Beryl Bainbridge at her darkly comic best with a new introduction by Amanda Craig, The Bottle Factory Outing is being reissued as one of five titles celebrating Abacus's 50th anniversary.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize
Named 'one of the greatest novels of all time' by the Observer
With a new introduction by Amanda Craig
Freda and Brenda are friends spending their days in an Italian-run wine-bottling factory in North London. When a works outing materialises it offers promise for Freda, but terror for Brenda. Unexpected passions run high on the chilly day of liberty and their lives are never the same again. Beryl Bainbridge dazzles readers in this offbeat, haunting yet hilarious novel.
'An outrageously funny and horrifying novel'
'Two very complex, funny female characters. They need each other although they would never admit it'
'Superb... vibrant... profoundly comic'
'Few writers offer more control and delight'
This is a superb novel. It is taut in construction, expansive in characterization, vibrant in atmosphere and profoundly comic - The Times
The masterful restraint of Beryl Bainbridge's sentences reveals an author in complete control of her artistry, while the book itself displays unexpected political aptness...It is, in short, superb prose. There are perhaps few sentences that stand out as individual gems. But there are also few writers who offer more control and delight line-by-line - Guardian
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 - Sunday Times
Beryl Bainbridge is the author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. The Dressmaker, The Bottle Factory Outing, An Awfully Big Adventure, Every Man for Himself and Master Georgie (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Every Man for Himself was awarded the Whitbread Novel of the Year Prize. She won the Guardian Fiction Prize with The Dressmaker and the Whitbread Prize with Injury Time. The Bottle Factory Outing, Sweet William and The Dressmaker have all been adapted for film, as was An Awfully Big Adventure, which starred Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Beryl Bainbridge died in July 2010.