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Conversations with and About Beckett Paperback – February 27, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (February 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802137652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802137654
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Veteran New York Times drama critic Mel Gussow enjoyed direct access to the great Irish dramatist, meeting with him a number of times over the course of a decade. The heart of this collection of essays are revealing remembrances of Gussow's conversations with Beckett. Also included are interviews with Jack McGowran and Billie Whitelaw, great performers of Beckett's work, and a collection of Gussow's critical writing on Beckett. Conversations with and about Beckett is a small book with remarkable depth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
i know more about radishes than i do of mans destiny...you have to read this book if you ever felt like you wanted to hear little anecdotes on Sam .It really is a lovely read and shows how private a being he was.I would love to hear his voice someday. RIP.
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By William K. Dearth on November 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are only a casual reader of Samuel Beckett’s works, “Conversations With And About Beckett” may not warrant your attention. If, on the other hand, you are a Beckett disciple, this book is indispensible. Mel Gussow had a lengthy relationship with Sam Beckett and he provides insight and perspective that is a worthy addition even to the excellent biography by James Knowlson “Damned to Fame”.

There are rare interviews with the incomparable Billie Whitelaw, his nephew Edward Beckett et al, that provide much information about this very private man. There is also an insightful section devoted to essays and reviews from the periods when many of his plays were introduced as well as interesting commentary on the radio plays.

Don’t be surprised if you become somewhat verklempt while working your way through this volume, I did. Particularly moving is the lengthy obituary written by Gussow and appeared on the front page of the New York Times.

If there is fault with this book, my only complaint would be is that it is too short.

I often say to some of my friends: “Thank God for the BBC”, because if it wasn’t for them, the availability of decent history and literature would be wanting in America. I feel the same way about Samuel Beckett: “Thank God for Grove Press”.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lenore Minnick on January 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had recently seen a production of "Waiting for Godot." It had been many years since I'd seen one and I was reminded, again, of the brilliance of Beckett's play. During my university days, Beckett was one of many playwright's included in a syllabus of noted theatre writers. I didn't, however, know much about Beckett himself. I enjoyed Mel Gussow's "Conversations with and about Beckett " immensely which gives the reader the opportunity to learn something of Beckett the man and the writer. Through the interview question and answer format, the author gives us a glimpse behind the austere facade with which Beckett is usually perceived. The reader begins to see the man as a simple yet complex individual, one with a gentle warmth and quiet sense of humor. After reading Gussow's book I was inspired to continue learning more about Beckett's life. Gussow gives his reader's a highly engrossing study of a playwright of masterful and powerful theatre.
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Conversations with and About Beckett
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