he may have edited as he we. It could've been a well-written novel rather than a. In his plays, the tapes are doctored and played at impossible speeds to produce situations which are heightened, undifferentiated and much less interesting – a scream, in fact. This is a well presented book. It was so different and raw from the happy go lucky books all around me. It was definitely not your normal material for a sixteen year old. Although I admire the principle of not excessively editing artists' diaries for publication, Lahr goes a little overboard in this one, leaving in every word from the last eight months of the diary's (and Orton's) life. Joe's narcissism was obvious in his diaries. As a diary, there is a fair amount of the mundane -- which is rather enjoyable. The Orton Diaries. Not only in their candid detail about his celebrity lifestyle but also his lust after young boys. I knew little of Orton, his plays or his life apart from the fact he was gay and the diaries were notoriously explicit. If you can even call it a view, as Orton, charming and witty as he seems, was too self-centred to really see his relationship. When I was six years old and my brother eight, we found in our house a copy of The Orton Diaries which had recently been published, two decades after his murder by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell. It could've been a well-written novel rather than a set of true diaries. I loved it. Taking a break from Yukio Mishima to read about a Joe Orton; young, gay writer who likes to think he's the epitome of butch and comes to a bloody end. When the opportunity to read his diaries came along, I snapped it up. Ultimately a very sad book but written well enough that even though I knew how it ended I found it very readable, a little uncomfortable at times but ultimately fascinating. He was a great playwright. Start by marking “The Orton Diaries” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Outrage greeted Joe Orton's plays while he was alive and his diaries after he was dead. I knew Orton was murdered yet I didn't realise the circumstances until this dramatic account came to a spectacular conclusion. Live hard, die young? I still look back on Joe Orton and this book with fondness. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. His public career—from 1964 until his death in 1967—was short but highly influential. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It was written by Orton with a view to publication. $22.99 list price. The Orton Diaries, written during his last eight months, chronicle in a remarkably candid style his outrageously unfettered life: his literary success, capped by an Evening Standard Award and overtures from the Beatles; his sexual escapades - at his mother's funeral, with a dwarf in Brighton, and, extensively, in Tangiers; and the breakdown of his sixteen-year "marriage" to Halliwell, the relationship that transformed and destroyed him. Read Orton Diaries book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. A friend once said of Orton he didn't have a heart, but what was there instead was surprisingly warm and compassionate at times. Pretty horrifying the way Orton and Halliwell behaved with underage boys on vacation in Morocco. The writing is of a caliber I rarely encounter anymore. An absolute riot. I don't particularly want to moralize about Orton's promiscuity - which, in tandem with his burgeoning fame, led to his brutal murder by the "non-entity" who mentored and lived with him for years. 1 Curtis: Those Awful Orton Diaries Published by DigitalCommons@SHU, 1987 In fact, as slavishly documented (esp.) Speedreading is a useful skill, and one that in adulthood I have never managed to master. by Joe Orton. Many of the great and well-known post-war diaries (e.g. In 1951, he met Joe Orton, a fellow RADA student. If you can even call it a view, as Orton, charming and witty as he seems, was too self-centred to really see his relationship. It is Joe Orton's diary, annotated with letters and pertinent quotes from friends and family. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Highly recommend. It was also a major surprise how it ended. When Joe Orton (1933–1967) wrote those words in his diary in May 1967, he was being hailed as the greatest comic playwright since Oscar Wilde for his darkly hilarious Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the farce hit Loot, and was completing What the Butler Saw; but less than The first, his ‘juvenile’ diary, covered his last years in Leicester and first two months at RADA. Islington, 9 August 1967. One of my heroes, so cannot rate it high enough. I read this as a teenager mostly because it was naughty! Amazon.in - Buy Orton Diaries book online at best prices in India on Amazon.in. Skip to main content. John Kingsley ("Joe") Orton was an English playwright. I didn't realise how much. It's true that some of his sexual exploits are detailed quite graphically (and sometimes hilariously) here, but it's his unique perspective and insight which makes the diaries so compelling. Equally important, it provides a view into the British theatrical establishment in the early 20th century. Paperback | August 22, 1996. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Also an incredible inside look in Gay culture as well. Something went wrong. I like reading journals and this is a cracker, the descriptions of people, places is wonderful. Boy oh boy. Joe Orton died 46 years ago today. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Orton rules. When Joe Orton (1933-1967) wrote those words in his diary in May 1967, he was being hailed as the greatest comic playwright since Oscar Wilde for his darkly hilarious Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the farce hit Loot, and was completing What the Butler Saw; but less than three months later, his longtime companion, Kenneth Halliwell, smashed Orton's skull in with a hammer before killing himself. One of my friends recommended it to me. I'm not sure how long he could have gone on, denying his own need for and others' need for love. The screenplay was written by Alan Bennett, based on the biography by John Lahr. