People thought nothing could disturb the even tenor of Alan's family life. But they didn't know about his sister Madge's forbidden passion or his mother's disappearances. This novel was first published in 1976.
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Anything for A Quiet Life: this reissue of a novel first published in 1976 was written before Bainbridge's recent turn to historical fiction, and reworks the semi-autobiographical terrain familiar from her early novels, a post-war lower-middle-class setting characterised by meanness, frustration and emotional evasion.
The respectable facade of Alan's family conceals a mounting range of quirks and dysfunctions. His father chafes and rages under obscure financial humiliations. His younger sister, Madge, is having secret meetings with a German POW. His mother is making regular trips into the night, to pursue her own illicit pleasures in an empty railway station. Their desperation leaks from between the lines of Bainbridge's elliptical prose, or emanates from the grotesqueries of telling period detail--from liberty-bodices, fly-paper, the "swollen crust" of a meat pie, the "small scab" kept unhealed upon Alan's father's head from its repeated collision with the mantelpiece in the family's cramped and over-furnished kitchen. The drive is towards tragedy; but even tragedy strikes, in this understated world, with deadening calm, and via domestic metaphor. Alan's unleashing of fatal passions is accompanied by his breaking of the family clock. The resulting silence is both real and symbolic, and pursues him into his adult life. Like many Bainbridge novels, this one finally compels you to return to its start, to reread opening events in the light of a gained painful knowledge.--Sarah WatersReview:
The underrated A Quiet Life is one of the funniest books I have ever read . . . There is something shockingly plain about her strongest books, utterly uncompromising. (Hilary Mantel)
One of the best novelists of her generation. (Guardian)
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Book Description FONTANA. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0006156428I5N00
Book Description Fontana 01/01/1979, 1979. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780006156420
Book Description Fontana 01/01/1979, 1979. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780006156420
Book Description Fontana 01/01/1979, 1979. Book Condition: Good. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780006156420
Book Description Fontana, 1979. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002547261
Book Description Fontana., Great Britain, 1980. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: VG. 3rd. tv tie-in. Bookseller Inventory # 027148
Book Description Fontana reprint S/Back pictorial covers Good covers creased pages browned 156pp 7 x 4 5 190g, 1983. This early Bainbridge novel has all her hallmarks - a murderously wry insight into hypocrisy and self-delusion balanced by an unsentimental understanding of the larger picture which renders the sneaking and creeping pitiful rather than menacing. Adept at using large historical events as a springboard into fictional reconstruction, Bainbridge keeps her attention focused on a stiflingly small canvas, her prose as restrained as the lives it dissects. Unremitting domestic strife and the suffocating struggle to uphold the manners of shabby genteel poverty define the lives of a family in the 1950s. The novel fades towards the end but this is still an unforgettable read. We have many other titles by this author contact us direct for full details. Bookseller Inventory # 27726