16 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
great literature, 11 Oct. 2002
The incandescent charm of Beckett's language had never been more apparent than in these small masterpieces, written under the shadow of the worst war in history. He brings to life a strange world of existentialist torment and aimless wandering with an almost incomprehensible ingenuity. The best of the stories is undoubtedly First Love where the apparent pointlessness of life shown in the other three novellas is thrown the challenge of what it is to be in love. The result is a compelling view of the humnan experience, regardless of the particular human beings being discussed. First Love has a subtlety and a tragic undertone which must have been particularly relevant to any post-war audience, but even today the power of these lost lives still evoke certain emotions that will make us all remember what life if really all about. These stories are at once cynically vulgar and beautifully elegiac. If Beckett had never written anything else, he would still have been one of the twentieth century's greatest writers.