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Mercier and Camier

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  867 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
One of the most accessible examples of Samuel Beckett’s dark humor, Mercier and Camier is the hilarious chronicle of its two heroes’ epic journey. While their travels are fraught with complications and intrigue, Mercier and Camier at least “did not remove from home, they had that good fortune.”
Paperback, 123 pages
Published September 1st 1975 by Grove/Atlantic (first published 1946)
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I’ve never known a review to have had so many false starts.
I finished Mercier et Camier a month ago and was full of ideas for the review, some of which I scribbled in the back of the book. Then I went on a trip and the book was left behind along with the ideas. I set about writing the review again when I got back two weeks later but the ideas I had scribbled in the book no longer made sense so I gave up and wrote a review of a book I’d read on the trip instead. A couple of days later, I began t
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 28, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006)
Let's see. When I write reviews of the books that I've read but did not fully understand, I go to Google and read whatever reviews, articles or blogs that are available on line. I did not understand probably everything about this book. I do not know what it is trying to say unlike after I read the first two Beckett that I've read so far: Murphy (5 stars) and Watt (4 stars). Even prior to looking up those two books, I already knew what the plot was all about.

So let me write two reviews: one witho
Jul 19, 2009 Buck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: slackers; those who find Waiting for Godot too maudlin.

A living room. Conventional bachelor-pad squalor. Two listless figures are sprawled on the leather couch, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos lying open between them. End of exposition.

Wanna play Wii? asked Camier.

Mercier brightened momentarily before relapsing into his accustomed hebetude.

I lack, he said, the vigour.

Come, come, said Camier. Why this pose of senescence? You’re a young man yet.

A gross libel, said Mercier. I was never young. I fell wizened and arthritic from my mater’s dusty womb.

On a su
Lee Foust
May 15, 2016 Lee Foust rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Perhaps the most pleasurable little read in all of Beckett's oeuvre, Mercier and Camier is a brutally bleak and hysterically funny little romp. Only the expat from Foxrock could come up with such a perfectly mid-20th-century mixture of fear, loathing, and Devil-may-care glee. It's a perfectly cut little gem of a book: by turns lyrical, self-deprecating, bleak, even brutal in one scene, and all the while peppered with truly funny witticisms and clever double entendres (plus an orgy! If sex in thr ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Mahmood666 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مرسیه و کامیه
ساموئل بکت
پویان غفاری
نشر افراز
ساموئل بکت انچنان مشهور است و انقدر در مورد نمایشنامه هایش بحث صورت گرفته که لزومی به تکرار ان مطالب نیست ولی انچه که به طور معمول از بکت نمیدانیم این است که او علاوه بر نمایشنامه نویسی ،رمان نویسی قهارنیز بود و سه گانه (مالوی،مالون می میرد و نام ناپذیر)شاهدی بر این مدعاست .اوج خلاقیت بکت در دهه پنجاه و اوایل دهه بود و پس از ان حجم و کیفیت اثارش به شدت کم شد ولی در اخر دهه میلادی،رمانی مربوط به سالهای دهه او به چاپ رسید که همگان را شگفتزده کرد .رمانی ب
"Sie hielten sich an den äußersten Rand Rand des Bürgersteigs, Mercier vorne, mit der Hand an der Lenkstange, Camier hinten, mit der Hand auf dem Sattel, und das Fahrrad an ihrer Seite rutschte am Rinnstein entlang.
Du hinderst mich mehr, als daß du mir hilfst, sagte Mercier.
Ich versuche gar nicht, dir zu helfen, sagte Camier, ich versuche, mir selbst zu helfen.
Dann ist ja alles gut, sagte Mercier." (27)

"Als sie wieder auf der Straße waren, packten sie einander am Arm. Nach einigen hundert Meter
Jeff Jackson
Nov 18, 2012 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Flann O'Brien
Call it Beckett's version of "Bouvard and Pecuchet" with choreography by Buster Keaton - philosophical slapstick spiced up with some orgies and a brutal murder. This series of set pieces is somewhat slight by design, but the writing is fast paced, gorgeously wrought, and often laugh out loud funny. It's Mr. B having a lark - even dropping in guest appearances from Watt and Murphy - which is half the fun in itself.
Mahdi Bigdeli
راجع به زندگی چه می توان گفت که قبلا نگفته باشند؟ خیلی چیزها! برای مثال : چقدر زندگی دنبال این است که ماتحتش درد بگیرد!
Jul 02, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gem from the master of metaphysical and absurd-ism lit, this short and delightful novel was written by Beckett when he was just cutting his teeth on the style that would become his hallmark. I wonder how many times Stoppard read this before writing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Funny, brutal and original throughout.

I picked this up at Powell's in Portland over the weekend. For my Goodreads friends that haven't heard of this greatest of bookstores, it is a beacon of light in a world of
Oct 15, 2011 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire, miniature, eire
originally written in French as a sort of unconscious warm-up to Godot. Undderrated for its sort of lost status within the Beckett constellation. Satire for its peckish, peevish, acid humor(s).

