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Waiting for Godot

By Samuel Beckett (Author)
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Item description for Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett...

"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful?" Estragon's complaint, uttered in the first act of "Waiting for Godot", is the playwright's sly joke at the expense of his own play - or rather at the expense of those in the audience who expect theatre always to consist of events progressing in an apparently purposeful and logical manner towards a decisive climax. In those terms, "Waiting for Godot" - which has been famously described as a play in which "nothing happens, twice"- scarcely seems recognizable as theatre at all. As the great English critic wrote "Waiting for Godot jettisons everything by which we recognize theatre. It arrives at the custom-house, as it were, with no luggage, no passport, and nothing to declare; yet it gets through, as might a pilgrim from Mars."

Produced at the state of the art recording studios of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with sound effects and music.

Performed by James Blendick, Joe Dinicol, Tim MacDonald, Tom McCamus, and Stephen Ouimette

Music composed and performed by Don Horsburgh

Approximate Duration 2 Hours

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Item Specifications...

Format: Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.51" Width: 4.92" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.22 lbs.
Binding  CD
Publisher   Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN  9626344024  
ISBN13  9789626344026  

Availability  0 units.

More About Samuel Beckett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), one of the leading literary and dramatic figures of the twentieth century, was born in Foxrock, Ireland and attended Trinity University in Dublin. In 1928, he visited Paris for the first time and fell in with a number of avant-garde writers and artists, including James Joyce. In 1937, he settled in Paris permanently. Beckett wrote in both English and French, though his best-known works are mostly in the latter language. A prolific writer of novels, short stories, and poetry, he is remembered principally for his works for the theater, which belong to the tradition of the Theater of the Absurd and are characterized by their minimalist approach, stripping drama to its barest elements. In 1969, Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and commended for having "transformed the destitution of man into his exaltation." Beckett died in Paris in 1989.
At the age of seventy-six he said: "With diminished concentration, loss of memory, obscured intelligence... the more chance there is for saying something closest to what one really is. Even though everything seems inexpressible, there remains the need to express. A child need to make a sand castle even though it makes no sense. In old age, with only a few grains of sand, one has the greatest possibility." (from Playwrights at Work, ed. by George Plimpton, 2000)

Samuel Beckett lived in Dublin. Samuel Beckett was born in 1906 and died in 1989.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Waiting for Godot?

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting and ...  Mar 24, 2008
Waiting and Waiting and Waiting and ...

Review of Play: Waiting for Godot - A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

Written in: 1949

Premiere in: 1953

By: Samuel Beckett (1906 - 1989)

Originally written in French and translated to English by the author himself.

This play takes place on a desolate road next to a barren tree. There are two aimless men loitering and passing the time in discussion. They are soon joined by two others. The first act of the play lasts through one evening. The second act lasts through a second evening almost identical to the first. When ever the subject of leaving their spot arises, we learn that they can't leave because they are "Waiting for Godot" and need to stay at this particular spot on the road.

There is a sense of timelessness. The second evenings (second act) seems to be slightly altered copy of the first evening (first act). The characters are "Waiting for Godot" and for salvation. Their wait for salvation might well be endless since all of them are loath to face their true motives, their real needs, their personal wants and honest desires. They don't seem to know why they are "Waiting for Godot" or what Godot (God?) will bring them. When they mention suicide they flippantly dismiss the subject. One time they say they can not hang themselves because they have no rope when in fact there is a rope lying on the stage as one of the few props.

They appear to have voluntarily subjected themselves to a purgatory and don't have the courage or initiative to even question their situation.

The discussion ranges from an inane account of boots being too tight to sophistic meanderings on the purpose of life. The characters seem to relentlessly keep talking to avoid facing something. We are not privy to any of their pasts or in fact any personal information about any of the characters. They might have been meeting on the desolate road for an endless time, so that any past that they had is lost in the mist of their memories.

The nearly barren tree reminds them of a hanging tree and by implication a crucifixion cross. The tree dominates the stage background just as Godot dominates the lives; free choice and every expression of the four main characters. Does the milieu force the characters to think of salvation to the exclusion of a meaningful life? Could their need for salvation keep them trapped in a purgative existence where escape would be a form of condemnation which none of them could tolerate?

The play "Waiting for Godot" forces the reader to ask questions of him/her self.

