The Birthday Boys
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The Birthday Boys

3.93 (861 ratings by Goodreads)
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Beryl Bainbridge gets better and better ...she has succeeded with a daring leap of emphatic imagination in penetrating the minds of Captain Scott and the four men he led to their deaths in Antarctica in 1912' Patrick Skene Catling, Evening Standard THE BIRTHDAY BOYS is classic Bainbridge - one of her absolute best. It is a fictional account of Captain Robert Scott's 1910 expedition to Antarctica told from the perspectives of five men on the voyage: Scott; Petty Officer Taff Evans; ship's medic Dr Edward Wilson; Lieutenant Henry Bowers; and Captain Lawrence Oates.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 14mm | 144g
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Digital original
  • map
  • 0349121567
  • 9780349121567
  • 140,202

Review Text

Bainbridge's account of the horribly familiar story is both fresh and sure-footed. The power of her imagination, her clarity of expression and mastery of language are more striking than anything else I have read this year Jane Shillling, Sunday Telegraph
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Review quote

She writes of the hideous deprivations so boldly endured; the astounding beauties of the Antarctic landscapes; the personality clashes; the emotional reticences . . . It seems to me that Beryl Bainbridge has quite surpassed herself in a completely new im * Mary Hope, Financial Times * Her darkest work, equally convincing in tis evocations of the icy, unendurable landscape without, and the chilling interior landscapes of damaged souls * Penny Perrick, Sunday Telegraph * A beautiful piece of story-telling. Far more accurately than any biography could do, it catches what must have been Scott's hold on his followers * Andro Linklater, Spectator * Bainbridge's account of the horribly familiar story is both fresh and sure-footed. The power of her imagination, her clarity of expression and mastery of language are more striking than anything else I have read this year * Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph * A riveting fictionalized account of Robert Falcon Scott's doomed British expedition to the South Pole in 1910, related through the diary entries of five of its members. Bainbridge conveys a vivid sense of the era and of the pride, idealism, and bravado of the explorers as they prepare for their adventure. Once they reach Antarctica, their attention turns to the excitement and pleasure in the scenic and scientific discoveries that await them. But in the final analysis, it is their courage and fortitude that shine through in the face of failure (the Norwegian Amundsen beat them to the South Pole by a month) and the realization that they will not survive * Library Journal * A riveting fictionalized account of Robert Falcon Scott's doomed British expedition to the South Pole in 1910, related through the diary entries of five of its members. Bainbridge conveys a vivid sense of the era and of the pride, idealism, and bravado of the explorers as they prepare for their adventure. Once they reach Antarctica, their attention turns to the excitement and pleasure in the scenic and scientific discoveries that await them. But in the final analysis, it is their courage and fortitude that shine through in the face of failure (the Norwegian Amundsen beat them to the South Pole by a month) and the realization that they will not survive * Library Journal * Gripping, moving and hair-raisingly readable novel...by far her best book to date: a riveting account told in shifting first-person narratives by the key members of the doomed Antarctic expedition led by Captain Scott in 1912. It has been written about often before, and memorably filmed, but Bainbridge's cunningly fictionalized account leaves others standing... A whole lost era of fantastic courage, determination, idealism, curiosity, boyish foolishness and class mores is brought brilliantly and touchingly back by Bainbridge's penetrating psychological acumen and her superb scene and action painting. The beauty and horror of the desolate landscapes, the painful limits of human endurance and bravery, are unforgettably caught in prose that is as swift, cool and clear as ice melt. A masterly achievement, not to be missed by anyone who cherishes a strong, meaningful story beautifully told. * Publishers Weekly * Gripping, moving and hair-raisingly readable novel...by far her best book to date: a riveting account told in shifting first-person narratives by the key members of the doomed Antarctic expedition led by Captain Scott in 1912. It has been written about often before, and memorably filmed, but Bainbridge's cunningly fictionalized account leaves others standing... A whole lost era of fantastic courage, determination, idealism, curiosity, boyish foolishness and class mores is brought brilliantly and touchingly back by Bainbridge's penetrating psychological acumen and her superb scene and action painting. The beauty and horror of the desolate landscapes, the painful limits of human endurance and bravery, are unforgettably caught in prose that is as swift, cool and clear as ice melt. A masterly achievement, not to be missed by anyone who cherishes a strong, meaningful story beautifully told. * Publishers Weekly * She writes of the hideous deprivations so boldly endured; the astounding beauties of the Antarctic landscapes; the personality clashes; the emotional reticences...It seems to me that Beryl Bainbridge has quite surpassed herself * Financial Times * She writes of the hideous deprivations so boldly endured; the astounding beauties of the Antarctic landscapes; the personality clashes; the emotional reticences...It seems to me that Beryl Bainbridge has quite surpassed herself * Financial Times * Her darkest work, equally convincing in its evocations of the icy, unendurable landscape without, and the chilling interior landscapes of damaged souls * Sunday Telegraph * Her darkest work, equally convincing in its evocations of the icy, unendurable landscape without, and the chilling interior landscapes of damaged souls * Sunday Telegraph * A beautiful piece of story-telling. Far more accurately than any biography could do, it catches what must have been Scott's hold on his followers * Spectator * A beautiful piece of story-telling. Far more accurately than any biography could do, it catches what must have been Scott's hold on his followers * Spectator * Bainbridge's account of the horribly familiar story is both fresh and sure-footed. The power of her imagination, her clarity of expression and mastery of language are more striking than anything else I have read this year * Jane Shillling, Sunday Telegraph * Bainbridge's account of the horribly familiar story is both fresh and sure-footed. The power of her imagination, her clarity of expression and mastery of language are more striking than anything else I have read this year * Jane Shillling, Sunday Telegraph *
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About Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.
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Rating details

861 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 32% (272)
4 38% (328)
3 24% (205)
2 5% (47)
1 1% (9)
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