Check out that cover man; it's like a chess game on a bald dude's head! Trippy. I like that another commentator called this, Beckett's first novel, "accessible." I suppose compared with his later trilogy, where he dispenses almost entirely with plot, character, or much of what you associate with novels, it is. I'll freely admit that I don't really get Beckett and can admire him without particularly liking his mix of bleakness, the avant-garde, and absurd humor. This does have something of a plot, involving a mental hospital, but like many of his works, it's a closed tower that pushes Kafka into stranger and more obtuse territory. The opening line is the highlight: "The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new."
Early Beckett, almost entirely accessible. It is a great novel and a great harbinger of literary things to come from Beckett. This is not his true literary voice yet, but it is very, and wickedly, clever and shows you that Beckett would have been a real pleasure to read even if he had not become one of the greatest literary voices of all time.
An excellent starting place for reading Beckett. And just as good for those more familiar with his writing. Murphy, Mr Endon, et al are early forms of characters that will be vastly more developed in later writings. In Murphy, Beckett shows he has great talent and writing skills already, but not only will they improve dramatically, but he will soon find his true voice making him a genuine literary genius. Next up read Watt.
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