Monday, 26 September 2011
The Birthday Boys
Title: The Birthday Boys
Author: Beryl Bainbridge
Number of pages: 181
Started: 21 September 2011
Finished: 26 September 2011
A fictional account of Captain Robert Scott's 1910 expedition to Antarctica told from the perspectives of five men on the voyage: Scott; Petty Officer Taff Evans; ship's medic Dr Edward Wilson; Lieutenant Henry Bowers; and Captain Lawrence Oates
What I thought:
This is the first Beryl Bainbridge book that I have read and it tells of the fatal British attempt by Captain Scott and others to be the first to the South Pole.
I thought it was an interesting idea for a book – both in terms of the subject matter and each of the five chapters being written from the perspective of different members of the party. I also thought it was right that the last chapter was not Captain Scott’s as that would have seemed too much of a cliché.
That said, I found it difficult to get into this book. I knew the fate of the expedition, but somehow this didn’t help me to empathise with them or fear for their future. It was a good idea for a book, but, for me, it was not one that I found to be a compelling read.