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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant presentation of four short stories - probably an acquired taste, but will certainly reward close attention, 17 Jun. 2012
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Four short stories by Samuel Beckett, written just after the second world war, all of which relate to the life of the same character, an itinerant vagrant who would ideally live in a completely unfurnished room (apart from a bed), but who periodically is, for example, 'expelled' from such a room, voluntarily leave such a room (First Love - although he also involuntarily leaves such a room also in this short story), or is released alternatively, it would seem, from some kind of infirmary. This person wanders round the streets, presumably of Dublin, occasionally visiting, however, the sea, and living in an abandoned shed in the country.

This is definitely an acquired taste, I feel - a sort of prose version of Waiting for Godot - nothing much happens, but the writing repays the closest attention word by word and sentence by sentence. There's also a very compelling world view here!

The edition by Christopher Ricks tells you everything you need to know about the genesis and reception of the work and the text. You feel, by the way, that all the editorial decisions are spot on. So: a brilliantly presented edition.

So: strongly recommended - but only for those who like this sort of thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live Life to the Min, 17 April 2014
SB was the finest writer of the 20th century and this collection of four stories shows him at his brilliant best. Others can dissect his technique and 'meaning' far more perceptively than me, so you'd better go to them for that, but just get some of this. "Personally, I have no bone to pick with graveyards... There is little chance of my (self-composed) epitaph ever being reared above the skull that conceived it, unless the State takes up the matter... 'Hereunder lies the above who up below/So hourly died that he lived on till now.' The second and last or rather latter line limps a little perhaps, but that is no great matter, I'll be forgiven more than that when I'm forgotten." No chance of that, Sam, no chance at all. Less is less here and therein lies its greatness.
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