An Awfully Big Adventure PDF î An Awfully MOBI

An Awfully Big Adventure PDF î An Awfully MOBI


An Awfully Big Adventure ➳ [Reading] ➶ An Awfully Big Adventure By Beryl Bainbridge ➩ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk An Awfully Big Adventure Bainbridge, Beryl An Awfully Big Adventure Bainbridge, Beryl.

  • Paperback
  • 205 pages
  • An Awfully Big Adventure
  • Beryl Bainbridge
  • English
  • 06 May 2019
  • 0786701846

About the Author: Beryl Bainbridge

Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge DBE was an English writer from Liverpool She was primarily known for her works of psychological fiction, often set among the English working classes An Awfully MOBI :Þ Bainbridge won the Whitbread Award twice and was nominated for the Booker Prize five times In , The Times newspaper named Bainbridge among their list of The greatest British writers since .



10 thoughts on “An Awfully Big Adventure

  1. Hugh Hugh says:

    Another little gem from the 1990 Booker shortlist Beryl Bainbridge was a perennial Booker bridesmaid she never won the prize, but was shortlisted five times and also longlisted once This is my first experience of her writing, and it left me wanting to read .This is a black comedy set in a provincial theatre in Liverpool shortly after the Second World War The heroine Stella is a young woman living with her aunt and uncle in humble circumstances, whose love of make believe has persuaded t Another little gem from the 1990 Booker shortlist Beryl Bainbridge was a perennial Booker bridesmaid she never won the prize, but was shortlisted five times and also longlisted once This is my first experience of her writing, and it left me wanting to read .This is a black comedy set in a provincial theatre in Liverpool shortly after the Second World War The heroine Stella is a young woman living with her aunt and uncle in humble circumstances, whose love of make believe has persuaded them that she should try her luck in the theatre, where she finds a job as a lowly assistant stage manager, which makes her a dogsbody at the service of the array of wonderful theatrical caricatures that inhabit the place Stella is an almost fearless innocent, who manages to misconstrue almost everything, as the cast and management of the theatre manipulate each other ruthlessly Darker elements are never very far from the surface, and the ending is cleverly constructed and genuinely surprising Bainbridge has an eye for telling detail and is often very funny, making this a very entertaining read

  2. Jean-Luke Jean-Luke says:

    Without ever realizing it, Beryl Bainbridge and Penelope Fitzgerald each wrote a novel serving as flip sides of the same coin Freddie s students from Penelope Fitzgerald s

  3. Gumble& Gumble& says:

    Revisited for the 2019 Mookse Madness tournament One thing that I have been reflecting on is Beryl Bainbridge s literary descendants and it struck me that a number of recent Up lit books most noticeable Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine have borrowed a crucial plot device from this book.A slowly written, crafted book full of the pathos of The post war struggles of the middle class The reality of the hard work and tensions of a dramatics company behind the seeming glamour of the prod Revisited for the 2019 Mookse Madness tournament One thing that I have been reflecting on is Beryl Bainbridge s literary descendants and it struck me that a number of recent Up lit books most noticeable Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine have borrowed a crucial plot device from this book.A slowly written, crafted book full of the pathos of The post war struggles of the middle class The reality of the hard work and tensions of a dramatics company behind the seeming glamour of the production The dislocation of war almost all the male characters refer back to their experiences Class aspirations Vernon is always struggling to assert himself as a middle class business man, using his supplier of toiletries as a confidant Stella struggles against her background and misjudges others she assumes Merideth is upper class and his assistant Bunny working class when the opposite is actually the case Unrequited love and longing despite their being natural pairings almost all of the cast has aspirations to another relationship not least Stella s infatuation for Merideth who we eventually discover is homosexual and is instead fixated on Geoffrey who had originally made advances on her even O Hara used to seducing young starlets feels he is being used by rather than using Stella and seeks in her his lost love Tragedy there are gratuitous scenes such as when a boy carrying a pane of glass slips and bleeds to death.The book takes time to grip the reader but the superb ending makes the book

