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Malloy / Malone Dies / the Unnamable (Everyman library) Hardcover – 1 Feb 1998


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Inc (1 Feb 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375400702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375400704
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. He was educated at Portora Royal School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1927. His made his poetry debut in 1930 with Whoroscope and followed it with essays and two novels before World War Two. He wrote one of his most famous plays, Waiting for Godot, in 1949 but it wasn't published in English until 1954. Waiting for Godot brought Beckett international fame and firmly established him as a leading figure in the Theatre of the Absurd. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. Beckett continued to write prolifically for radio, TV and the theatre until his death in 1989.

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Review

"Beckett is one of the most positive writers alive. Behind all his mournful blasphemies against man there is real love. And he is genuine: every sentence is written as if it had been lived."--"The New York Times Book Review" "[Beckett] possesses fierce intellectual honesty, and his prose has a bare, involuted rhythm that is almost hypnotic."--"Time" "Samuel Beckett is sui generis...He has given a voice to the decrepit and maimed and inarticulate, men and women at the end of their tether, past pose or pretense, past claim of meaningful existence. He seems to say that only there and then, as metabolism lowers, amid God's paucity, not his plenty, can the core of the human condition be approached...Yet his musical cadences, his wrought and precise sentences, cannot help but stave off the void...Like salamanders we survive in his fire."--Richard Ellmann "[Beckett] is an incomparable spellbinder...a serious writer with something serious to say about the human condition."--"The New York Times" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
Beckett, in these three novels, gives us a terrifying and hilarious masterclass in written English. Absolutely beautiful, quite indescribable poetry-in-prose. Must be read, with full attention, to be appreciated.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug 1997
Format: Paperback
These three novels are the best of the 20th century.

They contain all the beauty, despair, and spareness that makes Beckett the patron writer of our century. They get at the core of what it means to be a self in the midst of the void, having, against one's will, a self's attendant thoughts, words, stories, and imagination. "I, say I. Unbelieving" says Beckett in the first line of The Unnamable, and you can believe him. These novels are as metaphysical as novels get, asking sincerely what it means to be. And asking just as sincerely if language can ever help us figure that out.

Each novel, with Molloy on his crutches, Malone in his death-bed, The Unnamable in his skull, is screamingly funny and cryingly horrible. Beckett's sense of the absurd and the ridiculous are only matched by his encyclopedic knowledge and overwhelming but strangely life-affirming pessimism, which helps us go on as we laugh at the world's collection of whimsies.

There are no novels better. There are few funnier. There are none containing more truth.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By philosofie on 1 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
how anyone give Beckett's trilogy 1 star is beyond the limits of comprehension. It is my favourite book (especially the last installment, The Unnamable), and is absolutely mind-blowing.
It seems that both reviewers who find it unsatisfactory do so because of a gross misconception: that beckett's intention is to describe geriatric decline, or psychosis (indeed, the narrators are as far from archetypes as it is possible to be). This is simply not the case, and cruelly pigeonholes and misunderstands a work which concerns itself, really, with EVERYTHING. (oh, and if he were detailing his madness, as one reviewer seems to think, it would merely support the link between madness and genius!) As the reader progresses, all their assumptions about narrators, truth and the process of reading are undercut. reality and imagined scenarios blur, power relationships are confused...
i hope i am not making it seem grandiose or laborious (although you could never call it light reading). the texts appear aimless and digressive, but through their nothingness they challenge and inspire. maybe it's paradoxical, but through challenging all the devices of the novel form - ie plot, character, narrative - beckett creates one of the richest works i have ever read.
if this sounds too philosophical, don't be perturbed - the thing people tend to forget about Beckett is that he's actually really funny, in his sly way. i laughed out loud numerous times while reading the book. But most of all, Beckett's prose is simply beautiful. the imagining of his characters - who are delightfully idiosyncratic - are so vivid, elegiac and evocative.
So: mind-altering, funny, beautiful, and entirely unique. Sammy B, total legend. no wonder he won the nobel prize.
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By Richard Shillam on 14 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very possibly the best books ever. I don't go in personally for wordiness in analysing literature, and espec. not in the current case. Like buying a can of 7Up from Southam's bakery in the 70s. Transcendent. Elide time and space. Forget everythink fly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought it as a present and the recipient was delighted with them taking the back to France with him
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Format: Paperback
Molloy is a marvellous book, SB is a genius. It was just too much overpowering literature to move straight on to Malone Dies, so I haven't tackled the other two books yet. I have that pleasure to come.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ms. Tait on 4 Dec 2008
Format: Hardcover
For anyone thinking of buying this excellent book and approaching Beckett for the first time id say that like Kafka hes a existentialist writer which means his work deals with the futility of the human condition. People often misunderstand him because he always tells you life is short and then u die, but he is also a very funny comic writer(Watt is the funniest novel ive read). He's also a very heroic writer because he explores the human condition in a contempory world of non-existents which for centurys writers deemed unusable for literature. The extraordinary static imargery in this book is derieved from his fluent knowledge in the history of painting which he also used in his plays. Becketts genius for tackling grim universal subjects in his writing is partly why hes one of the most important writers of the 20th Century.
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