Beryl Bainbridge - Sweet William - Little, Brown Book Group
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    • ISBN:9781405513692
    • Publication date:07 Mar 2013
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Sweet William

By Beryl Bainbridge

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Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel weaves a dark, clever tale of a young woman in thrall to a golden stranger in 1960s London.

'People came in and out, chairs were moved, dishes gathered up on trays, but it was happening at a great distance; she concentrated entirely on his pink face crowned with foppish curls.'

Genteel, passive Ann works for the BBC in London and is engaged to a successful academic, fulfilling her snobbish mother's ambitions - more or less - while the Swinging Sixties happen elsewhere, to other people. Then she meets William: snub-nosed and generous, cunning and protean. She is first seduced, then transfixed, as William's past, present and future swirl around her kaleidoscopically, overwhelmingly, and Ann is herself irrevocably, and irreparably, changed.

Biographical Notes

Beryl Bainbridge (1932-2010) wrote eighteen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. Five of her novels were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Every Man for Himself and Injury Time won the Whitbread Prize, The Bottle Factory Outing won the Guardian Fiction Prize and Master Georgie won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Four of her novels including An Awfully Big Adventure were adapted for film. In 2011, Bainbridge was honoured posthumously with a special Best of Beryl Man Booker Prize in recognition of her outstanding career. Her final novel, The Girl in the Polka-dot Dress, was published in 2011.

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  • ISBN: 9781844088621
  • Publication date: 07 Mar 2013
  • Page count: 192
Cunningly clever, wry, dry, sharply pointed — Evening Standard
Alarming humour and a powerful talent — Daily Telegraph
Virago

A Quiet Life

Beryl Bainbridge

Seventeen-year-old Alan can't stand rows. But, though the Second World War has ended, peace hangs by a fine thread at home: his troublesome sister Madge creeps off for night-time liaisons with a German POW; their ineffectual father - broken by the hardships of war and an unhappy marriage - can't put food on the table despite the family's middle-class manners. Meanwhile, his mother pursues her escapist fantasies in romantic novels and love affairs. Obedient, faithful Alan is trapped among them all, the focus of their jibes and resentment, as inexorably the family heads towards disaster. Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel is a vintage story of English domestic life, laced with sadness, irony and wicked black humour.

Virago

A Weekend With Claude

Beryl Bainbridge
Virago

Harriet Said...

Beryl Bainbridge

A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters 'the Tsar' - almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive.Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives - and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge's classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.

Abacus

Mum and Mr Armitage

Beryl Bainbridge

Women in fox furs, not-quite travelling salesmen, the twilight zone of genteel hotels and lodging houses - these newly reissued short stories are quintessential Bainbridge territory. Blazing with her irreplaceable talent, Mum and Mr Armitage takes us on a journey through a unique fictional terrain; from a country house in Sussex to a script-writing course on a cruise liner. Macabre, witty and brilliantly observed, they confirm Beryl Bainbridge's place as one of our greatest writers of fiction.

Abacus

The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress

by Richard Beswick

Abacus' 40th Anniversary

A collection of 18 titles that celebrate Abacus's 40 year history of publishing influential, unique and trailblazing books that have shaped the reading landscape.

Abacus

The Bottle Factory Outing

Abacus

An Awfully Big Adventure

Beryl Bainbridge

It is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O'Hara arrives to take the lead, that a different drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret.

Abacus

Injury Time

Beryl Bainbridge

Edward is throwing a dinner party with Binny , his mistress. Aware that she has long been denied those small intimacies that his wife takes for granted - choosing a birthday present for his sister, for example, or sorting his socks - he wants to give her a chance to feel more involved in his life, to socialise with some of his friends (the discreet ones). Things are a little awkward to begin with - a late start and him having to be away by half past ten - but everything seems to be going well. But then some uninvited, and reather forceful guests arrive, and it doesn't look like Edward is going to make it home on time.

Abacus

Injury Time

Beryl Bainbridge

Edward is throwing a dinner party with Binny , his mistress. Aware that she has long been denied those small intimacies that his wife takes for granted - choosing a birthday present for his sister, for example, or sorting his socks - he wants to give her a chance to feel more involved in his life, to socialise with some of his friends (the discreet ones). Things are a little awkward to begin with - a late start and him having to be away by half past ten - but everything seems to be going well. But then some uninvited, and reather forceful guests arrive, and it doesn't look like Edward is going to make it home on time.

Abacus

Master Georgie

Beryl Bainbridge
Abacus

The Dressmaker

Wartime Liverpool is a place of ration books and jobs in munitions factories. Rita, living with her two aunts Nellie and Margo, is emotionally na?ve and withdrawn. When she meets Ira, a GI, at a neighbour's party she falls in love almost as much with the idea of life as a GI bride as with the man himself. But Nellie and Margo are not so blind . . .

The summer must-read from Kate Furnivall

EXTRACT: SHADOWS ON THE NILE

Beautifully written, compulsively plotted and truly satisfying – Shadows on the Nile is a summer must-have for fans of Julia Gregson, Rosie Thomas and other sumptuous historical romances Indulge yourself with this sneak-peek at the first chapter now.

Abacus

Young Adolf

Beryl Bainbridge

Paranoid, wilful, lazy, the young Adolf Hitler turns up in Liverpool to stay with his brother Alois and sister-in-law Bridget. Hailed by Alois as a student and an artist, Adolf soon irritates his family beyond measure by his constant sponging and his tendency to get into serious trouble with the English. Surely this is a young man who will never amount to anything.

Abacus

According To Queeney

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge's latest novel is a masterly evocation of the last years of Dr Johnson, arguably Britain's greatest Man of Letters. The time is the 1770s and 1780s and Johnson, having completed his life's major work (he compiled the first ever Dictionary of the English Language) is running an increasingly chaotic life. Torn between his strict morality and his undeclared passion for Mrs Thrale, the wife of an old friend, ACCORDING TO QUEENEY reveals one of Britain's most wonderful characters in all his wit and glory. Above all, though, this is a story of love and friendship and brilliantly narrated by Queeney, Mrs Thrale's daughter, looking back over her life.A few of Johnson quotes:*Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures*No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money *When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life

by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded

Read the first chapter of Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson, the start of an exceptionally fast-paced and irresistibly sexy new urban fantasy trilogy!

Abacus

An Awfully Big Adventure

by Val McDermid

The Vanishing Point - Chapter One

It's every parent's worst nightmare - your child abducted while you look on, helpless. But five-year-old Jimmy's life is shrouded in secrets, and his mother will be forced to make the most difficult choice of her life - a choice that will affect everyone around her...

Abacus

Fortune's Rocks

Anita Shreve

'In the time it takes for her to walk from the bathhouse at the seawall of Fortune's Rock, where she has left her boots and discreetly pulled off her stockings, to the waterline along which the sea continually licks the pink and silver sand, she learns about desire.' It is the summer of 1899, and Olympia Biddeford and her parents have retired from the heat of Boston to the coastal resort of Fortune's Rock. When the celebrated essayist John Haskell is invited to stay, no one foresees the affair that is to follow. What begins as the briefest of silences becomes a relationship that is both passionate and destructible - six hot weeks that will shape the rest of their lives.

Forty Years of Original Writing

Abacus

In 2013 Abacus will celebrate forty years of publishing, with the reissue of 18 of our classic books with new introductions by the authors. They include a wonderfully diverse range of books - from Douglas Coupland's Generation X to Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory and from Tom Holland's Rubicon to Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.