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Beryl Bainbridge wrote seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, she won literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and Author of the Year at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.
The new and last Beryl Bainbridge is a double murder mystery and a bittersweet masterpiece of the kind with which she has made her reputation.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 2 June 2011. The new and last Beryl Bainbridge is a double murder mystery and a bittersweet masterpiece of the kind with which she has made her reputation.
This wonderful novel showing Beryl Bainbridge at her darkly comic best - out for the first time as an Abacus paperback.
This wonderful novel showing Beryl Bainbridge at her darkly comic best - out for the first time as an Abacus paperback. Beryl Bainbridge dazzles readers in this offbeat, haunting yet hilarious novel.
It is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O'Hara arrives to take the lead, that a different drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret.
Voted the winner of the Man Booker Best of Beryl. A novel about one family's experiences in the Crimean War. When the Battle of Inkerman was over, five survivors were assembled in front of a camera. A sixth figure - Master Georgie - added symmetry to the group. In the distance a young woman circled round and round like a bird above a robbed nest. Combining a breathtaking eye for beauty with a visceral understanding of mortality, Beryl Bainbridge exposes her enigmatic hero as tenderly and unsparingly as she reveals the filth and misery of war, and creates a novel of luminous depth and extraordinary intensity. Beryl Bainbridge's last novel, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress will be published posthumously in June 2011.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize For the four fraught, mysterious days of her doomed maiden voyage in 1912, the Titanic sails towards New York, glittering with luxury, freighted with millionaires and hopefuls. In her labyrinthine passageways are played out the last, secret hours of a small group of passengers, their fate sealed in prose of startling, sublime beauty, as Beryl Bainbridge's haunting masterpiece moves inexorably to its known and terrible end.
Three unforgettable novels from the ';subversive and ever-mischievous imagination' of a celebrated British author and five-time Man Booker Prize nominee (The New York Times). With crisp prose and sardonic wit, Dame Beryl Bainbridge established a unique position for herself in the landscape of modern British literature. In the three novels collected here, Bainbridge explores disasters both epic and intimate, drawing inspiration from historical figures as well as her own life experiences to produce tightly woven tales that are at once ironic and honest, subtle and surprising. An Awfully Big Adventure: In postwar Liverpool, a teenage girl joins a local theater troupe and discovers the unflattering truths behind the gloss of adulthood. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this atmospheric novel was adapted into a film starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. ';A former actress herself, Ms. Bainbridge chronicles the backstage antics of her fictional theater company with knowing aplomb.' The New York Times The Birthday Boys: In 1910, Capt. Robert Falcon Scott led a harrowing race to the South Pole. With this imaginative yet historically accurate retelling of their famous and ill-fated mission, ';Bainbridge has quite surpassed herself' (Financial Times). ';Equally convincing in its evocations of the icy, unendurable landscape without, and the chilling interior landscapes of damaged souls.' The Sunday Telegraph Master Georgie: The story of a British surgeon journeying toward the horrors of the Crimean War is told from the perspective of three companions who each believe they knew him best. This ';stunning' novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won numerous awards (The New Yorker). ';Accomplished with stupendous technical skill... a true novelist's novel.' The Guardian
Paranoid, wilful, lazy, the young Adolf Hitler turns up in Liverpool to stay with his brother Alois and sister-in-law Bridget. Hailed by Alois as a student and an artist, Adolf soon irritates his family beyond measure by his constant sponging and his tendency to get into serious trouble with the English. Surely this is a young man who will never amount to anything.
