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The Birthday Boys

by Beryl Bainbridge

Sci-Fi and Fantasy

The Birthday Boys Synopsis

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. 'A whole lost era of fantastic courage, determination, idealism, curiosity, boyish foolishness and class mores is brought brilliantly and touchingly back by Bainbridge's penetrating psychological acumen and her superb scene and action painting...A masterly achievement, not to be missed by anyone who cherishes a strong, meaningful story beautifully told' Publishers Weekly 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.

The Birthday Boys Press Reviews

She writes of the hideous deprivations so boldly endured; the astounding beauties of the Antarctic landscapes; the personality clashes; the emotional reticences . . . It seems to me that Beryl Bainbridge has quite surpassed herself in a completely new im - Mary Hope, Financial Times

Her darkest work, equally convincing in tis evocations of the icy, unendurable landscape without, and the chilling interior landscapes of damaged souls - Penny Perrick, Sunday Telegraph

A beautiful piece of story-telling. Far more accurately than any biography could do, it catches what must have been Scott's hold on his followers - Andro Linklater, Spectator

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

A riveting fictionalized account of Robert Falcon Scott's doomed British expedition to the South Pole in 1910, related through the diary entries of five of its members. Bainbridge conveys a vivid sense of the era and of the pride, idealism, and bravado of the explorers as they prepare for their adventure. Once they reach Antarctica, their attention turns to the excitement and pleasure in the scenic and scientific discoveries that await them. But in the final analysis, it is their courage and fortitude that shine through in the face of failure (the Norwegian Amundsen beat them to the South Pole by a month) and the realization that they will not survive - Library Journal

Gripping, moving and hair-raisingly readable novel . . . by far her best book to date: a riveting account told in shifting first-person narratives by the key members of the doomed Antarctic expedition led by Captain Scott in 1912. It has been written about often before, and memorably filmed, but Bainbridge's cunningly fictionalized account leaves others standing . . . A whole lost era of fantastic courage, determination, idealism, curiosity, boyish foolishness and class mores is brought brilliantly and touchingly back by Bainbridge's penetrating psychological acumen and her superb scene and action painting. The beauty and horror of the desolate landscapes, the painful limits of human endurance and bravery, are unforgettably caught in prose that is as swift, cool and clear as ice melt. A masterly achievement, not to be missed by anyone who cherishes a strong, meaningful story beautifully told - Publishers Weekly

She writes of the hideous deprivations so boldly endured; the astounding beauties of the Antarctic landscapes; the personality clashes; the emotional reticences . . . It seems to me that Beryl Bainbridge has quite surpassed herself - Financial Times

Her darkest work, equally convincing in its evocations of the icy, unendurable landscape without, and the chilling interior landscapes of damaged souls - Sunday Telegraph

A beautiful piece of story-telling. Far more accurately than any biography could do, it catches what must have been Scott's hold on his followers - Spectator

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 Shillling - Sunday Telegraph

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780349121567
Publication date: 03/09/2009
Publisher: Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780349121567
Publication date: 3rd September 2009
Author: Beryl Bainbridge
Publisher: Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback
Genres: Sci-Fi and Fantasy,
Collections: 60+ Novels to Bring You Back to Nature,
Categories:

About Beryl Bainbridge

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.

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