• Dream of Fair to Middling Women

  • A Novel
  • By: Samuel Beckett
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Dream of Fair to Middling Women  By  cover art

Dream of Fair to Middling Women

By: Samuel Beckett
Narrated by: Peter Ganim
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Publisher's Summary

This is Samuel Beckett's first novel and "literary landmark" (St. Petersburg Times) - a savory introduction to the Nobel Prize-winning author. Written in the summer of 1932, when the 26-year-old Beckett was poor and struggling to make ends meet, Dream of Fair to Middling Women offers a rare and revealing portrait of the artist as a young man. Later on, Beckett would call the novel "the chest into which I threw all my wild thoughts". When he submitted it to several publishers, all of them found it too literary, too scandalous, or too risky, and it was sadly never published during his lifetime.

In this stunning first novel, Belacqua - a young version of Molloy, whose love is divided between two women, Smeraldina-Rima and Alba - "wrestles with his lusts and learning across vocabularies and continents, before a final 'relapse into Dublin'" (New Yorker). Youthfully exuberant and visibly influenced by Joyce, Dream of Fair to Middling Women is a work of extraordinary virtuosity. Beckett delights in the wordplay and sheer joy of language that mark his later work. Above all, the story brims with the black humor that, like brief stabs of sunlight, pierces the darkness of his vision.

©1992, 2012 The Samuel Beckett Estate (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Dream of Fair to Middling Women

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Last Becket I've read but most enjoyable

due to my limited intellect I only understood a small portion of the book. this is a wonderful excuse to re-listen to this story witch I can only describe as epic POETRY. Maybe after a few more reads I may decide to listen with a dictionary and Berlitz translator at hand to make it even more enjoyable, but the vacation from the endless clap-trap noise of most literature was Wonderful.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The biggest problem here is the voice narrator

There is no problem with the story. It is about what you’d expect from Samuel Beckett. It’s depressing , perhaps boring, but makes you think a lot afterward.

The biggest issue is the voice actor, narrator, doing the reading. He is trying really hard to almost act it like he is on stage. He also speaks in a way that sounds like wants to show off his voice by making longer lasting deeper pronunciation. For me , personally, it is incredibly distracting and made it very difficult to listen.

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  • M
  • 08-29-18

An immature work even for this literary novice.

I struggled to finish this first sincere work of a wonderful author - Much repetition and negativity toward women abounded.