Freda y Brenda pasan sus dias trabajando en una fabrica embotelladora de vino dirigida por unos italianos, Vittorio y Rossi, y comparten las noches en un deprimente estudio. No es sorprendente, pues, que la excursion que se ha organizado en la fabrica le haga tanta ilusion a Freda, que esta decidida a conquistar a Vittorio, y aterrorice a Brenda, que hace lo imposible por escapar del acoso de Rossi. Fuera de las paredes de la fbrica, las pasiones se desencadenan y despus de la excursin, nada volver a ser igualPremio The Guardian a la mejor novela"e;Una historia salvajemente divertida y horripilante."e;Graham Greene"e;Una novela soberbia. Tensa en su estructura, detallada en su caracterizacin, vibrante en su atmsfera y profundamente divertida "e;The Times"e;Despus de leer la ltima pgina de La excursin, lo nico que puede hacerse es coger aire. [...] Qu originalidad, qu placer"e;Ronald Blythe, Sunday Times"e;Consigue que su grotesco y macabro final sea verosmil. Es una rara habilidad, al igual que su perfecto don para los dilogos, su humor inteligente y su ambientacin"e;William Trevor, The Guardian
Una comedia negra y perversaEn el lluvioso verano de 1968, Rose viaja desde Londres a Estados Unidos para reunirse con un hombre que conoce como Washington Harold. En su maleta lleva un vestido de topos y un billete slo de ida. En un pas conmocionado por el asesinato de Martin Luther King y en el que la violencia amenaza con desencadenarse de nuevo, ambos unirn fuerzas para encontrar al carismtico y elusivo doctor Wheeler -orculo, gur y redentor- a quien Rose adora por haberla rescatado de una infancia terrible y contra quien Harold alberga un silencioso rencor. Rose y Harold cruzan el continente en una furgoneta Volkswagen desde Baltimore hasta California, siempre un paso por detrs de Wheeler. Su bsqueda les llevar al hotel Ambassador de Los ngeles, donde Bobby Kennedy est a punto de pronunciar el ltimo discurso de su vida. Qu misterioso papel tendr en la tragedia que est a punto de desencadenarse en el Ambassador la chica del vestido de topos?"e;Una de las mejores novelas de Bainbridge."e;The Independent"e;Lo que diferencia las novelas de Bainbridge del resto es su sentido de lo absurdo, lo perverso y lo inexplicable."e;The New York Times"e;La novela funciona como El extranjero de Camus o Esperando a Godot de Beckett. Las preguntas sin respuesta la hacen todava ms misteriosa y refuerzan su extrao poder."e;William Boyd"e;Un libro magnfico, muy gracioso y a la vez profundamente inquietante. Se trata de la ms hbil y oblicua de las comedias negras."e;A. N. Wilson"e;Es difcil pensar en una escritora que comprenda mejor el corazn humano que Beryl Bainbridge."e;The Times
'People came in and out, chairs were moved, dishes gathered up on trays, but it was happening at a great distance; she concentrated entirely on his pink face crowned with foppish curls.' Genteel, passive Ann works for the BBC in London and is engaged to a successful academic, fulfilling her snobbish mother's ambitions - more or less - while the Swinging Sixties happen elsewhere, to other people. Then she meets William: snub-nosed and generous, cunning and protean. She is first seduced, then transfixed, as William's past, present and future swirl around her kaleidoscopically, overwhelmingly, and Ann is herself irrevocably, and irreparably, changed.
Seventeen-year-old Alan can't stand rows. But, though the Second World War has ended, peace hangs by a fine thread at home: his troublesome sister Madge creeps off for night-time liaisons with a German POW; their ineffectual father - broken by the hardships of war and an unhappy marriage - can't put food on the table despite the family's middle-class manners. Meanwhile, his mother pursues her escapist fantasies in romantic novels and love affairs. Obedient, faithful Alan is trapped among them all, the focus of their jibes and resentment, as inexorably the family heads towards disaster. Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel is a vintage story of English domestic life, laced with sadness, irony and wicked black humour. 'One of the best novelists of her generation' - Guardian.
A wonderful, immaculately reserached novel that brings Dr Johnson, his friends and his times to life. Beryl Bainbridge's novel is a masterly evocation of the last years of Dr Johnson, arguably Britian's greatest Man of Letters. The time is the 1770s and 1780s and Johnson, having completed his life's major work (he compiled the first ever Dictionary of the English language) is running an increasingly choatic life. Torn between his strict morality and his undeclared passion for Mrs Thrale, the wife of an old friend, According to Queeney reveals one of Britain's most wonderful characters in all his wit and glory. Above all, though, this is a story of love and friendship and brilliantly narrated by Queeney, Mrs Thrale's daughter, looking back over her life.
