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Beckett Trilogy: "Molloy", "Malone Dies", "The Unnamable" [Hardcover]

Samuel Beckett
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Calder Publications Ltd; New ed of 1959 ed edition (Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714541079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714541075
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,697,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

The trilogy has always been considered the central work of Samuel Beckett's fiction, the three novels that have been most admired and have received the greatest amount of critical comment, just as Waiting for Godot, written in the same period of concentrated creativity between 1947 and 1949, is central to Beckett's drama. After Proust's great many-volumed novel, Joyce's Ulysses and the masterworks of Kafka, it dominates twentieth-century literature, and much as Beckett's pre-war fiction and the late minimalist novellas are admired, it is on the trilogy that the author's reputation will chiefly depend.

Molloy was a new departure for Samuel Beckett; written in the first person, it consists of two monologues, that of bedridden Molloy on his odyssey towards his mother, lost in town and country and finally emerging from the forest, and that of Moran, a private detective who is sent to find him. The two narrowly miss each other, but the contrast between their characters, and the similarity of their decline give the reader much ground to speculate and much humour towards understanding both the grimness and the comedy of the human situation.

Malone Dies pictures the decrepit Malone, also bedridden, waiting to die and filling his mind and his remaining time with memories, stories and bitter comment, while waiting for 'the throes'. The novel disintegrates as the protagonist dies.

The Unnamable seems to contain and encompass its predecessors and the characters of earlier Beckett novels. Its power of language and breadth of imagination make it a tour de force that recalls Dante as it moves into an ever greater void of despair and panic, a metaphysical work that must take its place among the very greatest works of literature. Its dramatic power has been proved by the successful endeavours of those actors who have specialised in Beckett's work to bring it, and earlier parts of the trilogy, to the stage, or to life on the radio. Patrick Magee, Jack Magowran, Jack Emery, Barry McGovern and Max Wall are only a few of the actors who have become closely associated with all or parts of the trilogy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ulysses 15 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This stunning trilogy is the best novel of the twentieth century, better than Joyce because of Beckett's trademark purity and stylistic simplicity - he wrote the novels first in French, which he calls a 'style-less language'.
It describes - well, it describes 'The Unnameable', which makes reviewing it very difficult. The characters - are there any characters? The voices, then, complain of madness, not knowing where, how, or what to think, starting and stopping, re-tracing their steps - literally as well as metaphorically. There is an hilarious passage where one character explains how he walked around his home in an ever-decreasing spiral, until the screams of his dying family (poisoned by a sausage) discouraged him, and he limped away.
Crippled movement is a theme of the books, whether it be physical or mental, and in fact, as I read of the detective developing a sympathetic limp as he pursues Molloy, I too developed a limp... spooky.
So prepare for intense madness, humour, and crushing sorrow - however, similarly to Ulysses, the book ends on a curiously optimistic note: 'I'll go on'.
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