Book #82

The End by Samuel Beckett

'They didn't seem to take much interest in my private parts which to tell the truth were nothing to write home about, I didn't take much interest in them myself.'

From the master of the absurd, these two stories of an unnamed vagrant contending with decay and death combine bleakness with the blackest of humour.

These are very dark stories about two men at the end of their lives. Where The End was a heartbreaking account of a homeless man’s final days, The Calmative was more of a confusing dream as a life is remembered.

I wouldn’t say I enjoyed them, as they were deeply sad and grim, however I think there’s something in there about the faceless ones we walk past and don’t notice, those we forget, and those we ignore.

There was also something slightly tedious about these, something very disengaging that I’ve been battling with myself to understand. Perhaps it’s supposed to be there, an anti-glamorisation of death. I’ll keep that one open in my mind.