The Bottle Factory Outing: Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, 1974

Hachette UK
14

WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FICTION PRIZE 1974
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 1974

Freda and Brenda spend their days working in an Italian-run wine-bottling factory. A work outing offers promise for Freda and terror from Brenda; passions run high on that chilly day of freedom, and life after the outing never returns to normal. Beryl Bainbridge will dazzle readers in this offbeat, haunting yet hilarious novel.

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About the author

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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14 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette UK
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Published on
Sep 2, 2010
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780748125746
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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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
Named by the Observer as “one of the 100 greatest novels of all time,” this dark comedy with a disturbing twist follows two working-class women in 1970s London.

Unlikely friends Brenda and Freda share a rundown room in London and toil away at an Italian factory pasting labels onto wine bottles. Brenda, a shy and passive thirty-three-year-old brunette, recently ran away to the city to escape an abusive husband. Freda, meanwhile, is a rebellious twenty-six-year-old blonde with big dreams and a penchant for bossing people around.
 
The two women are the only English workers at the bottling facility, and their presence certainly stirs up trouble. Freda has a crush on the trainee manager, Vittorio, and tries to get close to him despite the fact that he’s engaged to an Italian girl. Brenda, on the other hand, spends a fair amount of time trying to distance herself from the advances of the factory’s manager, Mr. Rossi.
 
When Freda organizes a company outing, what’s supposed to be a day of freedom and fun turns into a dark and chaotic tragedy. The workers plan to travel by van to a stately castle, where they will picnic and drink wine before visiting an African safari. But the van never shows up, and when they finally do make it to the castle, something goes fatally wrong.
 
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Bottle Factory Outing was inspired by author Beryl Bainbridge’s own experiences working as a cellar girl in the mid-twentieth century. Intertwining themes of loneliness and friendship, sexual frustration and personal power, passion and murder, this tragicomedy is a British classic that depicts working-class life as something both terribly morose and wickedly funny.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Beryl Bainbridge including rare images from the author’s estate.
 
The infamous Parker–Hulme murder case inspired this frightening tale of adolescent transgression in an English seaside town.

When a thirteen-year-old girl returns from boarding school to her small hometown in Merseyside for summer break, her best friend, Harriet, is not back yet, and she’s restless, anxious for something—anything—to happen. In this state of troubled anticipation, she visits the beach and encounters Peter Biggs, an elegant yet disheveled man in the throes of middle age and an unhappy marriage. A stirring inside of the budding woman makes her feel irresistibly attracted to this man . . . and simultaneously repulsed. But she doesn’t dare do anything about it until Harriet arrives.
 
One year older and much more mischievous, Harriet returns to find her friend in a state of confused obsession. The two girls hatch a plan to “humble” Biggs. At Harriet’s command they proceed to methodically spy on him and his wife, manipulate his desires, and ensnare him in an act of incriminating humiliation, all on the premise that this will be their most daring summer yet. But the power these young women possess is perhaps more sinister and unwieldy than anyone realizes.
 
Award-winning British author Beryl Bainbridge’s first novel, Harriet Said is loosely based on the Parker–Hulme teenage murder case in New Zealand dramatized in the Kate Winslet film Heavenly Creatures. It was originally completed in 1958; however, editors were so scandalized by its gruesome and amoral content that the book was not published until 1972. It has since become a horror classic.
 
 
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: This psychological drama set in Liverpool during WWII follows the courtship of a US soldier and an English working-class girl.

Rita is a passive and naïve seventeen-year-old who has been raised by two middle-aged aunts: Nellie, a curmudgeonly dressmaker obsessed with polishing the furniture, and Margo, a lively widow wise to the ways of the world. Rita’s father, whom she calls Uncle Jack, is too busy with his butcher shop the next town over to pay much attention to his daughter. Regardless, surrounded by the ruins of houses bombed in the Blitz, this strange family is bound together as they face wartime life in Liverpool. The government is enforcing stringent rations on even the smallest pleasures, and an influx of well-off American soldiers is wooing all the local girls.
 
Though World War II has dramatically changed the family’s standard of living and altered their perspective of the world, Nellie is determined to enforce her traditional ideas about the proper behavior and priorities of the lower middle class. This includes hampering the romantic desires of both Rita and Margo.
 
It is no wonder, then, that Rita starts lying to her aunts about where she goes on Saturday nights. She has fallen in love with a Yankee GI named Ira. Or rather, she has fallen in love with the idea of this young soldier and all that he represents as someone who can make her a bride and whisk her away to a lavish life in the United States. But Ira is hardly the man she’s dreamed of, and a relationship is the last thing on his mind.
 
In a sinister turn of events, the years of stifled happiness finally catch up to Margo and she betrays her young niece. And through this transgression, Nellie reveals just how far she will go to enforce her rules, especially when it comes to the furniture . . .
 
Written in strategically-doled-out prose that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, The Dressmaker is a thrilling historical novel about repressed sexuality, sibling rivalry, and the dire consequences of bigotry. An immediate classic in British fiction, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and made into a film starring Jane Horrocks, Billie Whitelaw, and Joan Plowright.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Beryl Bainbridge including rare images from the author’s estate.

 
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: A masterwork of love, guilt, and friendship set in Victorian Liverpool and Eastern Europe during the Crimean War.
 
Photography is the common thread weaving together three different points of view that span the years from 1846 to 1854. The first “plate” opens with the account of Myrtle, a young orphan girl, as she is taking a photograph of her adoptive father, Mr. Hardy, who has just passed away in Liverpool. The sudden and unsavory circumstances of Mr. Hardy’s death bind Myrtle and the other characters of this story together as history propels them toward the frontlines of the Crimean War.
 
Myrtle’s adoptive brother, George Hardy, or “Master Georgie” as he is called, is an amateur photographer and handsome surgeon. When he heads east in 1854 to offer his medical services to the conflict raging between Russia and Turkey—a war it seems England will inevitably enter—Myrtle follows him, as does George’s brother-in-law, a high-minded geologist named Dr. Potter. The group travels to Valetta, Malta, and Constantinople, then on to Varna, where George will be stationed.
 
As the caravan proceeds, the group crosses paths with Pompey Jones, a street urchin, photographer’s assistant, and sometimes fire breather, who is a dear friend of George’s and was with him the day his father died. It soon becomes clear that George’s affections are torn between Pompey and Myrtle. Dr. Potter, meanwhile, pines for the affections of his wife, who is hundreds of miles away. The conflicting emotions in the travelers’ hearts are amplified by the misery, disease, and filth they must endure—as well as the other, more unthinkable, horrors of war.
 
A sparse yet vivid historical novel, Master Georgie delves into themes of distorted truth, the psychological effects of war, unrequited love, and the will to survive. Called “a true novelist’s novel” by the Guardian, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Beryl Bainbridge including rare images from the author’s estate.
 
 
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