Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, known for his bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature and existence. His best-known work is the play 'Waiting for Godot'.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Waiting for Godot

    "Waiting for Godot" is a play that explores themes of existentialism, despair, and the human condition through the story of two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, who wait endlessly for a man named Godot, who never arrives. While they wait, they engage in a variety of discussions and encounter three other characters. The play is characterized by its minimalistic setting and lack of a traditional plot, leaving much to interpretation.

    The 96th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Molloy

    "Molloy" is a complex and enigmatic novel that follows the journey of its eponymous character, an elderly, disabled vagabond, who is tasked with finding and killing a certain person. The narrative is split into two parts: the first is told from Molloy's perspective as he navigates his way through a strange and often hostile world, while the second follows a detective named Moran who is assigned to find Molloy. The novel is renowned for its challenging narrative structure, its bleak and absurdist humor, and its profound exploration of themes such as identity, existence, and the human condition.

    The 245th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Malone Dies

    "Malone Dies" is a narrative that delves into the mind of an elderly man who lies in a decrepit room, slowly dying. Throughout the novel, the protagonist grapples with his impending demise, while reflecting on his past. He also creates characters and stories within his mind to cope with his solitude and despair. The novel, characterized by its stream-of-consciousness style and bleak outlook, is a profound exploration of the human condition, mortality, and the nature of existence.

    The 358th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Unnamable

    "The Unnamable" is a complex, stream-of-consciousness narrative that explores themes of existence, identity, and the nature of reality. The protagonist, who lacks a clear identity, is trapped in a void and continually questions his existence and reality. As he grapples with his own consciousness, he attempts to tell his story, but constantly doubts and revises it, creating a cyclical, fragmented narrative. The novel is known for its challenging, abstract prose and its exploration of existentialist themes.

    The 474th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Murphy

    The novel explores the life of the titular character, a disaffected and detached man living in London who prefers the realm of his own thoughts to the real world. After securing a job as a nurse at a mental institution, he becomes increasingly detached from reality. The narrative also delves into his relationships with various other characters, including his fiancée, his best friend and a prostitute. The book is known for its dark humor and its exploration of themes such as existentialism and the nature of human consciousness.

    The 645th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Endgame

    Endgame is a one-act play that follows the lives of Hamm, a blind and unable to stand man, and Clov, his servant who cannot sit. They live in a single room, with Hamm's legless parents residing in dustbins. The characters are trapped in a cyclical existence where they constantly argue and contemplate life, death, and their own existence. The play is characterized by its minimalistic setting and bleak outlook on life, reflecting themes of existentialism and the human condition.

    The 1287th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Watt

    The novel is a darkly comedic and absurdist exploration of the human condition. It follows the eponymous character, Watt, as he serves as a domestic servant in a bizarre, isolated household. Throughout the narrative, Watt struggles to make sense of his surroundings, the odd behavior of his master, and his own existence. The book is filled with philosophical musings, wordplay, and surreal humor, offering a unique and challenging reading experience.

    The 1448th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Krapp's Last Tape

    "Krapp's Last Tape" is a one-act play about an aging man who annually records a review of the past year of his life. On his 69th birthday, he listens to a tape from 30 years earlier, where he reflects on his life at 39, his lost love, and his isolation. The play explores themes of memory, regret, and the passing of time, with the protagonist's relationship with his younger self revealing a portrait of a man in decline.

    The 1943rd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. How It Is

    The book is a challenging and experimental novel that delves into the fragmented and often bleak inner monologue of its protagonist, who finds himself lying in the mud, in a dark and indeterminate space. The narrative is characterized by its repetitive and disjointed style, reflecting the protagonist's sense of dislocation and his struggle to make sense of his existence. Through sparse and poetic language, the novel explores themes of solitude, identity, and the human condition, as the protagonist interacts with other vague figures in this desolate landscape, questioning the nature of reality and his own consciousness.

    The 4802nd Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Complete Dramatic Works Of Samuel Beckett

    This book is a comprehensive collection of Samuel Beckett's dramatic works, showcasing his unique style and exploration of human existence. From the iconic "Waiting for Godot" to lesser-known plays, Beckett's works delve into themes of despair, absurdity, and the human condition. With his minimalist approach and masterful use of language, Beckett's plays continue to captivate and challenge readers, offering a profound reflection on the complexities of life.

    The 6134th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Happy Days

    "Happy Days" is a play that revolves around the life of Winnie, a middle-aged woman who is buried up to her waist in a mound of earth, with her situation worsening in the second act as she becomes buried up to her neck. Despite her predicament, Winnie maintains a sense of optimism and routine, often reminiscing about the past and engaging in one-sided conversations with her taciturn husband, Willie, who is largely invisible offstage. The play delves into themes of human resilience, the passage of time, and the search for meaning in the face of an absurd and unchanging predicament, with Winnie's relentless cheerfulness contrasted against the bleak and inexplicable situation she finds herself in.

    The 7002nd Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Three Novels

    This collection brings together three groundbreaking works by a pioneering figure in modernist literature, each novel exploring themes of isolation, communication, and existence. The narratives are characterized by their sparse, minimalist prose and their focus on the interior lives of their protagonists, who often grapple with the absurdity of their situations and the futility of their actions. The author employs innovative literary techniques to delve into the consciousness of these characters, presenting fragmented and disjointed narratives that reflect the dislocation and alienation of the human condition. Through these works, the author challenges traditional narrative structures and invites readers to confront the complexities of language, meaning, and the struggle to find purpose in an indifferent universe.

    The 7191st Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. Company

    The book is a meditation on existence and companionship, told through the perspective of a voice that whispers to a solitary, immobile listener lying in the dark. This voice recounts fragmented memories and moments from the listener's life, interspersed with philosophical insights and observations. The narrative explores themes of identity, memory, and the human condition, all while probing the nature of the relationship between the voice and its audience. The work is characterized by its minimalist style and its deep, introspective quality, typical of the author's exploration of the complexities of human consciousness and isolation.

    The 9119th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. All That Fall

    "All That Fall" is a one-act radio play that revolves around the character of Maddy Rooney, an elderly and struggling woman, as she makes her laborious journey to the train station to pick up her blind husband. Along the way, she encounters various villagers who contribute to the play's darkly comic and poignant atmosphere. The narrative weaves together themes of human suffering, the absurdity of existence, and the search for meaning, all while maintaining a sense of rhythm and musicality in the dialogue. As the story unfolds, the audience is drawn into a reflection on the nature of life’s burdens and the inescapable condition of decline that characterizes the human experience.

    The 11015th Greatest Book of All Time