The Bottle Factory Outing

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The Bottle Factory Outing
First edition
AuthorBeryl Bainbridge
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreBlack comedy
PublisherDuckworth (UK)
George Braziller (US)
Publication date
Oct 1974 (UK)
Jan 1975 (US)
Media typePrint, audio & ebook
Pages160 (UK)
LC ClassPZ4.B162 Bo PR6052.A3195

The Bottle Factory Outing is a 1974 novel by English writer Beryl Bainbridge. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize that year,[1] won the Guardian Fiction Prize[2] and is regarded as one of her best.[3] It is also listed as one of the 100 greatest novels of all time by Robert McCrum of The Observer.[4] The book was inspired by Beryl Bainbridge's own experiences working as a cellar girl in a bottling factory after her divorce in 1959.[5][6]

Plot introduction[edit]

It concerns Freda and Brenda who by night share a dismal bedsit, and by day work in an Italian-run wine-bottling factory in London. Freda hopes the works outing will provide opportunity for her to capture the heart of Vittorio; Brenda just aims to avoid the clutches of the lecherous Rossi. But the outing ends in tragedy.


  • Peter Tinniswood in The Times wrote "This is a superb novel. It is taut in construction, expansive in characterization, vibrant in atmosphere and profoundly comic".[7]
  • Harry Blamires likens Freda's romantic dreams to those of Joyce's Gerty MacDowell in Ulysses and he concludes "Beryl Bainbridge manages plots of escalating comedy and grotesqueness with consummate skill. She is brilliant at scattering humour over seemingly gruesome terrain".[6]

Publication history[edit]


Film adaptation[edit]

A BBC sponsored film adaptation was planned in 1991 starring Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders with a script by Alan Plater, but the project was never made.[9]


  1. ^ Reading the Bookers: 1974 short list Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  2. ^ Guardian Fiction Prize - britishliteraryprizes Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  3. ^ Beryl Bainbridge remembered Obituary by AN Wilson, The Observer, 4 July 2010.
  4. ^ The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list, Robert McCrum, The Observer, 12 October 2003
  5. ^ Beryl Bainbridge Criticism (Vol. 131) from ENotes. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  6. ^ a b A Guide to Twentieth Century Literature in English, edited by Harry Blamires, publ. 1983 by Methuen, ISBN 0-416-56180-2, page 13
  7. ^ The Times, Thursday, Nov 07, 1974; pg. 8; Issue 59238; col E
  8. ^ Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  9. ^ The BOTTLE FACTORY OUTING (1991) from BFI Film & TV Database. Retrieved 2009-02-21.

External links[edit]