Prick Up Your Ears

The Biography of Joe Orton

by

This mesmerizing story of playwright and author Joe Orton’s brief and remarkable life was named book of the year by Truman Capote and Nobel Prize–winning novelist Patrick White

Told with precision and extensive detail, Prick Up Your Ears is the engrossing biography of playwright and novelist Joe Orton. Orton’s public career spanned only three years (1964–1967), but his work made a lasting mark on the international stage. From Entertaining Mr. Sloane to his career-making Loot, Orton’s plays often shocked, sometimes outraged, and always captivated audiences with their dark yet farcical cynicism. A rising star and undeniable talent, Orton left much undone when he was bludgeoned to death by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who had educated Orton and also dreamed of becoming a famous writer.
 
Prick Up Your Ears was the basis for the distinguished 1987 film of the same name, directed by Stephen Frears, with a screenplay by Alan Bennett, and starring Gary Oldman and Vanessa Redgrave. A brilliant, page-turning examination of the dueling forces behind Orton’s work, Prick Up Your Ears secured the playwright’s reputation as a great twentieth-century artist.
  • Open Road Media; January 2013
  • ISBN 9781453288757
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: Prick Up Your Ears
  • Author: John Lahr
  • Imprint: Open Road Media

In The Press

“As good as literary biography gets.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“Sensationally exciting.” —Newsweek
 
“An important and illuminating book . . . Lahr writes beautifully.” —David Mamet, Chicago Tribune

About The Author

John Lahr (b. 1941) is an acclaimed author. He was the senior drama critic at the New Yorker for twenty years. He has twice received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism and was the first critic to win a Tony Award, for co-authoring Elaine Stritch at Liberty. The author of eighteen books, ranging from fiction to biography, Lahr is best known for Notes on a Cowardly Lion: The Biography of Bert Lahr (1969) and Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton (1978), which was made into a film. He lives in London.