  4. Susan Susan says:

    This short novel was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1990 and was inspired by Beryl Bainbridge s own time at the Liverpool Playhouse.It is 1950 and Uncle Vernon, who runs a Liverpool boarding house with Lily, has pulled some strings to get sixteen year old Stella a job at the theatre Lily objects People like us don t go to plays, let alone act in them However, Stella will be a lowly assistant at first fetching and running errands for the cast Although Uncle Vernon may feel that Stell This short novel was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1990 and was inspired by Beryl Bainbridge s own time at the Liverpool Playhouse.It is 1950 and Uncle Vernon, who runs a Liverpool boarding house with Lily, has pulled some strings to get sixteen year old Stella a job at the theatre Lily objects People like us don t go to plays, let alone act in them However, Stella will be a lowly assistant at first fetching and running errands for the cast Although Uncle Vernon may feel that Stella is capable of great things, she is over dramatic and somewhat manipulative Certainly she feels she is something special, but lacked the application necessary to do well at school and would agree with Uncle Vernon that she is not suited for a boring, lowly paid job Like many young girls, Stella feels she is muchgrown up than she really is, but lacks the experience to negotiate the adult emotions around her She has a crush on the director, Meredith Potter, but does not understand either him, or those of the other members of the cast many of whom have feelings for someone who does not reciprocate their attentions Indeed, Stella is oddly unresponsive to male attention, much of which is unwanted As such, she is very much an innocent abroad, but also has a cunning streak Those around her are wary, but, ultimately, intrigued Worth reading for the ending alone, this is an interesting read, with much to offer book groups, as there is so much to discuss

  5. ·Karen· ·Karen· says:

    I sat down and re read this deceptively slim volume this afternoon and evening, as I m going to do it with a class of mine The story would be funny if it weren t so sad Ms Bainbridge brings us a naive and desperately needy young girl who leaves disaster and death in her wake, but in spite of her streak of self centred brashness, she really is not to blame for what has happened Indeed no one quite knows what has happened, least of all her, and each of the characters will put their own interpre I sat down and re read this deceptively slim volume this afternoon and evening, as I m going to do it with a class of mine The story would be funny if it weren t so sad Ms Bainbridge brings us a naive and desperately needy young girl who leaves disaster and death in her wake, but in spite of her streak of self centred brashness, she really is not to blame for what has happened Indeed no one quite knows what has happened, least of all her, and each of the characters will put their own interpretation on events, will turn it into a private drama starring themselves in the main role There s life for you And all in a three hour read Condensed and subtle and dark and witty

  6. Sibyl Sibyl says:

    TheI read Beryl Bainbridge, theI m convinced that she is one of the most brilliant English novelists of the late 20th early 21st century She s utterly original, unafraid to dispense with unneeded novelistic conventions She s like a tightrope walker, who doesn t just edge along the wire, but who positively dances Her prose is uncluttered, her storytelling assured.This novel follows Stella s journey from Innocence to Experience when she joins a theatre company At first the novel TheI read Beryl Bainbridge, theI m convinced that she is one of the most brilliant English novelists of the late 20th early 21st century She s utterly original, unafraid to dispense with unneeded novelistic conventions She s like a tightrope walker, who doesn t just edge along the wire, but who positively dances Her prose is uncluttered, her storytelling assured.This novel follows Stella s journey from Innocence to Experience when she joins a theatre company At first the novel seems like a dark comedy All the characters are in the grip of some kind of obsession, which causes them to misunderstand one another Artifice and make believe rule Yet when a substitute actor O Hara joins the company, and finds out the truth about Stella, tragedy looms

