Do I Want To Read… Beryl Bainbridge?

There are certain authors which I always feel like I should have read and invariably haven’t. I am sure that all readers have this feeling of ‘why haven’t I tried that author yet’ now and again. One of the authors that I have always felt I should give a read is Beryl Bainbridge. This week when The Booker Prize Foundation announced it was doing a ‘Best of Beryl’ prize I was reminded that she was an author I had been meaning to read and had no clue where to start, this is of course where all of you come in.

You see something about Beryl Bainbridge has always appealed to me without having read a word. In part this is because I have seen her on TV a few times and been fascinated, it’s also because I love the name Beryl and in fact named my very first cat just that. I have always seen lots and lots of copies of her last novel ‘According To Queeny’ in charity shops but although I always pick it up I am never quite sure if it’s me or not.

So I thought I would ask you all for your Beryl Bainbridge thoughts and recommendations. I am tempted to see if I can find her first novel ‘A Weekend With Claude’ as I do like to start from the beginning but actually I am going to throw caution to the wind, or indeed to the whim, and see where your suggestions lead me. So where should I start with a bit of Beryl?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Do I Want To Read?

14 responses to “Do I Want To Read… Beryl Bainbridge?

  1. Annabel

    Yes! I’ve only read two of her novels, but loved them both. They were ‘An awfully big adventure’ and ‘Every man for himself’. Like Muriel Spark, her books are mostly short with no word wasted. The one I want to read next is ‘The Birthday Boys’ about Scott’s doomed expedition to Antarctica.

  2. I’ve read a couple but the one I enjoyed the most was An Awfully Big Adventure.

  3. Not sure Simon this is a writer I ve not read ,so be interested to see what people suggest ,all the best stu

  4. I would recommend According to Queeny, a novel I’ve read twice it’s so good.

  5. I actually prefer her novels of the 60s and 70s, before she gets into writing ‘historical’ fiction. I think I liked the Bottle Factory Outing best – though Young Adolf is stunning and surprising.

  6. Caroline S

    Yes do read Beryl. Her books are short and sharp and not a wasted word in any of them. My favourites (so far) are The Birthday Boys and the Bottle Factory Outing. I am planning to catch up with the titles shortlisted for the award in time to cast my vote.

    Jump in and enjoy!

  7. A huge loss to the British literary community when she died recently. Try The Bottle Factory outing or Sweet William, or in fact anything at all by her!

    PS “There are certain authors which I always feel like I should have read” – ah I can tell you are like I was when I was “your age”. I don’t feel that way anymore as I expect you have gathered!

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