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published ONE DAY in November 1985 Kenneth Williams was invited to read excerpts from the soon-to-be-published diary of his friend Joe Orton. One cannot help but think that this is another example of a young and talented writer who was a victim of the times in which he lived. You get the sense about a third of the way through the diaries tha. Not available in stores. Joe Orton lived a wild, mad life, full of sex and violence, and it informed his plays. On the evidence of these diaries, the flight-recorder, the black box present in all writers, was particularly efficient in Joe Orton. add to cart "To be young, good-looking, healthy, famous, comparatively rich and happy is surely going against nature." Try Prime Hello, Sign in Account & Lists Sign in Account & Lists Orders Try Prime Cart. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages that interest you. It was definitely not your normal material for a sixteen year old. His short life involved hit plays of outrageous farce, work with the Beatles, and inumerous actors, producers, and directors. Finally, if you are something in between, approach Orton with an open mind. (It's 'interesting' to read Orton claim that hi, Joe Orton's diaries (in 3 parts) ultimately bring about a feeling of embarrassment for a certain circle of 'my people'. All that said, The Orton Diaries as well as bio Prick Up Your Ears and play, Diary of A Somebody both by John Lahr are amazing as well. The diary, how it was written and why adds an extra element of both information about the relationship, and questions as to how it affected them both - or if it did at all given the writing relationship between the two men was so close that sharing the reading and writing of it would not be impossible to imagine. Be warned though - it is not for the faint hearted. My rating is likely as high as it is due to my familiarity with and admiration of Orton's plays. I still look back on Joe Orton and this book with fondness. When he goes to meet Brian Epstein, or Paul McCartney, or goes to accept his Evening Standard award for Loot as best play of 1966, it's like we're in his head with him. Paired with The Orton Diaries, is the first-ever radio production of Loot - his hilarious, black masterpiece - first broadcast by Radio 3 for the 30th anniversary of his death. Tangiers in the 1960's was a paedophile's paradise and please God, it no longer exists as such. Entertaining, bitchy, slightly prophetic, in hindsight of course, of the brutal death and destruction to come, the murder of playwright Joe Orton by his lover Kenneth Halliwell and Halliwell's suicide directly after. A very intriguing set of diaries. Ironic that he died the year homosexuality was made legal in England. Joe was a brilliant, creative, cutting-edge playwright who was just coming into his own when he was killed violently by his long-time partner. Then again, I cou. I knew Orton was murdered yet I didn't realise the circumstances until this dramatic account came to a spectacular conclusion. North London's great poet of the stage. I've owned a copy of these diaries for many years, bought this copy as a birthday present and the recipient was over the moon. Unalloyed joy. I had to hide it from my parents because it was "subversive". The Orton Diaries: Joe Orton: 9780060914981: Books - Amazon.ca. The Orton Diaries by Joe Orton (2013-06-27): Books - Amazon.ca. Little did he know the circumstances under which they would be. You get the sense about a third of the way through the diaries that he's just writing them for future publication. Throughout the diary, you witness Joe Orton's ability to present characters, fully developed in very few lines. I could have done without the explicit details about his sexual romps with teenage boys. Refresh and try again. It's kind of a one-sided view of an increasingly unhealthy relationship. Orton was gay, proud and promiscuous and this diary does not hide that. We’d love your help. I've read this three times over the years. In the end, I decided the Tangier diaries weren't fantasy, but an accounting of months of seeking and attaining the sexual services of children. Starring Timothy Spall as Inspector Truscott. Joe Orton gives us one last masterpiece in his diaries. Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. those of Alan Clark, "Chips" Channon, Harold Nicolson) who written by members of the ruling class. One of my friends recommended it to me. Joe Orton's diaries (in 3 parts) ultimately bring about a feeling of embarrassment for a certain circle of 'my people'. I knew little of Orton, his plays or his life apart from the fact he was gay and the diaries were notoriously explicit. The film stars Gary Oldman as Orton, Alfred Molina as Halliwell, Wallace Shawn as Lahr, and Vanessa Redgrave as Peggy Ramsay. Orton and Halliwell used young boys for their own gratification little thinking of the damage they were inflicting on them. John Lahr does an outstanding job of editing the diaries of an interesting man who was butchered in his sleep by the one person he was nothing without. John Kingsley Orton (1 January 1933 – 9 August 1967), known under the pen name of Joe Orton, was an English playwright, author and diarist. Boy oh boy. The Orton diaries by Orton, Joe. It was also a major surprise how it ended. I had to hide it from my parents because it was "subversive". Please try your request again later. I watched a lot of documentaries on the 1960s when I was younger, and came across many stories of Joe Orton. Kenneth Halliwell contributed substantially to Joe Ortons development as a writer - they met when Orton was 17 and Halliwell was 25 - Halliwell was over 40 when he murdered Orton so he may also have had some influence on its shape. These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Orton Diaries at Amazon.com. I'll put it this way: if you believe sex is what happens in a Jennifer Aniston movie, then burn this book. For me, 4 stars -- for people