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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre and brilliant
To respond to the reviewer who thinks Watt is a load of rubbish, even if you don't understand the themes and literary devices, I fail to see how you could not find this book just incredibly funny. I love much of Beckett's work for the former reason, but the latter is what makes this my most-read book on my shelf. Not as deep, poetic, symbolic or clever as The Trilogy or...
Published on 1 Feb 2009 by B. Burgess

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0 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watt a load of rubbish!
Seriously this is the worst case of pretentious rubbish I have ever come across. The story and concepts are barely understandable, and the whole thing is written in a too cleaver, too cool for you, way. Beckett clearly thinks in writing this balderdash that he's some kind of genius "Breaking moulds" etc. Anyone who claims they enjoy reading this muck is either lying,...
Published on 8 Jan 2009 by H. T. Mason


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre and brilliant, 1 Feb 2009
This review is from: Watt (Paperback)
To respond to the reviewer who thinks Watt is a load of rubbish, even if you don't understand the themes and literary devices, I fail to see how you could not find this book just incredibly funny. I love much of Beckett's work for the former reason, but the latter is what makes this my most-read book on my shelf. Not as deep, poetic, symbolic or clever as The Trilogy or Endgame, but it's just an utter joy to read. Love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watt, 19 Jan 2013
By 
Peter S Jull (Kenmore East, Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Watt (Paperback)
I've read several editions of Watt in English over many years, but this edition is as good as it gets. The book should appeal to anyone who can read, but will frighten off the faint-hearted after Watt himself enter the story. My advice? Stay with it - you will emerge a wiser and better person. Every few years I re-read it for the joy of its comedy.