The book that finally won Beryl Bainbridge a Booker prize: by popular vote the Best of Beryl.Beryl Bainbridge's most popular novel explores the nature of love and obsession, as foster child Myrtle follows Master Georgie from the slums of nineteenth century Liverpool to the battlefields of the Crimea, where tragedy ensues.
The Whitbread Novel of the Year, read by the winner of the Sony Radio Award.A sophisticated look at the passions and intrigues, hopes and fears of the doomed souls who boarded the Titanic for her final, fateful voyage.
An old snapshot shows a group of friends lounging in the sunshine, on a weekend in the country at the invitation of bearded, satyric Claude and his wife Julia. The girl in the centre is dreamy Lily, whose latest failed love affair forms the purpose of the weekend, as Lily's friends set out to help her ensnare an unwitting father for her unborn child. Next to her is Norman, a Marxist romantic hell-bent on seducing his milk-white hostess; behind them is old, persecuted Shebah; and, slightly apart, the young man on whom all hopes are pinned: quiet, pleasant Edward. Told through the fractured narratives of Claude, Lily, Shebah and Norman, in Beryl Bainbridge's first published novel a darkly comic weekend of friendship and failure unravels.
'An extremely original and disconcerting story' - Daily Telegraph A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters 'the Tsar' - almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive. Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives - and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge's classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.
Women in fox furs, not-quite travelling salesmen, the twilight zone of genteel hotels and lodging houses - these newly reissued short stories are quintessential Bainbridge territory. Blazing with her irreplaceable talent, Mum and Mr Armitage takes us on a journey through a unique fictional terrain; from a country house in Sussex to a script-writing course on a cruise liner. Macabre, witty and brilliantly observed, they confirm Beryl Bainbridge's place as one of our greatest writers of fiction.
Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. Joseph decides to take his mistress and son, together with a few friends, to stay in a cabin in deepest Wales for the weekend - with absolutely disastrous results. Beryl Bainbridge's gift for deadpan dialogue and spare narrative, and her darkly comic vision of the world, are all in evidence in this early novel.
A brilliantly realized evocation of the thoughts and voices of Captain Scott and the four men with him, who suffered extraordinary hardships before finally dying during their 1912 attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. 'Bainbridge's account of the horribly familiar story is both fresh and sure-footed. The power of her imagination, her clarity of expression and mastery of language are more striking than anything else I have read this year' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph The Birthday Boys is one of Beryl Bainbridge's most acclaimed novels, telling the story of Scott's doomed expedition through the voices of five men on the voyage. As Scott, Petty Officer Taff Evans, ship's doctor Dr Edward Wilson, Lieutenant Henry Bowers and Captain Lawrence Oates step forward for their place in the narrative, the reader is gripped by the the characters themselves alongside the vividly evoked period.
Quiet and reliable, Douglas Ashburner has never been much of a womaniser. So when he begins an extra-marital affair with Nina, a bossy, temperamental artist with a penchant for risky sex, he finds adultery a terrible strain. He tells his wife that he needs a rest, so she happily packs him off for a fishing holiday in the Highlands. Only, unknown to her, Douglas is actually flying off to Moscow with Nina, as a guest of the Soviet Artists' Union. It is then that things begin to get very complicated indeed...
Edward is throwing a dinner party with Binny , his mistress. Aware that she has long been denied those small intimacies that his wife takes for granted - choosing a birthday present for his sister, for example, or sorting his socks - he wants to give her a chance to feel more involved in his life, to socialise with some of his friends (the discreet ones). Things are a little awkward to begin with - a late start and him having to be away by half past ten - but everything seems to be going well. But then some uninvited, and reather forceful guests arrive, and it doesn't look like Edward is going to make it home on time.