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The Bottle Factory Outing

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Bottle Factory Outing.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Beryl Bainbridge(Author)

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Freda and Brenda spend their days working in an Italian-run wine-bottling factory and their nights in a dismal bedsitter. Little wonder, then, that the works outing offers such promise.

This Booker nominee from the author of The Birthday Boys depicts two wine-bottling factory workers on holiday. "'an outrageously funny and horrifying story' Graham Greene (Observer) 'After turning the final page of The Bottle Factory Outing, one can only gasp, and grope for the right word...Such an atmosphere of impending doom has not been created since Brighton Rock - except that Beryl Bainbridge is mercilessly comic instead of being mercilessly vicious. Specialising in successive denouements, and with her gift for collecting the most amazing detail, she is so in control of her marvellous little story that one hangs on her words from first to last. What originality, what pleasure.' Ronald Blythe (Sunday Times)" --Este texto se refiere a una edición agotada o no disponible de este título.

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Book details

  • PDF | 219 pages
  • Beryl Bainbridge(Author)
  • George Braziller; 1st edition (1975)
  • English
  • 5
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By MartinC on October 4, 2016

    The first part of The Bottle Factory Outing brings us into a mid-1970s London of poverty, dingy accommodation and lacklustre jobs. In the bottle factory where Frieda and Brenda work, most of their fellow workers are Italians without English and with no prospects. According to factory manager Rossi, “They have had their lives.” But maybe Rossi is not the best judge of others, as his continual attempts to grope Brenda are resisted to the best of her ability.Luck is not on Brenda’s side in any sense. After escaping her drunken husband (whose mother later come looking for her with a loaded gun), she is taken up by the bullying Frieda who has no better prospects but fancies herself as an educated would-be actresss. But Frieda does not seem to have got beyond the understudy level. Her finances are also perilous. While she can afford a steak for a co-worker she wants to seduce, she can’t simultaneously afford one for herself. The planned seduction is also a logistical nightmare as she shares the only bed with Brenda. A bolster and line of books serve as a dividing line. After initial failure with her target, Frieda comes up with the outing as a means to successful seduction.“Existing…between the bedsitting room on the first floor and the bottle factory down the road,” the bottle factory outing is an escape from dismal interiors into a rural and bucolic escapade. Here, the black comedy moves up a gear, beginning with a mysterious death, the resulting inconvient corpse and the efforts to get rid of it.Another contemporaneous chronicler of the poverty and small lives of Lodon a few decades ago was William Trevor and I prefer the vantage point he found. However, Beryl Bainbridg is also well able to create a mini-universe, and fleshes out quite a number of characters in this shortish novel.Some of the set pieces, particularly those involving Brenda, are very funny. For a keen reader, some acquaintance with Bainbridge would seem essential, given her position in terms of English writing from the 1960s onwards. This is an easy way to sample her writing. It is part of a general resissue of her works in an attractive format with beautiful covers.The book also contains a short biographical sketch with photographs.

  • By Philip Spires on April 25, 2013

    In her novel The Bottle Factory Outing Beryl Bainbridge creates a remarkably surreal world out of a deceptively mundane situation. Brenda and Freda are two employees in a British factory that bottles bulk-imported wines, sherries and brandies. Owned by and largely staffed by Italians, the working environment seems to provide the author with a wealth of comic possibilities for the linguistic faux-pas or the cultural misunderstanding. The novel does have its share of both, but does not descend into the mere farce that over-use of such elements might produce.Freda and Brenda might work in the same factory, but their backgrounds and personalities are quite different. Neither is particularly glamorous, but then neither is, apparently, the working class life that they lead. But it still has to be lived. Perhaps paradoxically, perhaps comically, they dress garlic with lemon juice and garlic. Thus, like the rest of us, they have their pretensions. No working class comedy set in London would be worth its salt without an Irishman called Paddy, of course. In The Bottle Factory Outing he turns out to be a spare time plumber as well.The outing of the title eventually does come to pass, after riveting events such as a broken toilet flush. The trip is made in two cars and a packed lunch accompanies the group. There is a call, of course, for more remarkable salad dressing. The trip's destination is Windsor, a good half an hour from London, where the tale and its characters are based. The group sets off to visit Windsor in all of its manifestations, from historic town to fortified castle, from chapel to Royal seat to safari park. The Ford Cortina has to be left at the entrance to the safari park, incidentally, in case the lions and tigers force entry via its sun roof. A Cortina with a sun roof? Now there's living. The Mini has to make do.After encounters with an elephant in the children's zoo, it's time to lay out the spread and attack the salad dressing. Freda and Brenda suffer the attentions of the fellow-travelling males and various encounters ensue. The here and now mixes uncomfortably with aspiration and memory, and so tensions come and go with the farce as the group regroups around a nibbled lunch in the park. And then, the unimaginable happens.The trip back to London is thus rendered both comical and surreal. What happens stretches the imagination to the extreme and provides the reader with interesting ideas on how to use the left-over brandy after Christmas.The Bottle factory Outing is truly farcical, but the lives of these people are at the same time truly tragic. It's not that they gloat over their misfortune, or even complain about it. But no matter what they do or how they approach the challenges of life, the mistakes always seem to reappear. They never make the continually imagined and planned visit the factory owner's house in rural Berkshire. If they had done, they could have left him in the end with a real present. The book may now feel somewhat dated, which is strange because it was only written forty years ago. The feeling might be a result of the massive changes that have come about in working class life since then. Or perhaps it wasn't really accurate even at the time... The British have never been comfortable with accuracy when describing the detail of the mundane, especially when that involves the depiction of working class life that has been conceived from another place.

  • By close reader on August 6, 2012

    I read this because I was googling lists of 100 best novels, and it happened to be on somebody's list. Must have been the author's. It certainly didn't earn a place on mine.It's an interesting enough story with well-drawn characters, but is about on the level of an Alfred Hitchcock story--might have made a nice episode on his old TV show. I have to wonder why anyone would put in the labor to turn such lightweight material into a novel, but I suppose that could be said of over 90% of the novels that manage to get themselves published.

  • By A customer on August 22, 1999

    It was a toss up between "The Dressmaker" and"The Bottle Factory Outing" when I decided to check outBeryl Bainbridge. I plumbed for the latter - the quaintly offbeat storyline was curiously enticing, promising both "funfull" reading and a sense of the ridiculous - black comedy in short. I wasn't disappointed. The novel is populated by largely unsympathetic characters but Bainbridge's empathy for their sense of desperation and need to find some form of escape from their drudgery makes them funny, touching and ultimately very human. I found her prose accessible, uncomplicated and highly enjoyable. The blurb at the back of the book promised more. But the ending is simply delicious..and hilarious.

  • By WhiteBird on May 21, 2005

    This was the first book I've read by this author and I purchased it based on reviews such as the ones here. I generally like quirky and unusual and I certainly don't need a happily ever after kind of an ending but I found while I was reading I kept saying to myself, I hope this is all headed somewhere....These characters were odd with very little to redeem them and I felt, in the end, most unsatisfied. I would not recommend this book unless you know the reading taste of the person to whom you are recommending it.


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