Paperback - 2010
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Murphy, Samuel Beckett's first published novel, is set in London and Dublin, during the first decades of the Irish Republic. The title character loves Celia in a "striking case of love requited" but must first establish himself in London before his intended bride will make the journey from Ireland to join him. Beckett comically describes the various schemes that Murphy employs to stretch his meager resources and the pastimes that he uses to fill the hours of his days. Eventually Murphy lands a job as a nurse at Magdalen Mental Mercyseat hospital, where he is drawn into the mad world of the patients which ends in a fateful game of chess. While grounded in the comedy and absurdity of much of daily life, Beckett's work is also an early exploration of themes that recur throughout his entire body of work including sanity and insanity and the very meaning of life.
Published: New York : Grove Press, [2010], c1957.
ISBN: 9780802144454
Branch Call Number: F BEC
Characteristics: 170 pages ;,21 cm.


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Nov 01, 2014

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."

theorbys Jan 09, 2013

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.

theorbys Nov 03, 2012

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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