Yeah it is quite badly bound, but not to the extent where it falls to pieces, you just have to be careful with it and not bend the pages too far back. An essential purchase for an Eng Lit student, very good value to say it's faber and faber (the RRP on f&f Waiting For Godot on its own is £9.99! So for an extra £2.00 you'd be mad not to get this version)
Just thought I'd contribute because the bad reviews almost put me off from buying and I'm now glad I did. While I can see where they're coming from, I think they're exaggerating slightly.
Compact, well presented collection of Beckett epic metamorphosis of modern theatre - from Godot to Ghost Trio. Plays following the more 'excepted structure' to works of silence and light. The only crit is the briefness of notes about first performances. Otherwise a must have for those intrested in exploring the limits of theatre.
So far it has proved a useful and interesting collection, it is legible and robust enough for both reading and reference. I wouldn't expect it to survive particularly long in the hands of a particularly excitable owner, but until my funds allow the an upgrade to a more appropriate leather-bound edition, as the works deserve, it looks set to last as long as my studies require.
... What happened? You had the good idea of bringing together all the dramatic works of this brilliant author. You are generally able to produce a solid, tight paperback book (see the FF poetry volumes, for instance). What on earth possessed you to produce precisely this important and useful in edition in such an appallingly low quality? It is downright laughable, you can hardly open the book without another page falling out of it. Please make amends, soon. In the meantime, I recommend everybody out there who cares enough about Beckett to be interested in his complete plays to buy the box-set of the Grove Centenary edition in paperback. That is, I grant you, a more expensive item to purchase, but by no means unreasonably so, and it will get you four nice volumes with Beckett's novels, shorter prose, and plays, but more importantly, the books won't fall apart in your hands.
If you are new to the works of Samuel Beckett then this is the best place to start in my opinion. There is nothing I can add which hasn't already been said about these dramas, only that they are quite short and moderately accessible but almost inexhaustable in their complexity. To describe these works as 'existentialist' really doesn't do them justice or decribe their nature to any deep degree. The plays are unique and must be experienced to be understood. Generally there is a quite dark tone to most of the works, sometimes obscenely disturbing, sometimes cynically funny but at times there are moments of true poetic beauty. I would strongly recommend these plays to anyone interested in drama of a more unconventional type. High points include - 'Waiting for Godot', 'Endgame', 'Krapp's last tape' and 'All that falls'. However, as a general warning, these are not uplifting plays, I myself found some of them sickening and disturbing in parts.
A thorough collection which could only have been enhanced by an introduction, maybe even to each play, I feel that context helps a lot in understanding these works, despite the calculated ambiguity in some of the settings.
To be honest I struggled to give this a star rating. The content is nothing short of superb and deserves 5 stars any day of the week. The fact that all the plays are together makes comparison easy to do and it's nice to by unencumbered by critics' musings and prejudices. HOWEVER, the quality of the book is pretty shoddy. Mine is already starting to fall apart and pages are beginning to divorce themselves from the binding increasing persistence. If you're looking for something that will give you all of Beckett's plays, but don't need to preserve its structural integrity for too long, then it will do the job, but i recommend looking elsewhere if you want a copy that you feel deserves to be cherished!