It's got a little bit of the 'big dumb, rather guileless guy' w/ 'short, fat, sharp, rather amoral guy' dynamic we see so often in narratives across the board- Flaubert's "Bouvard et Pecuchet", "Dumb and Dumber", Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress", Laurel and Hardy, Ralph Cramden and Norton, R2D2 and C3PO,
Nate D
Sep 20, 2011 Nate D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: collapse
Recommended to Nate D by: ruin
Now we must choose, said Mercier.
Between what? said Camier.
Ruin and collapse, said Mercier.
Could we not somehow combine them? said Camier.

Dominated as it is by its despairing comedic dialogues and voyages to nowhere, I took this (seeing the 1970 publication date) to be something of a Godot rehash. On the contrary, its a pre-hash, composed just after Watt in 1946, Beckett's first in French, with the goal of erasing style. Yet the mastery of style seen in Watt was part of what drew me to it. Merci
Apr 30, 2012 Mahmood666 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
خیلی عجیب!
خیلی جالب!
خیلی نو و تازه!
و خیلی چیزای دیگه ه.من سه کتاب پس باد همیه چیز را نخواهد برد اثر براتیگان،سفید برفی اثر دونالد بارتلمی واین کتاب رو رو پشت سرهم مطالعه کردم و در انتها به این نتیجه رسیدم که این کتاب از همه اونا تو ساختار پست مدرنسیتی تازه تره با اونکه خیلی قبل تر از اونا تو دهه 40د نوشته شده.شاید به خاطر نابهنگام بودن این اثر باشه که بکت اونو تودوره اوج رمان پست مدرنیستی تو دهه 70 چاپ کرد. یه جورایی نسخه دستنویس اولیه در انتظار گودو به نظر میاد.یه جورایی هم شبیه رمان مورد علاقه
Max Nemtsov
Apr 06, 2015 Max Nemtsov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Один из самых смешных текстов на всем белом свете. В очередной раз дивишься, до чего же надо было ненавидеть то, что делаешь (я о Е-Баевской), чтобы так его испортить. Вот здесь ( лежит версия Михаила Бутова, в которой, при всех ее несовершенствах и отсутствии вменяемого редактора, жизни все же больше. А эта сага еще и потому универсальна, что легко адаптируется к любым условиям и временам. Попробуйте, например, читать ее как набор статусов фейсбука (включа ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Arman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب عجیبی است.
آدم نمیداند چرا دوست دارد تا آخرش بخواندش و تمامش کند.
چیزهایی که کاملا بیاهمّیّت به نظر میرسند امّا از خواندنشان لذّت بردم.
آدم را به یک خلاصی روانی وارد میکند...
در طول خواندنش آدم بارها میگوید من حوصلهام سر خواهد رفت ولی باز هم ادامه میدهد.

در میان یک گفتوگوی خستهکننده دربارهی یک چتر ، راوی حرف جالبی میزند:
"آنها به صحبت کردن از چتر ادامه میدهند ، چقدر مسخره است."
Metin Yılmaz
Mercier dedi Camier dedi, Mercier dedi Camier dedi, Mercier dedi Camier dedi, Mercier dedi Camier dedi... Fakat Godot'yu Beklerken'in hatrına bir kez daha okuyacağım bir zaman sonra.
Volodymyr Stoyko
Dec 16, 2015 Volodymyr Stoyko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- Коли ми їхали з міста, - сказав Кам'є, - було необхідно поїхати з міста. Тому ми зробили все правильно. Але ж ми не діти, а в необхідності свої причуди. Якщо, вирішивши перед тим вести нас вперед, тепер вона вирішує вести нас зворотнім шляхом, чи повинні ми заперечувати їй? Гадаю, що ні.

Починаючи всю цю історію з Бекетом, я не складав списків із хронологічним порядком виходу творів (хоча, імовірно, треба було). Просто читав наступний, який траплявся на очі. Не скажу, що це надто велика проблем
Aug 22, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so happy I found this book. It's definately one of my favorites now. You only hear about Beckett being this hard core existentialist. No one talks about his position as a humorist. There are very few authors who can make me laugh out loud. This one made me laugh days later when I remembered certain scenes. I can't read this in public. Molloy is the same way.
Jan 03, 2008 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some people say this is very similar to "Waiting for Godot." Similar, perhaps, but not at all the same. Both are about inertia, but this is more a personal, absurdist inertia, whereas "Godot" seems to be a parabolic (like a parable), existential inertia.
Rob Lloyd
Sep 21, 2015 Rob Lloyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hilarious quest to nowhere by the masters of idleness, Mercier and Camier. Full of false starts, retracing steps, changing plans, forgetting, giving up, bickering and cuddles.

I feel this would have made for a great film, a la Withnail & I.

