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How It Is Paperback – 5 Nov 2009
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How It Is by Samuel Beckett - the first time this novel has been published by Faber, with a brand new introduction and edited by Edouard Magessa O'Reilly.
From the Back Cover
A sensitive reader who journey through How It Is will leave the book convinced that the author says more that is relevant to experience in our time than Shakespeare does in Macbeth. A wonderful book, written in the sparest of prose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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For those not familiar with much of his output, I would suggest a long term approach... start with All Strange Away (Calderbooks) to ascertain if you have a taste for Beckett's later style. Try the more conventional early novel Murphy followed by Watt as a halfway house. Reward yourself with the How It Is peak. Take as long as you need to read it first time round. Thereafter, try reading it in a week... then read it in one day. How It Is can be revisited again and again. Immerse yourself in the way one approaches a painting (as when the need to convert a picture to literature has gone).
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I'll have to read this one again. That Beckett is a great writer, there is no doubt. I'm way too much of a Beckett novice to attempt a thorough examination. Perhaps the best I can do here is to quote the title of a collection of his that I've just purchased: I Can't Go On, I'll Go On.
Read this one maybe after the trilogy books. It won't be quite the shock that way. Punctuation? Who needs it?! Makes a reader appreciate all those grammar school lessons about its importance much more. That's how it is.
I almost didn't get through it myself. "Post-modern hocus-pocus," I thought sourly, as I read the first third. But it becomes oddly compelling, even poetic. Beckett's severely minimalistic style is fascinating; there's nothing in this book except the eerily dehumanized voice of its narrator, a lonely monologue that generates real poignancy. The effect is like hearing a voice from beyond the grave, and it haunts the mind like few conventionally written novels do.
Thank you, Samuel Beckett