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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant short, tightly written insights into Beckett's genius
These short stories are a great starting place for anyone interested in exploring Beckett's prose, 'First Love' itself being a particular gem. They represent the start of a new creative period for Beckett, when his move to composition in French helped him to escape the anxiety of Joyce's influence. The stories in this volume are Beckett's own translations (with the help...
Published on 28 Nov 2006 by A reader

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15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great literature
The incandescent charm of Beckett's language had never been more apparent than in these small masterpieces, written under the shadow of the worst war in history. He brings to life a strange world of existentialist torment and aimless wandering with an almost incomprehensible ingenuity. The best of the stories is undoubtedly First Love where the apparent pointlessness of...
Published on 11 Oct 2002 by thesomnolentsycophant


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant short, tightly written insights into Beckett's genius, 28 Nov 2006
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This review is from: First Love and Other Novellas (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
These short stories are a great starting place for anyone interested in exploring Beckett's prose, 'First Love' itself being a particular gem. They represent the start of a new creative period for Beckett, when his move to composition in French helped him to escape the anxiety of Joyce's influence. The stories in this volume are Beckett's own translations (with the help of Richard Seaver) of his original French tales. Translation has not diminished them, even if they are inescapably slightly different from their French incarnations. Overall, highly recommended. I'm sure anyone who has read any Beckett prose is desperate for more; similarly those who are as yet familiar only with the drama have a literary world which is as rich, if not more rich, still to discover.

PS. MUST give it 5 stars, since the 2 star rating here accompanies a glowing review - probably a typo, but we wouldn't want this to damage Beckett's reputation!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real good read, 4 Mar 2013
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It came on time and I read it over two days .it's a great read the four stories are connected so it covers both novellas and novel.a must for Beckett fans
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Genius of despair spares us not., 27 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: First Love and Other Novellas (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Readers of "Watt" will find the familiar cold comfort of isolation and despair that is unique to Beckett's view of the human condition. Abandon hope, all ye who would enter the world of these three novellas, the first Beckett wrote in French.
All three novellas cover the same single male animal condition; isolation, despair, hopelessness and curiosity as to why things are as such. It is the view that the corpse is superior to the living, and rotting flesh.
They provoke, they incite and they inspire. Could literature do more?
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15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great literature, 11 Oct 2002
This review is from: First Love and Other Novellas (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
The incandescent charm of Beckett's language had never been more apparent than in these small masterpieces, written under the shadow of the worst war in history. He brings to life a strange world of existentialist torment and aimless wandering with an almost incomprehensible ingenuity. The best of the stories is undoubtedly First Love where the apparent pointlessness of life shown in the other three novellas is thrown the challenge of what it is to be in love. The result is a compelling view of the humnan experience, regardless of the particular human beings being discussed. First Love has a subtlety and a tragic undertone which must have been particularly relevant to any post-war audience, but even today the power of these lost lives still evoke certain emotions that will make us all remember what life if really all about. These stories are at once cynically vulgar and beautifully elegiac. If Beckett had never written anything else, he would still have been one of the twentieth century's greatest writers.
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First Love and Other Novellas (Penguin Modern Classics)
First Love and Other Novellas (Penguin Modern Classics) by Samuel Beckett (Paperback - 24 Feb 2000)
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