Monday, August 25, 2008

The 306 Greatest Books #77 - Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable

Note - This review was originally published on my other site "The Geology P.A.G.E." but due to the content I have moved it here and backdated the post.

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett. This book can be found on the Norwegian Book List, with Malone Dies appearing by itself on the Observer Book List.

The trilogy of Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable at first reminded me of Ulysses, which if anyone has noticed, I despised. But Beckett soon broke away from the incessant ramblings that plagued that novel and gave two really good stories, Molloy and Malone Dies. The novels were written with all the emotion removed and in a rather cryptic way that keeps the reader guessing as you read on. One of the interesting things about Molloy is that as you read through the second half of the story, it begins to feel as if you are getting the prelude to the first half. Malone Dies at first seemed to be completely disjointed from the first novel but reading through it you get the feeling the story may be about the character of Molloy and the book is just a continuation of the first novel. In the third novel, The Unnamable, Beckett returns to the rambling speech that is full of run-on sentences saying nothing. If it was not for the last novel I might recommend this series, but The Unnamable killed it for me. Unfortunately, you need to read all three to get the entire story. So although I somewhat enjoyed parts of it, I can not recommend this as a novel series to be read.