  7. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    2.5 Christmas in the provinces It s not everybody s cup of tea, is it I thought this would be a pleasant confection for our book club s December meeting, but it turned out as a bit of a dud, being much duller and darker than expected In 1950 teenage Stella gets taken on as a volunteer assistant stage manager at a Liverpool theatre, working on productions of Caesar and Cleopatra and Peter Pan and falling for or being sexually harassed by various men There are loads of secondary charac 2.5 Christmas in the provinces It s not everybody s cup of tea, is it I thought this would be a pleasant confection for our book club s December meeting, but it turned out as a bit of a dud, being much duller and darker than expected In 1950 teenage Stella gets taken on as a volunteer assistant stage manager at a Liverpool theatre, working on productions of Caesar and Cleopatra and Peter Pan and falling for or being sexually harassed by various men There are loads of secondary characters, none of whom I got a clear sense of, except perhaps Stella s Uncle Vernon She lives with her aunt and uncle in the hotel they run her mother is absent and there s an Eleanor Oliphant style secret about her The details of backstage life are reasonably interesting, I liked how the first and last scene are the same, and it s notable that the aftereffects of the Second World War are still visible, with some offhand references to the war days that made me laugh out loud in shock, like a horse getting its leg blown off.Rather like The Country Girls, another one we did for book club recently, this is a coming of age novel with a decidedly sexual component However, because it was written in the late 1980s, as opposed to 1950 when it is set , it sexplicit than you might imagine, and there s one particularly shocking funny use of a curse word I ve read a couple of other Bainbridge novels I liked , especially Master Georgie, and a similar book that was better was City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert Something I ve generally found with Bainbridge s work is that the blurbs are really tempting but the narratives don t live up to them because of the detached perspective and the low page count it s as if there s not enough time to develop much interest in or sympathy for the characters.Note The title phrase has a surprising context, not relating to Stella s work in the theatre at all Dying wouldn t be such an awfully big adventure for Uncle Vernon he was too old

  8. Jonathan Pool Jonathan Pool says:

    she s at an impressionable age and she s mixing with some very odd people 96 So is Stella Bradshaw described, our sixteen year old innocent making her way in the thespian world.Stella may be naive, but she possesses native cunning, and the necessary ambition to navigate 1950 s Liverpool.Beryl Bainbridge writes about a time in which people s foibles, and bad habits, are the stuff of local legend A youngster needs to get street wise quickly.An Awfully Big Adventure is a novel every bit as sini she s at an impressionable age and she s mixing with some very odd people 96 So is Stella Bradshaw described, our sixteen year old innocent making her way in the thespian world.Stella may be naive, but she possesses native cunning, and the necessary ambition to navigate 1950 s Liverpool.Beryl Bainbridge writes about a time in which people s foibles, and bad habits, are the stuff of local legend A youngster needs to get street wise quickly.An Awfully Big Adventure is a novel every bit as sinister as the underlying story of Peter Pan, from which the book s title is drawn Is our Stella a victim Is Stella mildly precocious and deserving of our understanding Beryl Bainbridge writes a great book that masquerades as pure black comedy, while providing an enduring snapshot of life after the war as people of all persuasions lived on their wits to get by and get on.A book much deeper than first impressions might indicate

  9. Nigeyb Nigeyb says:

    An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge was the second book I d read by this writer The first one was The Bottle Factory Outing which I enjoyed, so I came to An Awfully Big Adventure with high hopes An Awfully Big Adventure is set in a 1950s Liverpool repertory company Repertory and regional theatre can be a wonderful setting for a novel all the petty feuding, the power struggles, the thwarted ambitions etc It s society in microcosm Sadly, I found An Awfully Big Adventure rather hard An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge was the second book I d read by this writer The first one was The Bottle Factory Outing which I enjoyed, so I came to An Awfully Big Adventure with high hopes An Awfully Big Adventure is set in a 1950s Liverpool repertory company Repertory and regional theatre can be a wonderful setting for a novel all the petty feuding, the power struggles, the thwarted ambitions etc It s society in microcosm Sadly, I found An Awfully Big Adventure rather hard going For the first half of the book I struggled to discern much of a narrative or indeed keep a track of who was who Throughout the book the characters are all sketchily drawn I would struggle to say much about any of them So much so that I wondered if this was a deliberate technique by Beryl Bainbridge Likewise, the events all felt at a remove, almost as if part of a play, again I was unsure if this was a conscious decision and, if so, to what end The story picks up in the second half of the book and there is a bitto admire and appreciate, that said, overall, I was relieved to have finished An Awfully Big Adventure and found it all slightly unsatisfactory 2 5An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge

