An Awfully Big Adventure
'This is one of Bainbridge's best books. The close observation and hilarity are underlain by a sense of tragedy as deep as any in fiction' The Times
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE IN 1990
It is 1950 and the Liverpool repertory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as...more
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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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
This novel follows Stella's journey from Innocence to Experience when she joins a theatre company. At first the novel ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
‘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 ...more
Stella is a naïve and somewhat disturbed individual who is on a voyage of self-discovery. She thinks she’s in love with Meredith but ...more
Prickly teenager Stella is found a job at the theatre by her Uncle Vernon, with whom she lives in a shabby boarding house. She quickly develops a crush on the director, Meredith Potter, and finds her place among the eccentric characters and painful relationships of the theatrical company. Then, as rehearsals for Peter Pan ...more
It’s Liverpool in 1950, and young Stella Bradshaw, who lives with her aunt and uncle, dreams of a life in the theatre, something that’s not typical of girls with her background (‘People like us don’t go to plays,’ says Aunt ...more
Set in the early 1950s, An Awfully Big Adventure features Stella, a teenage girl who lives with her Uncle Vernon and his wife, Lily, in their down-at-heel boarding house in Liverpool. (Neither of the girl ...more
It is 1950 and Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager just as the Liverpool rep company are about to stage Peter Pan for Christmas and she has fallen ...more
The writing was flat: I never cared about any of the characters, and as such had trouble keeping them straight. The plot was pretty much nonexistent: the only driver seemed to be whether or not the gal would get the guy (Stella and Meredith). Lots of things happened, but most weren't interesting enough to bother absorbing, and the ones that were weren't described in enough detail to truly absorb. ...more