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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating poetry-in prose
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.
Published on 27 Dec 1999

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4 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars trivializes and debases the geriatric mind
Presumes to lay bare the geriatric mind, but comes nowhere near. Based on the ludicrous proposition that the aging process is hellish and unnatural. Beckett is the true godfather of MTV.
Published on 22 Aug 1999


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating poetry-in prose, 27 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Novels (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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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest writer of the twentieth century, 30 Aug 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Novels (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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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book in the world, 1 Jan 2008
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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5.0 out of 5 stars No, 14 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The trrilogy of malone novels, 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable (Paperback)
I bought it as a present and the recipient was delighted with them taking the back to France with him
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beckett is cool!, 4 Dec 2008
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Mr. Ms. Tait - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Sep 2012
This review is from: Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable (Paperback)
I needed some of the 'Essential Beckett' works for my disserstation this unofficial trilogy was absolutely perfect, it came very quickly and in amazing condition.
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4 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars trivializes and debases the geriatric mind, 22 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Novels (Paperback)
Presumes to lay bare the geriatric mind, but comes nowhere near. Based on the ludicrous proposition that the aging process is hellish and unnatural. Beckett is the true godfather of MTV.
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3 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THE TRILOGY THAT DESTROYS ITSELF, 27 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Novels (Paperback)
All the narrators-Molloy, Malone, the Unnameable-are schizophrenic, as G.C. Barnard has noted; however, Beckett is not investigating varieties of the illness. He is entrapped in the fragmented defenses of that complex disorder. The trilogy's narrators are carrying out one of the major themes of Beckett's first novel, Murphy, that psychosis is preferable to either psychiatric help or normalcy.
If Samuel Beckett had written Molloy and Malone Dies and had written The Unnameable in the omniscient author (showing us through style and structure that the Unnameable is deeply insane) - we could not identify those characters' problems with Beckett.
The sameness of Beckett's themes alters only with the withering of his talents. Malone, like Sam in Watt as well as the narrator in "Stories" as well as Moran and Molloy, creates plots only to destroy them. In this respect, the narrator-artists are identical to Beckett himself.
Twenty years-twenty years will pass between Molloy and "Imagination Dead Imagine" where Beckett has no plot, no dialogue, no characterization, no theme- except the theme of killing his imagination. Thirty years will pass between Molloy and Company and, aporetic as always, Beckett is still rewriting "Imagination Dead Imagine".
The extraordinary story of twentieth century literature is that critics canonize Samuel Beckett's writings as works of genius when they are records of atrophy brought about by Beckett's mental illness.
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Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable
Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable by Samuel Beckett (Paperback - 11 Jun 2009)
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