Written initially in French, later translated by the author into English, Molloy is the first book in Dublin-born Samuel Beckett's trilogy. It was published shortly after WWII and marked a new, mature writing style, which was to dominate the remainder of his working life. Molloy is less a novel than a set of two monologues narrated by Molloy and his pursuer, Moran.
In the first section, while consumed with the search of his mother, Molloy lost everything. Moran takes over in the second half, describing his hunt for Molloy. Within this simple outline, spoken in the first person, is a remarkable story, raising the questions of being and aloneness that marks so much of Beckett's work, but is richly comic as well. Beautifully written, it is one of the masterpieces of Irish literature.
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"These two skilled actors hold the book together remarkably well....In audio this work takes on the full richness of comedy, probably as Beckett, preeminently a dramatist, intended." (AudioFile)
If you haven't read, heard, or seen Waiting for Godot, do so now. Then return to this additional masterpiece by Samuel Beckett. This is the stripped-down, minimalist story of one man, aged and deteriorating and bitter, but frank beyond what many people would find acceptable -- certainly this is not someone you would want to hang out with. No one can truly follow in the footsteps of Beckett in creating this kind of character and spare yet eloquent prose. There are two narrators of this book, and the first one, who is the voice of Molloy, is the best to render Molloy's music. Molloy is the first book in a trilogy, and the second has just been realeased on Audible format. I finally figured out the (perhaps obvious) significance of the three titles. In the first the main character's name is Molloy, though he sometimes forgets it. In the second the main character is named Malone, which seems to me to be basically the name of the same character, though his name has evolved. And the third, The Unnameable, is the last evolution, where the name has evolved into dust. I think that some people will just hate this book, but if it reaches you, it will reach to your core.
There were points in this narrative when I was laughing hysterically, and some when I was disgusted and filled with utter pity for our sad little man, Molloy. Beckett is unlike anybody I can think of: hilarious, disturbing, and somehow smooth all the while. I'll definitely be listening again and again to this one.
The narrator Barrett does an excellent job in this and other recordings.
"Beckett is Beckett is Beckett"
Here's a writer, playwright, persona who when first encountered in youth and vitality represents a brick wall of intractability that is the gold-standard for cool. Later life and experience, the erosion of disappointments, missed opportunities and passed chances brings Beckett back into play with the mask finally taken off. And it is wonderful, funny and life affirming to know that this little Irish guy with the furrowed face has been there before you and seen it all and written it all - yet still doesn't have any of the answers you are looking for. Mal-alloy a bad mix - but nothing bad about this one. We are lucky to have Beckett's work on stage, on screen on download - it never fails to reach out and hold you with its power, simplicity and truth.
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