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More Pricks Than Kicks Paperback – 3 Jun 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571244602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571244607
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

More Pricks Than Kicks by Samuel Beckett, in a new edition of the classic story collection, published for the first time by Faber with an introduction by Beckett scholar Cassandra Nelson.

About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906 and graduated from Trinity College. He settled in Paris in 1937, after travels in Germany and periods of residence in London and Dublin. He remained in France during the Second World War and was active in the French Resistance. From the spring of 1946 his plays, novels, short fiction, poetry and criticism were largely written in French. With the production of En attendant Godot in Paris in 1953, Beckett's work began to achieve widespread recognition. During his subsequent career as a playwright and novelist in both French and English he redefined the possibilities of prose fiction and writing for the theatre. Samuel Beckett won the Prix Formentor in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. He died in Paris in December 1989.


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Format: 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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I don't think anyone can tell you who Lamuel is. Something in Malone self-destructing you could say. Maybe Macmann is another Malone in earlier times or simply just wish-fulfilment, or out-of-body nemesis. But this is the way with Beckett's characters. Wilfully made-up, inconsistent, aimless.

Echoes abound with 'Molloy', the first of the trilogy. Malone is another Molloy in many respects. Kindred. They're both stuck at journey's end making pitiful inventories, following, endlessly, tortuous mental paths twisted up like spaghetti in heaps. They both made it through a forest, murdered when they had to, or chose; lie alone in their rooms profoundly aged and dying.

Beckett handles it all so expertly, coolly, comically. However absurd and convoluted and inane, you have to yet conclude that, yes, this is really how it is.
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'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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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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Format: Paperback
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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