THE BOTTLE FACTORY OUTING by Beryl Bainbridge

THE BOTTLE FACTORY OUTING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the third of Beryl Bainbridge's admirably startling stories with an educated frisson. How well she uses both recognizable and even common circumstances and, this time, outright humor as shock absorbers. Brenda, dowdy, shares a bedsitter with dashing, snappishly domineering Freda while they both work at a wine bottle factory -- a partly family enterprise of Italian Mr. Paganotti. Brenda had left her husband because he went to the Little Legion every night, got sloshed and returned home to pee on the steps outside. Freda constantly chides her on her appearance even if she manages to attract two of the factory's employees, while Freda tries to allure the trainee manager Vittorio however crimped by the presence of Brenda in the loo. Finally the long promised day of the Outing arrives -- full of hopes -- and the book sustains its tenor of al fresco farce during a visit to Windsor, a picnic, a little ""jump out"" which could mean almost anything, before the fights to follow. And the accident -- Freda's -- when she is found ""sleeping"" in the bushes with her eyes open -- what or rather who is to account for it? More predictable is the disposition of her remains when brought back to the plant as well as more consonant with the generally cheeky nature of the proceedings -- the author's eye for the ""pout of a beer belly"" and ear for a ""loud, moist giggle."" She's a considerable writer -- sharp and knowing.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
ISBN: 1860426581
Publisher: Braziller