Waiting for Godot

Krapp's Last Tape

Endgame and Act Without Words

I completely enjoyed and highly recommend this book.

Waiting for Godot  Nov 1, 2007
I know this is one of those works that are supposed to be masterpieces, but it did absolutely nothing for me. To be fair, I'm not a theater person, and I never got the appeal of absurdist works or anything else along those lines. I got about a third of the way into this and just couldn't stand to read it anymore, it drove me nuts. If you can appreciate that kind of stuff then I guess I can see why so many people love it, I'm just not one of them.
WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett  Oct 14, 2007
I picked up Waiting for Godot with no knowledge of it other than having heard that it was a play in which not a whole lot happened.

Literary types have concocted political, Freudian, Jungian, existentialist, biblical and homoerotic (and many other) interpretations of the play. I am not interested in any particular interpretation, for this reason: the play is extremely boring. By the middle of the second act, every last aspect of the play is tiresome. It's billed as "a tragicomedy in two acts." But it's not very tragic or amusing.

This play's influence on Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is obvious, except that that play held the interest a little better and offered a little more overt philosophical insight on life.

Waiting for Godot goes into the category of works that some people (pretentious literary snobs and pretentious literary posers) say are so deep and meaningful because they don't have the slightest idea of what it means. Waiting for Godot is not deep and it's not interesting.
like a moth to a flame...  Sep 27, 2007
I really can't explain my love of this least not very well. I read this in a course centering on Faulkner, Joyce, and to say that we read some challenging texts is an understatement. This was a delightful breath of fresh air in its brevity but impressive in its complexity.

If, when reading this, you open up your interpretation beyond the obvious, you can riddle your mind with maddening contradictions and uncomfortable conclusions - aren't those the best kind of things to take away from a text? This play is suspenseful, hilarious, but most of all, extremely tragic. This may not be your cup of tea, but at least respect this web of futility that will either drive you to despair or to action. I mean, let's be honest...I'd like to see YOU try this :)
Masterpiece of Nothingness  Sep 19, 2007
Many parts of this play are comically driven - many are not. And, the majority are neither - or so Beckett may have said as part of his stylistic prank on the reader. Beckett had a target, and he would smile at his target as much as permitted. His dripping dialogue is often interpreted with misinterpretation, misidentification, miscue. That part of the play is resoundingly great.

To not have read this, but experienced it the first time as a member of the audience, may be asking too much of the auditory skills- asking them to constantly respond to clever and contrarian statements which spill off the characters' tongues almost every third or fifth line. One favorite discourse which evidences how fast and clever it can be: "We're in no danger of ever thinking any more." "Then what are we complaining about?" "Thinking is not the worst." "Maybe not. But at least there's that" "That what?" "That's the idea, let's ask each other questions." "What do you mean, at least there's that?" "That much less misery."

Reading thickly carved conceptions like that recited above can easily make one receive and learn more with each reading. This is one of those plays that I could read over and over again, and each time realize something totally new with each reading. This is a "deep" thinking piece of literature.

So who is Godot? Who knows. What does he represent? Who knows. What is the reason that Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot? Who knows. Are there religious interpretations? Yes. Is God recreated in Godot? After all, Estragon has a nickname - Gogo. Vladimir has a nickname - Didi. Is God a nickname for Godot? If you want to believe such, so believe. Possible religious interpretations are infinite. They absolutely exist. The book starts with discussion of the Bible, and reading of it and some misinterpretation of a proverb. But, beware. Beckett is a master of literary illusion - are the words delivered to portray their nothingness, or by their juxtaposition can the meaningless became most meaningful? Is the Bible part of that "nothingness?"

Sounds almost mean as much as words. The sound of Godot - pronounced the same in English as the original French (Irish Beckett lived in France and wrote in French) - is one example of sound perhaps trumping meaning or definition. One character - Pozzo - is called Bozzo (we grew up watching his cousin Bozo) and later Gozzo. Great inflection of sound. And, sound often is the core of comic reaction - some sounds are funny. Pozzo sounds funny, so does Bozzo, so do many other words in the play.

Admittedly, this is one book you need to read about after having been read. And, to do it justice, I will review this analysis by myself years down the road after I read it again. This could be fun. I can not fathom what it will mean to me then. Who knows.

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