Another Part of the Wood, Paperback Book

Another Part of the Wood Paperback

2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain.

When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood.

All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. Joseph decides to take his mistress and son, together with a few friends, to stay in a cabin in deepest Wales for the weekend - with absolutely disastrous results.

Beryl Bainbridge's gift for deadpan dialogue and spare narrative, and her darkly comic vision of the world, are all in evidence in this early novel.


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Beryl Bainbridge writes in an inaccessible style, with a lot of dialogue and very little description. That is why it is difficult to get a grip on the story, which only develops through the interactions of the characters. Only late into the story, as the reader becomes more acquainted with the main characters, we may get glimpses of what Bainbridge may have intended to share.In the autumn of 2011, Penguin Books reissued Another part of the wood in their Penguin Decades series, as a novel representative of the 1960s.The title obviously refers to Shakespeare, where magic usually happens in the wood. Throughout the 60s and 70s novelists set stories to take place in (artists') communities in forests, as an ideal setting away from ordinary life, a place where a transformation might take place. In that sense, the forest retreat is often the time or place where something unusual might happen.Not so in Bainbridge's Another part of the wood. The families spending their time in this holiday camp, are very ordinary people, who carry their ordinary lives with them. There is no magic, and no happenings. They have taken with them, and play the same games as at home, with the same quibbles and irritations. Playing Monopoly does not bring out the best in them, and in their selfish concentration they lose eye for what is around them. The death, at the end of the story, is the result of this neglect.

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