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More Pricks Than Kicks Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; First Evergreen Edition edition (January 7, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780802151377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802151377
  • ASIN: 080215137X
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 his most famous play, En attendant Godot, in 1948 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 1961. Beckett continued to write prolifically for TV and the theatre until his death in 1989. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Goldhamer on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Beltzer on 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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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 1997
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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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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