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More Pricks Than Kicks [Kindle Edition]

Samuel Beckett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)

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Book Description

Samuel Beckett, the recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Literature and one of the greatest writers of our century, first published these ten short stories in 1934; they originally formed part of an unfinished novel. They trace the career of the first of Beckett’s antiheroes, Belacqua Shuah.


Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 549 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (December 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FFPM58
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,764 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beckett says: "Don't be a Belacqua" July 3, 2000
Format:Paperback
Though some people may be frustrated by "More Pricks than Kicks'" discontinuity of time and seeming discontinuity of plot, they mistake their own reaction. "MPTK" is a stark but strikingly beautiful collection of short stories unified by the main character's striking personality. That character is Belacqua Shuah, Samuel Beckett's Dubliner anti-hero; he, auto-biographically, has many elements in common with the author, which makes the book read somewhat like a honest and creative confessional.
Sometimes humorous, somtimes shockingly pessimistic, the short story format works surprisingly well, often allowing for especially clever closing images or phrases. The short story format also makes reading Beckett, rarely an easy task, a touch more accessable.
But through it all, Beckett, the master of the declarative sentence, constantly condemns his main character; Belacqua cannot find it within himself to shed a tear when one of his three wives dies, nor does he buy his new wife a new ring, recycling his old wife's ring (inscripted with her name and all) for his supposed new love. This incorrigible bumbler is intellectual to a fault, and dies friendless and unmourned. So all in all, read about Belacqua, but don't be him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a neglected great December 3, 2007
Format:Paperback
Beckett's More Pricks Than Kicks is a hilarious collection of short stories. Far from being "stark" or "grim," it is a fudge-brownie layer cake of language and thick with dark, rich, black, earthy humor. These stories are a valuable corrective in reading Beckett who can come across as despairing, minimalist death warmed over. In fact, like Yeats and Joyce, he is as stout as Irish beer and as bracing as Irish whiskey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A talent of astounding intelligence and background January 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to go five stars on this one even though "Wet Night" was rather difficult. Beckett can be simultaneously comic, dark, merciless, pitiless, intelligent, satirical and creative. The times in which he is brilliant, which are many, he writes some of the most elegant prose that I know of. He is obviously a talent of astounding intelligence and background knowledge, so you best be on your toes while reading the majority of his work -- though admittedly, that will not always work.

These ten connected stories are highly enjoyable and stimulating and you have an excellent opportunity to improve on your vocabulary as well. I must go on, I can't go on, OK, I'll stop.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another Dublin November 3, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
By turns alright and horrid, this collection/novel is not the thing for you if Beckett's later novels (_Malloy_,_Malone_ _Dies_,_The_ _Unnamable_) or plays (_Godot_, _Endgame_) have attracted you to the area. More Pricks Than Kicks is the work of a young man, and one who is visibly struggling to get out from under a perturbing combination of Joycean influence and inedibly rich bombast (making this, to some palates, a game of spot the difference). *Dante and the Lobster* is a worthwhile read and comprises the vague first layer of the palimpsest that grew steadily sparser and attractive over the course of his career. *A Wet Night*, however, is simply horrid. Buckets of obsfucation poured through a fine seive of humor; little gets through. Leave the muck.
(why rated then an 8? the worst of Beckett is still better than so much else...)
Still, there's something of a diary to a young artist's work. Portrait would not be inappropriate, though Beckett, the artist he became, deserves better.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sursum Corda November 3, 2009
Format:Paperback
One of the many reasons I relish reading books by Beckett is the not infrequent recourse the man has to the moon. Loves that nighttime celestial cup of light I do, "the bogus moon of tenderness and magic," as Denis Johnson styles it in his wonderful poem Heat. And with Sam this enchanting lunacy is not just confined to the dramatic writings, Godot obviously and so forth, but whole portions of the prose are suffused with beams of the most poignant moonlight. Watt is vividly memorable in this regard. Check this out from just after Watt's final departure from Mr. Knott's house:

"The night was of unusual splendour. The moon, if not full, was not far from full, in a day or two it would be full, and then dwindle, until its appearance, in the heavens, would be that compared, by some writers, to a sickle, or a crescent."

Sam surely does not lie when he goes on to write on the very next page the following:

"Watt was always lucky with his weather."

What continues to this day to completely crack me up however is that bit in Watt where Mr. Spiro, a large gentleman who we are told "had been drinking, but not more than was good for him," verbally accosts the hapless Watt in the train compartment:

"I edit Crux, said Mr. Spiro, the popular catholic monthly. We do not pay our contributors, but they benefit in other ways. Our advertisements are extraordinary. We keep our tonsure above water. Our prize competitions are very nice. Times are hard, water in every wine. Of a devout twist, they do more good than harm. For example: Rearrange the fifteen letters of the Holy Family to form a question and answer. Winning entry: Has J. Jurms a po? Yes.
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More About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. He was educated at Portora Royal School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1927. His made his poetry debut in 1930 with Whoroscope and followed it with essays and two novels before World War Two. He wrote one of his most famous plays, Waiting for Godot, in 1949 but it wasn't published in English until 1954. Waiting for Godot brought Beckett international fame and firmly established him as a leading figure in the Theatre of the Absurd. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Beckett continued to write prolifically for radio, TV and the theatre until his death in 1989.

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