who couldn't care less about Joe Orton, 2 stars. This book was put together by John Lahr(The Cowardly Lions Son)the diary consists not only of his own diary but also of letters that were uncovered that he wrote to family and friends.It is an excellent insight to this playwright and his turbulant life.It was also the basis of the book and movie Prick Up His Ear. Both men were struggling actors who became struggling writers. I watched a lot of documentaries on the 1960s when I was younger, and came across many stories of Joe Orton. When the opportunity to read his diaries came along, I snapped it up. When Joe Orton (1933-1967) wrote those words in his diary in May 1967, he was being hailed as the greatest comic playwright since Oscar Wilde for his darkly hilarious Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the farce hit Loot, and was completing What the Butler Saw; but less than three months later, his longtime companion, Kenneth Halliwell, smashed Orton's skull in with a hammer before killing himself. Knowing this means allowing for some self aggrandizing however Orton died before he had a chance to edit it, though he may have edited as he went along. By contrast, Joe Orton's diaries were written by an exceptionally talented young writer - working class, gay - at the absolute height of his powers. "To be young, good-looking, healthy, famous, comparatively rich. The varied extremes of their shared social life, from glamorous parties with famous names such as Rudolf Nureyev and Williams's good friend, the … Hello Select your address Cyber Monday Best Sellers Gift Ideas New Releases Electronics Customer Service Home Books Coupons Computers Gift Cards Sell Registry It is brutally honest, sexually graphic, shocking and uncomfortable to read at times but is also a rivetting record of the two men's relationship and their social and private lives. I didn't realise how much. Kenneth Williams features quite a bit in Orton's diaries, as Orton does in Williams' diaries, and it's quite fascinating to cross reference the same events recounted in very different ways by the two men. Orton wasn't a very nice person but he was fascinating. I give that ZERO STARS. This diary is a record by Joe Orton of the days leading up to his death at the hands of long time lover Kenneth Halliwell. I'll have to read Prick Up Your Ears too. It seems like Orton was a bit of a shit, but I can't help but be captivated by his diaries. Unable to add item to Wish List. It is brutally honest, sexually graphic, shocking and uncomfortable to read at times but is also a rivetting record of the two men's relationship and their social and private lives. Why were the Tangier diaries included? When the book ended, I was left wondering if perhaps Kenneth Halliwell hadn't saved London from an eventual predator. He emerges however as a hauntingly lonely and tragic figure, and Orton as someone oblivious to the pain his lover was suffering and his, Orton's, own contribution to it. Kenneth Halliwell, according to the background material provided, would have had access to it. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. save 14 % In stock online. Sexual activity dominates, within the relationship and with others, but that was a truth of their lives so informs about both of them as individuals and as lovers rather than there for shock value. But the journals document a remarkable final year starting in December 1966. The introduction by John Lahr is well-written and the footnotes are informative. (Orton's orig­i­nal title, con­ceived some time be­fore Lahr's book, was to have been Prick Up Your Erse, erse being a pro­nun­ci­a­tion of arse.) Orton is quite at ease with himself and I found this very appealing at first but as things progress it began to trouble me. Skip to main content. Prime members enjoy Free Two-Day Shipping, Free Same-Day or One-Day Delivery to select areas, Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Reading, and more. Joe Orton, the playwright, and Kenneth Halliwell, who shared his tiny flat in Islington for eight years until they were both found dead in it last week, left their estates to each other. Edited with a superb introduction by John Lahr, The Orton Diaries is his crowning achievement. He enjoyed scandalizing society with unconventionality. It troubles me now, too much apparently to give this a proper review. He was known as one of Britain's most promising playwrights, but he had a dark, depraved and sinister side. It did offer some insight into his plays and this is the only reason I gave it 2 stars. Not only in their candid detail about his celebrity lifestyle but also his lust after young boys. He would have crashed and burned with his own nihilistic hedonism at some point (perhaps when his career was turning down?). “Cleanse my heart... Give me the ability to rage correctly”, Memoirs: Beautiful, Weird, Experimental, But Not Celebrity (An Education). It captures London theater culture as well as pop culture of that period and time - meaning the 60's. The 1987 film adap­ta­tion is based on Orton's di­aries and on Lahr's research. Di­rected by Stephen Frears, it stars Gary Old­man as Orton, Al­fred Molina as Hal­li­well and Vanessa Red­grave as Peggy Ramsay. On the other hand, if you think sex is ugly and gritty, you are halfway to loving this diary. This is not stated however, mere conjecture on my part. Joe Orton - once dubbed "the Oscar Wilde of the welfare state generation" - is here revealed as one of the great diarists of the 20th century. Fast, FREE delivery, video streaming, music, and much more. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. A fascinating insight to a fascinating man whose life and career were cut too short. So no one but a hardcore fan is really going to be interested in the endless meetings, correspondences and contract negotiations which provide the mundane background for the meat of the diaries: Orton's tempestuous relationship with Kenneth Halliwell, the lover who eventually kills him; and his promiscuous sex life. 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