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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beckett's second post-war novel
'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...
Published on 14 Mar 2011 by Paul Bowes

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Style than Content
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...
Published 12 months ago by nicholas hargreaves


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beckett's second post-war novel, 14 Mar 2011
By 
Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malone Dies (Paperback)
'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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Malone Alone, 28 Oct 2010
This review is from: Malone Dies (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Malone Dies (Paperback)
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
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John S. Cherry "brighouse" (London) - See all my reviews
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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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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a new divine comedy, 28 Jan 2006
By 
Bernd Kotz (Essen, Germany) - See all my reviews
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The short stories about Belacqua are the most beautiful stories Beckett had ever written. They are so picturesque that you can feel the atmosphere with him. The short stories are about love, drinking and poetry. In Dante and the Lobster, Belacqua tries to roast a toast to a specific point. It takes all his energy to make the preparations for this ritual. In Fingal, Belacqua takes his girlfriend Winnie out for a ride to Poltrane. In the end he missed her and rode the way back with a stolen bike. In a wet night he walks in the rain to Alba. On his way to her, he gets controlled by an officer. In the control he pukes all over the shoes of the officer and tries to clean the shoes with a newspaper. In this moment you are all by yourself and laugh out loud. You can’t hide your joy of this lyrical depiction. The connection between the ten short stories is the life of Belacqua. He dies in one of the later stories by chance in a hospital. It is so funny because in an earlier story he hasn’t got the strength to kill himself and Ruby.
As you see, Belacqua needs a lot of girlfriends in the short stories. He fills it with black humour and it is a joy to read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 20 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Malone Dies (Paperback)
A great buy as usual from Amazon it is a great read don't want to spoil it for readers but it is a great book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it., 25 Aug 2013
By 
Mikael Jonsson (Motala,Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: More Pricks Than Kicks (Paperback)
I liked this book. This was the first i've read of Samuel Beckett , and I can say that no-one writes like Beckett, unique style, even though i know this was compared to James Joyce's Dubliners upon release. I guess it's because the style was concidered "modern" at the time. If i compare the two i liked Dubliners more as a whole, but the writing is funny in this, one thing i remembered most from this was an insult from "A Wet Night" , one of the weirdest ones i've read "You bore me more than an infant prodigy".

"A Wet Night" was a bit hard for me to read, since english is not my first language, Beckett used a lot of words i've never heard before, and i read quite a lot of English language books. The preface tells a lot of background, and Beckett first was against re-releasing it, and i can agree. As i said, this is the first book i've read of Beckett, but i can see that his language is unique, and i am sure it will develop further in his later books, i will read his other works.

The first story, "Dante and the Lobster" was also the best one, some of the other storys seem confusing to me.

As for the quality of the printing: It's what to expect in a paperback copy, a bit better than that actually, as it "says in shape" after i've read it. Sturdy copy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beckett rocks, 9 Jun 2013
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This review is from: More Pricks Than Kicks (Paperback)
known more for his weird plays than anything else, the ex-portora royal schoolboy kicked off his gamechanging literary career with some short stories strung together by the same theme that connects all of his future works.......a lonesome weirdo interfacing with the world gives some direction to aliens what to expect if they want to host a reunion on our planet
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