Berg Paperback – Dec 1 2001
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"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".
Top Customer Reviews
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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.
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!)