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The Bottle Factory Outing: Unabridged (Soundings) Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Oct 1999

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Soundings Ltd; Unabridged edition (Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860426581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860426582
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,357,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'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)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* This wonderful novel showing Beryl Bainbridge at her darkly comic best - out for the first time as an Abacus paperback --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
Whatever this story might be thought to lack, it's not originality. Bottling wine out of imported casks and labelling the bottles in an Italian-owned plant in London is presumably a mechanised operation these days. However time was when people did these jobs, and they were real people with real hearts and souls like the rest of us.

These are `small' people with `small' lives. The hopes and aspirations of the two leading characters are small. Neither they nor anyone else in the story mean any harm to anyone, and nobody does anything particularly `wrong'. Death touches one of the little group on their little works outing to Windsor in the rain, and the thing that makes the whole tale so terribly sad is that they can all get away with their grotesque obsequies for her - nobody else will ever know she is dead.

How easy you will find the book to read I can't say. By the standards of modern novels it is short, the style of writing is the opposite of flamboyant or elaborate, and you may have to keep reminding yourself who is who until you are well into the plot. The characters are differentiated well enough, I suppose, but what they all do say and think is within a very restricted range, and that just goes with the territory.

I found it, genuinely, deeply touching. Death the great leveller is cheated of his levelling at least to the extent that his victim's send-off is unusual in the extreme. If the rest of them can hold their tongues nobody will learn of her death because more or less nobody else knew she was alive. How many leave our society unnoticed, I wonder, without either such a unique funeral or such a gifted narrator to bring us their story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Col on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
..........Beryl Bainbridge's Bottle Factory Outing is a book about a chalk-and-cheese-couple, who reminded me of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in the film of Neil Simon's play "The Odd Couple" - complete opposites living a 'can't live with you but can't live without you either!' kind of existence, which is farcical and funny, but with Beryl Bainbridge there is a much more acidic, sharper, and very, very, bitter taste to the comedy - this is the sort of comedy that's just as likely to make you wince and grimace as it is to make you smile and laugh!

It's been about three weeks since I finished Beryl Bainbridge's The Bottle Factory Outing. In that time I've read and reviewed other books. But I've been putting off writing a review of this book because I just didn't know what to make of it. It's an odd book, and as I mentioned before, it's about a very odd couple!

Brenda and Freda are friends (sort of!), flatmates, and work colleagues at the bottling factory where they both work on the production line. Both have had their ups and downs, and to be honest, if you'd kept a score throughout their lives, probably a lot more downs than ups!! The story sees them preparing for and then going on a works outing which they are organising, partly to add a little change and colour to their fairly drab lives and partly because Freda has an ulterior motive - to get her hands on Vittorio, the relative of the factory owner and the most desirable of the many Italian immigrants working in the factory. Much of Brenda and Freda's lives revolve around the everyday and their work at the factory, owned by the almost mysterious Mr Paganotti, who is mentioned throughout the book but never actually appears.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on 19 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
A wrist rolls the ruby red liquid of the fermented grape, and then pauses, and the glass is watched. For wine does not indiscriminately settle in a glass like lesser liquids. It falls in lines, and by these lines the spirit is partially judged, its legs are appraised.

I have read enough of Ms. Beryl Bainbridge's writing to state comfortably that there is probably no topic that she cannot spin a great tale from. "The Bottle Factory Outing", is above all else about people, which is in keeping with the author's previous work. The primary characters are two women that while they share the same bed, with an impenetrable wall of pillows between them, could not be more different. One is passive, almost a victim, desiring more not to upset her day-to-day existence than to stand up for herself. The other is a warrior defending not only what she perceives as her territory, but any turf that may catch her eye as well. The former may be an unsure individual; however she does not delude herself. The latter has confidence that causes her to believe that which she wants despite any reality she witnesses.

The book is unique as it has more than one instance when the story could reasonably end. The story is in no way overextended, just marvelously structured. The event of course is the employee outing and all that takes place from the early morning start, to a surrealistic second act, and finally the disturbing close of the third. Personalities that have become familiar do not conduct themselves in keeping with the book's start. Honor, which is repeatedly called upon to justify, draw or inflict guilt, becomes many things other than an honorable trait.
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