  10. Cleopatra Pullen Cleopatra Pullen says:

    An Awfully Big Adventure is set in 1950s Liverpool, a landscape still filled with rations and other post war deprivations and the theatre What a mix for this coming of age novel through less than rose tinted glasses It is therefore no surprise that Bainbridge chose to borrow her title from the classic play by J.M Barrie, Peter Pan where Peter has a throw away line To die would be an awfully big adventure With the title borrowed from a story about a boy who doesn t want to grow the protagonis An Awfully Big Adventure is set in 1950s Liverpool, a landscape still filled with rations and other post war deprivations and the theatre What a mix for this coming of age novel through less than rose tinted glasses It is therefore no surprise that Bainbridge chose to borrow her title from the classic play by J.M Barrie, Peter Pan where Peter has a throw away line To die would be an awfully big adventure With the title borrowed from a story about a boy who doesn t want to grow the protagonist, Stella of Bainbridge s creation is sixteen, far from grown up, yet with her first job as a stage hand in the theatre thrust amongst grown up lives, a world she struggles to understand.The setting is brilliant, the boarding house and its occupants is easily pictured amongst the bomb scarred streets and the lodgers who bear their own scars from the war It was Stella s Uncle Vernon who first proposed working at the Playhouse Here is a man who champions her to the hilt while she, as is so often the attitude of girls this age, is embarrassed by absolutely everything about him Despite the way he brags to his boss he is also worried and exasperated by her Debating anything with the girl was a lost cause She constantly played to the gallery No one was denying she could have had a better start in life, but then she wasn t unique in that respect and it was no excuse for wringing the last drop of drama out of the smallest incident Vernon s wife Lily is ashadowy figure, forever at the edge of Stella s life although towards the end of the book she ponders that it was unjust of her to disregard those thumb sucking years in which Lily had held her close But away from the prying eyes and ears of Uncle Vernon and Lily, Stella visits the phone boxes around the theatre to ring her mother The reader hears Stella reporting to her mother, but we only get to know that mother says the usual things So it s fair to say Stella is typical of her age, noso when she develops a crush on the handsome director Meredith Potter, who at first pays her some attention but this is soon diverted by others Ever the mimic Stella tries out a number of personas on him to try to recapture his interest, but it seems that her love is to go unrequited In parallels to the play they are putting on at the Liverpool Playhouse when Stella arrive, one that Stella pronounces simplistically the plot is all about people loving someone who is in love with someone else, perfectly sums up the cast There is much to love in the book as a whole, the symmetry being one of the biggest pleasures for me The set up at the beginning of the book which only becomes clear at the very end, is an example of the excellent structure that resounds throughout.Although this reads a littlelike a series of vignettes at first, the linking only truly becoming apparent at the end, individually as well as together each of these is vivid and simply fascinating Fairly early on I realised that what is blatantly obvious to the reader has completely passed Stella by, and so only the sternest heart can t overlook her slightly odd manner and have a little sympathy for the poor girl But when she decides to make Meredith jealous, she sets in chain a sequence of events that slowly becomes apparent, making for a sublime ending.I am now a firm Beryl Bainbridge fan, I love the darkness, the cleverness, the period details and the sardonic humour

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10 thoughts on “An Awfully Big Adventure

  1. Hugh Hugh says:

    Another little gem from the 1990 Booker shortlist Beryl Bainbridge was a perennial Booker bridesmaid she never won the prize, but was shortlisted five times and also longlisted once This is my first experience of her writing, and it left me wanting to read .This is a black comedy set in a provincial theatre in Liverpool shortly after the Second World War The heroine Stella is a young woman living with her aunt and uncle in humble circumstances, whose love of make believe has persuaded t Another little gem from the 1990 Booker shortlist Beryl Bainbridge was a perennial Booker bridesmaid she never won the prize, but was shortlisted five times and also longlisted once This is my first experience of her writing, and it left me wanting to read .This is a black comedy set in a provincial theatre in Liverpool shortly after the Second World War The heroine Stella is a young woman living with her aunt and uncle in humble circumstances, whose love of make believe has persuaded them that she should try her luck in the theatre, where she finds a job as a lowly assistant stage manager, which makes her a dogsbody at the service of the array of wonderful theatrical caricatures that inhabit the place Stella is an almost fearless innocent, who manages to misconstrue almost everything, as the cast and management of the theatre manipulate each other ruthlessly Darker elements are never very far from the surface, and the ending is cleverly constructed and genuinely surprising Bainbridge has an eye for telling detail and is often very funny, making this a very entertaining read

  2. Jean-Luke Jean-Luke says:

    Without ever realizing it, Beryl Bainbridge and Penelope Fitzgerald each wrote a novel serving as flip sides of the same coin Freddie s students from Penelope Fitzgerald s

