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Berg (British Literature) Paperback – December 1, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A marvelously warped book. . . .' -- New York Times

"A vividly intense and almost palpably immediate work of imagination." -- Irish Times

"I think BERG is an excellent answer to all those who think reading novels is a waste of time." -- Books & Bookmen

"If you don't read it then you're not interested in the present and possible future of the English novel." -- Scotsman

"The style is eclectic enough to remind the reader of the New Wave, Beckett, Pinter, and Freud with a headache." -- Library Journal

About the Author

Ann Quin, one of the best kept secrets of British experimental writing, has garnered comparisons to such diverse writers as Samuel Beckett and Nathalie Sarraute. Before her death in 1973, she published four novels, including "Berg" and "Passages". In 1964 she became the first female recipient of the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship which allowed her to travel to the U.S., a trip that provided the basis for "Tripticks".
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Product Details

  • Series: British Literature
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564783022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564783028
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I do recommend this novel, but only to those who will not desperately flee some miserably twisted circumstances. This novel continues the experimentation of the English novel as a form that Beckett put a halt to when he became French. Berg really is tremendously dark, but it has an oddity or eccentricity that makes it not only memorable but meaningful. In addition to the story indicated in the editorial reviews above, it does something to resemble in content an almost Graeco-tragedian structure puttied with a more domestically modern flesh. This novel is one that totally disturbed me in ways that did not make me love it but I find that the author is wonderfully comic, creative, pleasingly dark and intelligent. For such an odd book, I do not know how to say I recommend it, but for a continuance in one's education of novelistic recourses this may be one book that makes you happy in a rather uncomfortable way. If for no other reason, pick this novel up to read the first sentence.
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Format: Paperback
A man tracks down the father he never knew and, concealing his identity, befriends him and has an affair with his mistress.

Ann Quin's first novel was a big success in 1964 & remains her best known book. The plot is a characteristic 60s mix of lowlife absurd (Beckett, Pinter) & symbolism (Freud, Laing). In one scene the drunken father tries to rape the son who has dressed up in the father's mistress's clothes! And then there's some creepy perversity concerning a ventriloquist's dummy.... Although of its time & betraying some of the over-ripe awkwardness of a first novel, the extraordinary quality of Ann Quin's writing retains its disturbing power today. If you find the attempts of today's Brat novelists to write "on the edge" laughably obvious & shallow, then read some Ann Quin for the real thing.
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Format: Paperback
I found out about this book quite by accident, and was intrigued to learn that the author came from Brighton, my home town, in the UK. Sadly, she drowned in the sea there in 1973. I felt I had to read it, but I really did not expect to find the book any good.
It is a most wonderful book. She writes terrific prose and the novel has great momentum. I did not find it sad or depressing. The narrator, Berg, is probably quite crazy so don't expect everything to make sense! I think there are more than hints of "The Master and Margarita" and some Becket stories here, but I find Becket's Frenchfied "ennui" really irritating these days. Berg has a thrust and even joy (in the writing) that Becket never managed (or even tried!)
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