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Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts [Paperback]

Samuel Beckett
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Jan. 18 1994 --  

Book Description

Jan. 18 1994
A classic of modern theatre and perennial favorite of colleges and high schools. "One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation . . . suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity . . . like a sharp stab of beauty and pain."--The London Times.

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"One of the true masterpieces of the century." --Clive Barnes, "The New York Times""One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation, a threnody of hope deceived and deferred but never extinguished; a play suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity; with phrases that come like a sharp stab of beauty and pain."--"The Times" (London)"Beckett is an incomparable spellbinder. He writes with rhetoric and music that . . . make a poet green with envy." --Stephen Spender"Reading Beckett for the first time is an experience like no other in modern literature."--Paul Auster"[Godot is ] among the most studied, monographed, celebrated and sent-up works of modern art, and perhaps as influential as any from the last century. The nonstory of two tramps at loose ends in a landscape barren of all but a single tree, amusing or distracting themselves from oppressive boredom while they wait for a mysterious figure who never arrives, the play became the ur-text for theatrical innovation and existential thought in the latter half of 20th century." --Christopher Isherwood, "The New York Times" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Ireland. Best known for the classic <I>Waiting for Godot</I>, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. He spent most of his life in Paris and died there in 1989.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I never decided to leave while reading this play April 13 2004
Apparently, people have made much of the "fact" that Godot is god. While hardly being a fact (and in fact, being outwardly denied by Beckett himself), people who search too desperately for the specific personage Godot represents miss the point. One can say that Godot is god, especially if one is a New Critic and therefore ignores whatever the author may have said about his work. And while at one point Vladimir exclaims (and I'm just paraphrasing): "Godot is here! We are saved," this does not explicitly explain who Godot is. He could just as easily be bringing money to Vladimir and Estragon as he could be bearing salvation for them. The point is, that Beckett was an essentially existential writer, and saw that all of life was just waiting for the terminal breath. Furthermore, in the act of waiting for an ending, Vladimir and Estragon constantly make the existential choice: whether or not to keep on waiting. Several times they contemplate committing suicide; several times Estragon threatens to leave. In the end, they confirm their existence (yes, only one existence--they seem to be as one person in the dialogue: this is no mistake) by deciding, if offhandishly, to remain living; living, and waiting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Shmeh April 4 2014
By Ron
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I did a lot of waiting for Godot myself, and was unimpressed. A little too abstract for my personal taste, but it's a classic apparently.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a classic in existential play. If you don't know anything about this play I would highly suggest doing a bit of research before buying it as it is unlike most plays/ literature.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for Godot??? Still Waiting Aug. 12 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this purchase. It was a very slim volume for the price. The font was too small making the text almost illegible. I had purchased it as a special gift for my husband's 60th birthday as he loved the play. The bottom line is that he has not opened it since I gave it to him. I won't be buying this type of purchase from Amazon again as you can't really tell the quality of a book on line and there didn't seem to be an avenue of returning it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endless futility for the Irish Feb. 12 2013
By David Wineberg TOP 100 REVIEWER
The amazing thing about Waiting for Godot is that it has always engendered confusion, uncertainty and half-formed theories. It's puzzling to most viewers and reviewers. So much so, you have to wonder why anyone likes it, since they don't seem to be able to understand it. Yet far from an enigmatic muddle, Godot is crystal clear. It is an Irish vision of Purgatory/Limbo.

All the evidence points to it; no evidence contradicts it. It lets the whole story come together consistently and rationally. Two ragged fellows meet every morning and do nothing all day. Not that there is anything to do - the world is essentially flat, boundless, gray and barren, save for one derisory dead tree. There is no water, no food (save for a single old vegetable in the pocket of one of them - every day), no shelter, no objects of any kind. Not even a place to sit. Estragon is doomed to remember nothing except being beaten up the night before. Every night. Vladimir is cursed with an inkling of having been here and done this before, but can't quite nail it. Total frustration.

They consider suicide, but don't even have the means to do even that little. They are dead men already, so it is redundant. They cross paths with another pair, similarly cursed, and this happens every day with no one remembering the previous encounter. They are doomed to repeat this meaningless activity every day for eternity. And part of it is waiting for a man who they've never met and who never comes. He cancels on them every afternoon.

What fresh hell is this? to borrow from Ms. Parker. They are waiting for God(ot) to decide their eternal fates. And every day, God doesn't show. It's Limbo (since cancelled).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Waiting for Godot centers around two bums: Estragon and Vladimir. Estragon has an incredibly short memory and relies on Vladimir to remember for him. As a result, Estragon is extremely impatient and constantly suggests that the two would be better off if they parted. However, Estragon needs Vladimir and Vladimir needs Estragon, so they never do part. Vladimir, due to Estragon's lack of memory, is unsure of his own memory. Vladimir enjoys the company of Estragon, for it allows him to recall past events. Together, they spend their time devising ways to pass the time until 'Godot' arrives. Neither Estragon and Vladimir or the reader surely know what Godot is or looks like or whether he will ever arrive. On two occasions, they meet Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo is Lucky's master and decides to stop and talk to Estragon and Vladimir for a bit of company. Pozzo hardly listens to what the other characters in the play say and frequently launches into melodramatic prose. Lucky is Pozzo's slave, tied to Pozzo via a rope around his neck. Lucky only speaks twice during the entire play. His monologue, which is delivered upon Pozzo's order of 'Think', is completely incoherent - a mix of half-finished words and sentences. Lucky is very obedient to Pozzo and rather violent and hostile to strangers, especially Estragon, who he bites. In the second act, Pozzo and Lucky return again, this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is mute. They have no memory of ever having met Estragon and Vladimir. The play ends in the same way Act One ends - Estragon and Vladimir are still dependent on eachother and remain waiting for Godot.
Waiting for Godot is a classic text of existentialism and Absurdist literature.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "Nothing happens, twice"
"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!". That phrase, said by one of the main characters of "Waiting for Godot", somehow sums up the whole plot of this short... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2007 by M. B. Alcat
5.0 out of 5 stars A Metaphor for Life
What a fabulous play. I read it over an over again and every time I discover new meaning. Admittedly, the first time I read it, I hated it. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars What is there to get from Waiting for Godot
I thought the play beautifully expressed in laconic dialogue how some individuals deny reality, the human condition, and mortality by distracting themselves with meaningless... Read more
Published on June 9 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading this play without fitting it into boxes
I believe all you need to know is that the characters all wear melon hats and suits... And that the play is written originally in French (Beckett's first play in French, and a... Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by listost
5.0 out of 5 stars The Absurdist Drama
Along with Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," this play is very likely the best play ever written. Like the one mentioned above, it is not the most dinamic thing you'll ever... Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by Vladimir Miletic
5.0 out of 5 stars Godot is not God
Beckett wrote this play in French, and it was first staged in Paris. The name Godot is an actual surname in France, and Beckett may have gotten the name from a series of novels... Read more
Published on March 9 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's go. We can't. Why? We're waiting for Godot.
"Waiting for Godot" is a very interesting play indeed. Throughout the play, there are only five characters: Vladimir, Estragon(the two main characters), Pozzo, Lucky and... Read more
Published on March 1 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
I would like to see this play live.... after reading it, I am intrigued to see actors bring it to life. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2003 by T. Thompson
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