Peter Jull
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Developing Narrative Perspective, 14 Nov 2002
By 
Eric Anderson (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Watt (Picador Books) (Paperback)
In Watt the third person narration Beckett uses shares an uncomfortable relationship to the characters of the story. It is based either on anonymity or antagonism. This is different from the common intimate relation that the narrators of fiction share with the characters they tell us about. The result of Beckett's writing technique is that the reader can get no sense of a total picture or a comprehensive truth of the character's reality. The narrator is just as curious and confused by the nature of reality in the fictional world as the characters. In the first half of ¡®Watt¡¯ the narrator shows an estrangement from Watt equal to that which Watt shows toward himself. This is not the unreliable narrator of traditional fiction, but a narrator whose ignorance is a cause of the technique of telling which seeks to provide a total viewpoint of reality. The narrator of Watt, rather than assuming the position of a narrator who is a guide through the tale, functions as an unnecessary intermediary between the characters and their search for an understanding of reality. Who else but Watt can effectively relate the experience of his being? Consider Lawrence Harvey¡¯s point in his essay on Watt, "He [Watt] becomes a storyteller, but one who by this time is so convinced of the inadequacy of ordinary language that he feels compelled to invent verbal structures that are more closely related to his experience.¡± Watt himself is dissatisfied with the way the narrator is telling the story in the first half of the novel and so tells in his own unique mode of expression his story to Sam who acts as an interpreter. This points to a growing dissatisfaction with language as a way of telling in the text and debunks the impossible power of the third person narrator.
Sam, who writes in the first person of his relationship with Watt, narrates the second half of the novel. Because Sam's subjective view isn't constrained by the obligations of the supposed all-knowing omniscient narrator, he can more effectively convey that the experience of being is unknowable and unnamable. He admits to the inefficiency of his communication with Watt because it is burdened by the hindrance of their environment and their physical inadequacy. A first person narration is limited by its partial point of view of reality, but it is this limited viewpoint that Beckett seems to be trying to convey. For all of Sam's studious attention and examination of Watt, we are left just as baffled as to who he is as the characters observing Watt at the beginning of the novel, but at least it is a view more conscious of its subjectivity than the omniscient narrator could provide. In the first half of the novel we were given descriptions of the fallibility of logic and in the second half we are given a direct account of the ways in which each solution obtained only generates multiple objections. The first person narrative¡¯s direct account thus points to a conscious subjectivity that deletes the assumptions made in omniscient narration that this view of reality is a true representation of what it actually is. However, it becomes apparent in the narrative that the fallibility of reason reveals itself to be not limited to a complication caused by the point of view in telling, but in the nature of the written language used to tell. He develops this point well in his subsequent fiction, but Watt is a fascinating look at how these different narrative perspectives work and is a rich, comic novel to read.
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25 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Developing Narrative Perspective, 29 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Watt (Paperback)
In 'Watt' the third person narration Beckett uses shares an uncomfortable relationship to the characters of the story. It is based either on anonymity or antagonism. This is different from the common intimate relation that the narrators of fiction share with the characters they tell us about. The result of Beckett's writing technique is that the reader can get no sense of a total picture or a comprehensive truth of the character's reality. The narrator is just as curious and confused by the nature of reality in the fictional world as the characters. In the first half of Watt the narrator shows an estrangement from Watt equal to that which Watt shows toward himself. This is not the unreliable narrator of traditional fiction, but a narrator whose ignorance is a cause of the technique of telling which seeks to provide a total viewpoint of reality. The narrator of Watt, rather than assuming the position of a narrator who is a guide through the tale, functions as an unnecessary intermediary between the characters and their search for an understanding of reality. Who else but Watt can effectively relate the experience of his being? Consider Lawrence Harveys point in his essay on Watt, "He [Watt] becomes a storyteller, but one who by this time is so convinced of the inadequacy of ordinary language that he feels compelled to invent verbal structures that are more closely related to his experience. Watt himself is dissatisfied with the way the narrator is telling the story in the first half of the novel and so tells in his own unique mode of expression his story to Sam who acts as an interpreter. This points to a growing dissatisfaction with language as a way of telling in the text and debunks the impossible power of the third person narrator.
Sam, who writes in the first person of his relationship with Watt, narrates the second half of the novel. Because Sam's subjective view isn't constrained by the obligations of the supposed all-knowing omniscient narrator, he can more effectively convey that the experience of being is unknowable and unnamable. He admits to the inefficiency of his communication with Watt because it is burdened by the hindrance of their environment and their physical inadequacy. A first person narration is limited by its partial point of view of reality, but it is this limited viewpoint that Beckett seems to be trying to convey. For all of Sam's studious attention and examination of Watt, we are left just as baffled as to who he is as the characters observing Watt at the beginning of the novel, but at least it is a view more conscious of its subjectivity than the omniscient narrator could provide. In the first half of the novel we were given descriptions of the fallibility of logic and in the second half we are given a direct account of the ways in which each solution obtained only generates multiple objections. The first person narratives direct account thus points to a conscious subjectivity that deletes the assumptions made in omniscient narration that this view of reality is a true representation of what it actually is. However, it becomes apparent in the narrative that the fallibility of reason reveals itself to be not limited to a complication caused by the point of view in telling, but in the nature of the written language used to tell. He develops this point well in his subsequent fiction, but 'Watt' is a fascinating look at how these different narrative perspectives work and is a rich, comic novel to read.
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0 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watt a load of rubbish!, 8 Jan 2009
By 
H. T. Mason (Brixham, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Watt (Paperback)
Seriously this is the worst case of pretentious rubbish I have ever come across. The story and concepts are barely understandable, and the whole thing is written in a too cleaver, too cool for you, way. Beckett clearly thinks in writing this balderdash that he's some kind of genius "Breaking moulds" etc. Anyone who claims they enjoy reading this muck is either lying, insane or both.

In short if you are a pretentious a-hole who likes to pretend that he/she is too cool, alternative or smart for everyone else, you'll love it!

Please I beg you to disagree with my review.
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Watt by Samuel Beckett (Paperback - Jun 1970)
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