  3. Gumble& Gumble& says:

    Revisited for the 2019 Mookse Madness tournament One thing that I have been reflecting on is Beryl Bainbridge s literary descendants and it struck me that a number of recent Up lit books most noticeable Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine have borrowed a crucial plot device from this book.A slowly written, crafted book full of the pathos of The post war struggles of the middle class The reality of the hard work and tensions of a dramatics company behind the seeming glamour of the prod Revisited for the 2019 Mookse Madness tournament One thing that I have been reflecting on is Beryl Bainbridge s literary descendants and it struck me that a number of recent Up lit books most noticeable Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine have borrowed a crucial plot device from this book.A slowly written, crafted book full of the pathos of The post war struggles of the middle class The reality of the hard work and tensions of a dramatics company behind the seeming glamour of the production The dislocation of war almost all the male characters refer back to their experiences Class aspirations Vernon is always struggling to assert himself as a middle class business man, using his supplier of toiletries as a confidant Stella struggles against her background and misjudges others she assumes Merideth is upper class and his assistant Bunny working class when the opposite is actually the case Unrequited love and longing despite their being natural pairings almost all of the cast has aspirations to another relationship not least Stella s infatuation for Merideth who we eventually discover is homosexual and is instead fixated on Geoffrey who had originally made advances on her even O Hara used to seducing young starlets feels he is being used by rather than using Stella and seeks in her his lost love Tragedy there are gratuitous scenes such as when a boy carrying a pane of glass slips and bleeds to death.The book takes time to grip the reader but the superb ending makes the book

  4. Susan Susan says:

    This short novel was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1990 and was inspired by Beryl Bainbridge s own time at the Liverpool Playhouse.It is 1950 and Uncle Vernon, who runs a Liverpool boarding house with Lily, has pulled some strings to get sixteen year old Stella a job at the theatre Lily objects People like us don t go to plays, let alone act in them However, Stella will be a lowly assistant at first fetching and running errands for the cast Although Uncle Vernon may feel that Stell This short novel was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1990 and was inspired by Beryl Bainbridge s own time at the Liverpool Playhouse.It is 1950 and Uncle Vernon, who runs a Liverpool boarding house with Lily, has pulled some strings to get sixteen year old Stella a job at the theatre Lily objects People like us don t go to plays, let alone act in them However, Stella will be a lowly assistant at first fetching and running errands for the cast Although Uncle Vernon may feel that Stella is capable of great things, she is over dramatic and somewhat manipulative Certainly she feels she is something special, but lacked the application necessary to do well at school and would agree with Uncle Vernon that she is not suited for a boring, lowly paid job Like many young girls, Stella feels she is muchgrown up than she really is, but lacks the experience to negotiate the adult emotions around her She has a crush on the director, Meredith Potter, but does not understand either him, or those of the other members of the cast many of whom have feelings for someone who does not reciprocate their attentions Indeed, Stella is oddly unresponsive to male attention, much of which is unwanted As such, she is very much an innocent abroad, but also has a cunning streak Those around her are wary, but, ultimately, intrigued Worth reading for the ending alone, this is an interesting read, with much to offer book groups, as there is so much to discuss

  5. ·Karen· ·Karen· says:

    I sat down and re read this deceptively slim volume this afternoon and evening, as I m going to do it with a class of mine The story would be funny if it weren t so sad Ms Bainbridge brings us a naive and desperately needy young girl who leaves disaster and death in her wake, but in spite of her streak of self centred brashness, she really is not to blame for what has happened Indeed no one quite knows what has happened, least of all her, and each of the characters will put their own interpre I sat down and re read this deceptively slim volume this afternoon and evening, as I m going to do it with a class of mine The story would be funny if it weren t so sad Ms Bainbridge brings us a naive and desperately needy young girl who leaves disaster and death in her wake, but in spite of her streak of self centred brashness, she really is not to blame for what has happened Indeed no one quite knows what has happened, least of all her, and each of the characters will put their own interpretation on events, will turn it into a private drama starring themselves in the main role There s life for you And all in a three hour read Condensed and subtle and dark and witty

