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More Pricks Than Kicks (Calderbooks) [Paperback]

Samuel Beckett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 1972 Calderbooks
Fiction. "More Pricks Than Kicks", Beckett's early tragicomic masterpiece, is a collection of stories about Belacqua, a student in Dublin in the twenties, his adventures, encounters and amours, that through its original style and wry commentary succeeds in turning everyday incidents into high drama and lets us see street and university life through the observant and caustic wit of the author. Highly enjoyable to read, it delights in exuberant language and the pleasure of discovery, very typical of the young writer who in the post-war years was to astonish the world with Waiting for Godot and Molloy. First published in 1934, "More Pricks Than Kicks" is Beckett's second work of fiction. It serves as an excellent introduction to the later work of one of the most seminal and exciting major writers of the twentieth century.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Calder Publications Ltd; New edition edition (Sep 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714507059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714507057
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,170,658 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.

Product Description

Book Description

New edition of the classic story collection, published for the first time by Faber with an introduction by Beckett scholar Cassandra Nelson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906 and graduated from Trinity College. He settled in Paris in 1937, after travels in Germany and periods of residence in London and Dublin. He remained in France during the Second World War and was active in the French Resistance. From the spring of 1946 his plays, novels, short fiction, poetry and criticism were largely written in French. With the production of En attendant Godot in Paris in 1953, Beckett's work began to achieve widespread recognition. During his subsequent career as a playwright and novelist in both French and English he redefined the possibilities of prose fiction and writing for the theatre. Samuel Beckett won the Prix Formentor in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. He died in Paris in December 1989. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beckett's second post-war novel 14 Mar 2011
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
'Malone Dies' - published in 1951 in French as 'Malone meurt', and subsequently translated by the author - is the second of the three novels that Beckett wrote in the late '40s. Gathered together in English, they are referred to collectively as the 'Beckett trilogy', though Beckett didn't sanction this view. Each of the three books is readable without knowledge of the others. Nonetheless, a prior reading of 'Molloy' will add to the experience of encountering 'Malone Dies'. (For that matter, there are also clear echoes of the earlier 'Murphy'.)

It is possible to see the two books - and the final novel, 'The Unnameable', in its turn - as different views of the same subject - just as 'Molloy' itself divides into two narratives, that of Molloy and that of Moran, in a way that blurs the separate identities of supposedly separate characters and calls into question the reliability of memory and narrative.

'Malone Dies' is also one of the primary texts of post-war metafiction. Alone in a room in what may be a hospice, mental asylum or prison, the aged Malone scribbles in an exercise book, recording and confusing events from his own life with that of fictional characters - two of whom, the boy Sapo and the itinerant McMann, may not in fact be fictional. From these fragments Beckett weaves an infuriating almost-narrative, a Cubist autobiography that mimics both the motions of a dying man's consciousness and the willed, frail coherence of fictional story-telling. In doing so it manages the peculiarly Beckettian trick of convincing the reader that the human condition is simultaneously farcical and tragic.

For the reader who knows Beckett only through the famous plays, this and the pre-war 'Murphy' are the most approachable of the novels. 'Malone Dies' may also seem oddly familiar because it has been widely influential on post-war avant-garde writing, though very few later writers have managed as Beckett does to combine high formal intelligence with humanity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Malone Alone 28 Oct 2010
Most of Beckett's titles describe exactly what you get in the works to which they are given. Waiting for Godot, for example, is about two men waiting for Godot; Not I is about being in denial, in all senses of those words. Malone Dies, then, is an account of Malone dying. What you make of it is what you will as the old man pokes, pushes and prods things with his hooked stick; writes stories in pencil in his exercise book; eats and excretes; and rages against the dying of the light in the fabulous poetic language the author coined for his excursions into the twilight zone of meaning. What a lot of critics forget is how funny SB is and this book made me laugh out loud on occasion. Take this from the first page: "Throes are the only trouble, I must be on my guard against throes." Me and you both, Sam. This is classic Beckett in a beautifully presented edition with an illuminating (if that's the right word and SB would probably have preferred it if it wasn't) preface by Peter Boxall. Give it to someone you feel ambivalent about for Christmas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Style than Content 14 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The best thing I can say about this is that it leaves a definite impression.My interest tailed off just after halfway, as I found it difficult to sustain enough enthusiasm in the plotless ramblings of a bedridden octogenarian, as he attempts to pass the time making up stories, or rather fragments of stories. I had enjoyed Molloy ,which is the preceding work in the trilogy, but this is a different beast and fell short on content, although it retained an entertaining style and dark humour that just redeemed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Beckett has a sense of fun 2 Aug 2007
For those who know Samuel Beckett (If anybody knew Beckett) by his plays, this will be a suprise. In Godot and Krapps Last Tape you do see some fun, albeit black, come through. In this early work, we see Beckett introducing themes that last a lifetime, love and death. Probably more importantly how love causes a certain kind of death. In one of his works he talks about being born over a grave, which is true if you think about it, as only Beckett would. However these short stories are far lighter and remind me of the Beckett who said "Dublin is full of the cream of Ireland; white, rich and thick" Read them and you may well be suprised.
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