Very quick and quirky read.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
A journey that leads nowhere...On The Road without any philosophical scaffolding...the Road to Oz with no yellow bricks. When I see homeless people just pushing their shopping carts around I think of this story.
Mercier and Camier by Samuel Beckett
Challenging, but not altogether enjoyable

Isn’t it absurd to try to write a “common sense” note on an absurd piece of theater?
It may make more sense a “nonsense “approach, with random thoughts and rumblings.
There are masturbations, shit, ejaculations and plenty of absurd, inexplicable events in this work.
- Is it drama or comedy?
- There are some black humor scenes and there is a sense of tragic.
- A man loses his dog
And he is played by the greatest actor in the
Sep 27, 2016 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Reading this long after reading Godot and the Trilogy, which preceded it, make it seem a little played out, but that's unfair given it was a dry run for a lot of that. Still, if you've read those this is very much of the same cloth, probably too much for many.
Jun 13, 2015 Psixa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Весьма парадоксальная личность....

"— Велосипед видите? — сказал смотритель.
— Я не вижу ничего, — сказал Камье. — Мерсье, ты видишь велосипед?
— Ваш? — сказал смотритель.
— Что-то, чего мы не видим, — сказал Камье, — существование чего утверждают только ваши слова, как мы можем говорить, наше это или чье-нибудь еще?
— С чего ему быть нашим? — сказал Мерсье. — Разве эти собаки наши? Мы видим их сегодня в первый раз. А вы еще будете настаивать, что велосипед, если предположить, что он существует, наш?
Danny Daley
In the mid 1940's Beckett made a decision to abandon his native English, and begin writing all of his work in French. Mercier and Camier was the first product of this shift. Many see this as a practice novel, one used to help Beckett get his bearings; the novel is short, more of a novella, and he wrote it over the course of just three months. The style is a tad repetitive, and the novel simply gears up for similar themes that Beckett would explore in his famous play, Waiting for Gadot. However, ...more
Jan 17, 2017 Mat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mercier and Camier is a relatively early story by Beckett but shows how much talent this writer had even at this incipient stage of his career.

The characters Mercier and Camier are typically Beckettian, which means they stand a snowball's chance on the surface of the sun in 'civilised society'. They are like a vaudevillian version of Laurel and Hardy without a place in the world. Beckett is the champion of the misfits' cause and his dark humour is really at its very best in this short novel.

If i
ნინო ქერდიყოშვილი
"მოლოიმ" ბეკეტზე არც ისე კარგი წარმოდგენა დამიტოვა, რაც სრულებით გააქარწყლა ამ ნაწარმოებმა ^___^ ბევრი მეტაფორა, ბევრი საინტერესო ეპიზოდი, მოკლედ, აუცილებლად წასაკითხთა სიაშია ^
Aug 01, 2015 Claus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeg har i lang tid haft en stor nysgerrighed omkring Samuel Beckett - ikke mindst fordi Adorno i mange forskellige sammenhænge fremhæver netop ham som én af de store modernistiske forfattere. Jeg har tidligere læst et par noveller af Beckett som jeg fandt udfordrende men også engagerende og interessante. Den samme følelse har jeg efter at have læst Mercier og Camier. Bogen er vanskelig at komme igennem - ikke mindst pga. ordstillingen og den måde Beckett supplerer sætningerne med skæve tilføjels ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: ca
this book felt at times filthy and yet innocent. still, it often left a bad taste in my mouth, forcing me to take a week to finish its 130 pages. certainly humorous. so many levels; so much happening at once. I should probably read this 10 times. When I read that Beckett claimed that Waiting for Godot meant nothing, I stopped reading it immediately and enraged. that was Florida..
what you lack is a sense of perspective.
Ali Z
Dec 11, 2015 Ali Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مرسیه گفت: تو هیچ وقت ارتباط ها را نمی بینی.وقتی نگران کیستت هستی به زخم های ناسور فکر کن و وقتی که تنت به خاطر زخم های ناسورت می لرزد، یک کم به زخم های کوفتی فکر کن. این سیستم سزاوار آن چیزی است که بعضی ها بهش می گویند خوشبختی. مثلا یک نفر را فرض کن که هیچ درد و رنجی ندارد، نه جسمی و نه هیچ جور دیگرش. چطور خودش را معالجه می کند؟ ساده است. با فکر کردن به هیچ چیز. این طوری در هر شرایطی طبیعت ما را به لبخند زدن، اگر نه به خندیدن، دعوت می کند.
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Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in France for most of his adult life. He wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.

Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Strongly influenced
More about Samuel Beckett...

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“In the end he said, I am Mercier, alone, ill, in the cold, the wet, old, half mad, no way on, no way back. He eyed briefly, with nostalgia, the ghastly sky, the hideous earth. At your age, he said. Another act. Immaterial” 4 likes
“I don't think I recognize you, sir, said Camier.
I am Watt, said Watt. As you say, I'm unrecognizable.
Watt? said Camier. The name means nothing to me.
I am not widely know, said Watt, true, but I shall be, one day. Not universally, perhaps, my notoriety is not likely ever to penetrate to the denizens of Dublin's fair city, or of Cuq-Toulza.”
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