Marie's Reviews > The Expelled

The Expelled by Samuel Beckett
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's review
Mar 22, 2011

liked it
Recommended for: People who haven't read Beckett before. It's a great intorduction.
Read from March 12 to 24, 2011

"I don’t know why I told this story. I could just as well have told another."

Genius. The Expelled is a story about why we tell stories. That line might as well be straight from Beckett’s own mouth. He keeps us keen (what does the unnamed protagonists hat look like and why does he walk oddly?), but he is merely stringing us along. The Expelled leaves you salivating for more and feeling ever so slightly tricked, while you momentarily question the raison d’être of every story you have ever read.

The second story in the collection, First Loves, flirts with the same idea. The protagonist is aware that this is a story: he deliberates over what is the truth and what is not, he addresses his audience directly, and he gets easily distracted from the important details: “this sentence has gone on long enough”, he says.

The writing in each of these stories is beautifully crafted, and funny too. Like The Expelled, First Love has a profound ending, but it is a confusing ride (and I found myself getting distracted with the unecessary details). Beckett uses the short story format to question why we tell stories at all. It seems to me that Beckett only wants to tell one story: that of the human condition.

I definitely want to read more of Beckett.

See the full review on my blog:
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Reading Progress

03/22 page 44
09/08 marked as: read

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