Injury Time

by Beryl Bainbridge | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 11/15/2004
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, November 15, 2004
2nd hand copy - to be read

(17/01) Review to follow, promised to Beebarf as swop for another BB

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, January 24, 2005
Beryl Bainbridge does write very unusual, quirky books, packed full of great characters, well observed social nuance, and liberally spiced with high & low comedy; what I mean by that is sophisticated, dry wit on one page, and then on the next page a descent into the sort of slapstick situations that you might expect in an Ealing comedy, or a British theatre ‘bedroom farce’. Does that make sense? Anyway, all good stuff packed into only 159 pages. She does do a couple of odd things though; firstly there are a few plot twists, observed in the third person, like a slow-mo car crash (I can’t give you details for fear of ruining the plot). Also, the ending is very abrupt and leaves quite a few things hanging in the air, I had to go in to Borders to check that my copy didn’t have 50 pages missing from the end!

The most I can say about the plot without giving anything away is that most of the action is set at a dinner party, where middle-aged accountant Edward and his mistress Binny entertain a business acquaintance and his wife (Simpson & Muriel). That’s it really :-)

And a couple of quotes:

Edward on martyrdom, looking in a mirror at a picture of the last supper past his dishevelled reflection;

"It was alright for some, he thought – those who know the precise moment of their martyrdom. For himself, (it) stretched ahead, unplanned, full of accidental alarms."

Muriel on motherhood, to her husband, after putting out the bins (so *not* PC, but funny, and great pathos);

"I was glad of something to do...I’m used to doing things for you and the children. Its what I’m for." "After the children were walking and we gave the pram away, I used to cross my arms over my chest when I went out."

Last, but not least, what does ‘Injury Time’, the title, mean?
Well Binny gives us the analogy about being middle-aged, early on in the book, ‘...like the second half of a football match. The game...long since decided, was drawing to a close.’ Later on, Edward, with his world collapsing around him, believes that the final whistle has blown, and he’s in an unexpected and unwonted ‘injury time’.


Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan at on Monday, January 24, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (1/24/2005 UTC) at

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On its way to Beebarf. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Friday, January 28, 2005
Many thanks Tony, both for the book and the bookmark which arrived a couple of days ago.

Journal Entry 5 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 02, 2005
So far, I'm a bit undecided about this book. Bainbridge's eye for detail and character is as clear as ever, but it's the characters themselves that are the problem, they are such an unlikeable bunch!

However, I will persevere - I'm beginning to warm to Muriel, so hopefully that will carry me through!

Journal Entry 6 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I didn't really like this - as I think I've said previously, I found the characters nasty with no redeeming features.

The descent into semi farce wasn't even remotely amusing and the new characters were merely ciphers.

The last paragraph was a return to form, or was it merely relief it was over?

Interesting, but not all that enjoyable - but thanks Tony for sending it to me!

Journal Entry 7 by beeofgoodcheer at on Thursday, March 31, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (3/31/2005 UTC) at

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This is going on a mini-ray - SwanofKennet then WormyOne - first leg starts today!

Journal Entry 8 by SwanOfKennet from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Whoops - my apologies. This arrived when things were chaotic and I never journalled it.

Slapped wrists accepted!

Journal Entry 9 by SwanOfKennet at on Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (1/31/2006 UTC) at

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This book has had an unfortunate stay with me. Anyway, it has been languishing on myshelf for some time and it also spent some time in Tosca's midden under the sofa. It's on its way to WormyOne now.

I realised once I started it that I had read it before. It;s short and earthy and enjoyable.

Journal Entry 10 by WormyOne from Brighton & Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom on Thursday, February 02, 2006
It arrived with me today and is about to be crossed off my wish list. Thanks to all involved in its journey so far.

Journal Entry 11 by WormyOne from Brighton & Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I’m tired today because I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading until I’d reached the end. There’s a change of pace around the middle which took me by surprise and had me gripped. Having said that, I found the very end a tad disappointing. It’s not that I need ALL the threads tied up but this left too many hanging.

It’s written with witty deadpan irony and the characters are wonderfully portrayed. The atmosphere is a little like watching Abigails’s Party. Both were written in 1977 and each portrays marvelously dreadful characters.

I wasn't going to include any quotes but I see that BookGroupMan has and it's inspired me to put in my favourite:

Edward reflecting on how the way a mistress is disadvantaged over a wife:

"It was rotten for her...He gave her so little; he denied her the simple pleasures a wife took for granted - that business of cooking his meals, remembering his sister's birthday, putting intricate little bundles of socks into his drawer. All he had to offer were those pitifully few hours of an evening, if and when Helen chose to go to one of her meetings".

Thanks for explaining the title BookGroupMan. I'd missed those references and was puzzled by it.

Released 12 yrs ago (1/31/2007 UTC) at Brighton Railway Station in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom

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On the seats nearest the ticket barriers, on the concourse, at about 07:15.

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