  6. Sibyl Sibyl says:

    TheI read Beryl Bainbridge, theI m convinced that she is one of the most brilliant English novelists of the late 20th early 21st century She s utterly original, unafraid to dispense with unneeded novelistic conventions She s like a tightrope walker, who doesn t just edge along the wire, but who positively dances Her prose is uncluttered, her storytelling assured.This novel follows Stella s journey from Innocence to Experience when she joins a theatre company At first the novel TheI read Beryl Bainbridge, theI m convinced that she is one of the most brilliant English novelists of the late 20th early 21st century She s utterly original, unafraid to dispense with unneeded novelistic conventions She s like a tightrope walker, who doesn t just edge along the wire, but who positively dances Her prose is uncluttered, her storytelling assured.This novel follows Stella s journey from Innocence to Experience when she joins a theatre company At first the novel seems like a dark comedy All the characters are in the grip of some kind of obsession, which causes them to misunderstand one another Artifice and make believe rule Yet when a substitute actor O Hara joins the company, and finds out the truth about Stella, tragedy looms

  7. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    2.5 Christmas in the provinces It s not everybody s cup of tea, is it I thought this would be a pleasant confection for our book club s December meeting, but it turned out as a bit of a dud, being much duller and darker than expected In 1950 teenage Stella gets taken on as a volunteer assistant stage manager at a Liverpool theatre, working on productions of Caesar and Cleopatra and Peter Pan and falling for or being sexually harassed by various men There are loads of secondary charac 2.5 Christmas in the provinces It s not everybody s cup of tea, is it I thought this would be a pleasant confection for our book club s December meeting, but it turned out as a bit of a dud, being much duller and darker than expected In 1950 teenage Stella gets taken on as a volunteer assistant stage manager at a Liverpool theatre, working on productions of Caesar and Cleopatra and Peter Pan and falling for or being sexually harassed by various men There are loads of secondary characters, none of whom I got a clear sense of, except perhaps Stella s Uncle Vernon She lives with her aunt and uncle in the hotel they run her mother is absent and there s an Eleanor Oliphant style secret about her The details of backstage life are reasonably interesting, I liked how the first and last scene are the same, and it s notable that the aftereffects of the Second World War are still visible, with some offhand references to the war days that made me laugh out loud in shock, like a horse getting its leg blown off.Rather like The Country Girls, another one we did for book club recently, this is a coming of age novel with a decidedly sexual component However, because it was written in the late 1980s, as opposed to 1950 when it is set , it sexplicit than you might imagine, and there s one particularly shocking funny use of a curse word I ve read a couple of other Bainbridge novels I liked , especially Master Georgie, and a similar book that was better was City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert Something I ve generally found with Bainbridge s work is that the blurbs are really tempting but the narratives don t live up to them because of the detached perspective and the low page count it s as if there s not enough time to develop much interest in or sympathy for the characters.Note The title phrase has a surprising context, not relating to Stella s work in the theatre at all Dying wouldn t be such an awfully big adventure for Uncle Vernon he was too old

  8. Jonathan Pool Jonathan Pool says:

    she s at an impressionable age and she s mixing with some very odd people 96 So is Stella Bradshaw described, our sixteen year old innocent making her way in the thespian world.Stella may be naive, but she possesses native cunning, and the necessary ambition to navigate 1950 s Liverpool.Beryl Bainbridge writes about a time in which people s foibles, and bad habits, are the stuff of local legend A youngster needs to get street wise quickly.An Awfully Big Adventure is a novel every bit as sini she s at an impressionable age and she s mixing with some very odd people 96 So is Stella Bradshaw described, our sixteen year old innocent making her way in the thespian world.Stella may be naive, but she possesses native cunning, and the necessary ambition to navigate 1950 s Liverpool.Beryl Bainbridge writes about a time in which people s foibles, and bad habits, are the stuff of local legend A youngster needs to get street wise quickly.An Awfully Big Adventure is a novel every bit as sinister as the underlying story of Peter Pan, from which the book s title is drawn Is our Stella a victim Is Stella mildly precocious and deserving of our understanding Beryl Bainbridge writes a great book that masquerades as pure black comedy, while providing an enduring snapshot of life after the war as people of all persuasions lived on their wits to get by and get on.A book much deeper than first impressions might indicate

