About The Book
This collection brings together five of Samuel Beckett’s dramatic pieces, including a one-act stage play, two radio plays, and two mimes. The stage play, Krapp’s Last Tape, is a shattering drama that emerges through the monologue of a man who on his sixty-ninth birthday, plays back the autobiographical tape he recorded on his thirty-ninth. Jerry Tallmer in The New York Post called it “a most amazing piece of “incidental” writing. . . . In one and the same pungent breath it is a comment on time past, passing, and to come; on the tinny mechanization of the age and the yet unquenchable wellsprings of the heart; on the anal desiccation and the sterilization of all feeling or response in modern man, and his nevertheless immutable thrust toward love.”
The two radio plays were commissioned by the BBC; All That Fall “plumbs the same pessimistic depths [as Waiting for Godot] in what seems a no less despairing search for human dignity” (London Times), and Embers is equally haunting, born of the ramblings of an old man and his wife. Finally Act Without Words I speechlessly portrays the frustration of existence in a hostile environment, and in Act Without Words II the repetitive motions of life are juxtaposed in the slovenly actions of one man and the senseless efficiency of another.
“In love with the aside, the tangential comment, the footnote and the mathematical calculation . . . . Beckett has fashioned a vehicle for himself in drama and prose that allows him to be romantic and irreverent at one and the same instant.” –The New Republic
Selected as one of Time Out‘s 1,000 Books to Change Your Life