  9. Nigeyb Nigeyb says:

    An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge was the second book I d read by this writer The first one was The Bottle Factory Outing which I enjoyed, so I came to An Awfully Big Adventure with high hopes An Awfully Big Adventure is set in a 1950s Liverpool repertory company Repertory and regional theatre can be a wonderful setting for a novel all the petty feuding, the power struggles, the thwarted ambitions etc It s society in microcosm Sadly, I found An Awfully Big Adventure rather hard An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge was the second book I d read by this writer The first one was The Bottle Factory Outing which I enjoyed, so I came to An Awfully Big Adventure with high hopes An Awfully Big Adventure is set in a 1950s Liverpool repertory company Repertory and regional theatre can be a wonderful setting for a novel all the petty feuding, the power struggles, the thwarted ambitions etc It s society in microcosm Sadly, I found An Awfully Big Adventure rather hard going For the first half of the book I struggled to discern much of a narrative or indeed keep a track of who was who Throughout the book the characters are all sketchily drawn I would struggle to say much about any of them So much so that I wondered if this was a deliberate technique by Beryl Bainbridge Likewise, the events all felt at a remove, almost as if part of a play, again I was unsure if this was a conscious decision and, if so, to what end The story picks up in the second half of the book and there is a bitto admire and appreciate, that said, overall, I was relieved to have finished An Awfully Big Adventure and found it all slightly unsatisfactory 2 5An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge

  10. Cleopatra Pullen Cleopatra Pullen says:

    An Awfully Big Adventure is set in 1950s Liverpool, a landscape still filled with rations and other post war deprivations and the theatre What a mix for this coming of age novel through less than rose tinted glasses It is therefore no surprise that Bainbridge chose to borrow her title from the classic play by J.M Barrie, Peter Pan where Peter has a throw away line To die would be an awfully big adventure With the title borrowed from a story about a boy who doesn t want to grow the protagonis An Awfully Big Adventure is set in 1950s Liverpool, a landscape still filled with rations and other post war deprivations and the theatre What a mix for this coming of age novel through less than rose tinted glasses It is therefore no surprise that Bainbridge chose to borrow her title from the classic play by J.M Barrie, Peter Pan where Peter has a throw away line To die would be an awfully big adventure With the title borrowed from a story about a boy who doesn t want to grow the protagonist, Stella of Bainbridge s creation is sixteen, far from grown up, yet with her first job as a stage hand in the theatre thrust amongst grown up lives, a world she struggles to understand.The setting is brilliant, the boarding house and its occupants is easily pictured amongst the bomb scarred streets and the lodgers who bear their own scars from the war It was Stella s Uncle Vernon who first proposed working at the Playhouse Here is a man who champions her to the hilt while she, as is so often the attitude of girls this age, is embarrassed by absolutely everything about him Despite the way he brags to his boss he is also worried and exasperated by her Debating anything with the girl was a lost cause She constantly played to the gallery No one was denying she could have had a better start in life, but then she wasn t unique in that respect and it was no excuse for wringing the last drop of drama out of the smallest incident Vernon s wife Lily is ashadowy figure, forever at the edge of Stella s life although towards the end of the book she ponders that it was unjust of her to disregard those thumb sucking years in which Lily had held her close But away from the prying eyes and ears of Uncle Vernon and Lily, Stella visits the phone boxes around the theatre to ring her mother The reader hears Stella reporting to her mother, but we only get to know that mother says the usual things So it s fair to say Stella is typical of her age, noso when she develops a crush on the handsome director Meredith Potter, who at first pays her some attention but this is soon diverted by others Ever the mimic Stella tries out a number of personas on him to try to recapture his interest, but it seems that her love is to go unrequited In parallels to the play they are putting on at the Liverpool Playhouse when Stella arrive, one that Stella pronounces simplistically the plot is all about people loving someone who is in love with someone else, perfectly sums up the cast There is much to love in the book as a whole, the symmetry being one of the biggest pleasures for me The set up at the beginning of the book which only becomes clear at the very end, is an example of the excellent structure that resounds throughout.Although this reads a littlelike a series of vignettes at first, the linking only truly becoming apparent at the end, individually as well as together each of these is vivid and simply fascinating Fairly early on I realised that what is blatantly obvious to the reader has completely passed Stella by, and so only the sternest heart can t overlook her slightly odd manner and have a little sympathy for the poor girl But when she decides to make Meredith jealous, she sets in chain a sequence of events that slowly becomes apparent, making for a sublime ending.I am now a firm Beryl Bainbridge fan, I love the darkness, the cleverness, the period details and the sardonic humour

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