“A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father. . .”
So begins Ann Quin’s madcap frolic with sinister undertones, a debut “so staggeringly superior to most you’ll never forget it” (The Guardian). Alistair Berg hears where his father, who has been absent from his life since his infancy, is living. Without revealing his identity, Berg takes a room next to the one where his father and father’s mistress are lodging and he starts to plot his father’s elimination. Seduction and violence follow, though not quite as Berg intends, with Quin lending the proceedings a delightful absurdist humor.
Anarchic, heady, dark, Berg is Quin’s masterpiece, a classic of post-war avant-garde British writing, and now finally back in print after much demand.
"Progressing with the potency of a fever dream, this reissue invites readers to discover Quin’s remarkable voice." —TANK Magazine
"Rare enough is a book that begins by stating its intention—rarer still one that proceeds to do seemingly everything it can to avoid following the path its intention has laid." —Danielle Dutton, Literary Hub
"The prose that makes Quin’s novel so dazzling 55 years later. The language of her book lurches in unexpected directions, fishtailing wildly from the dark to the erotic to the violent to the insanely funny." —Shane Anderson, The Nation
"A mixture of the surreal, the whimsical and the macabre […] [Berg] is funny and profound, and intensely of its time."- Ian Patterson, London Review of Books
"A marvellously warped book.' —New York Times
"One of Britain’s most adventurous post-war writers. Psychologically dark and sexually daring, Quin’s relentlessly experimental prose reads like nobody else." -Juliet Jacques
"She is one of our greatest ever novelists. Ann Quin’s was a new British working-class voice that had not been heard before." - Lee Rourke, The Guardian
"Quin’s prose is as sharp as a deadly blade, flashing between light and dark with arresting effect." - Financial Times
"A gritty yet deliciously strange masterpiece of British fiction." – Calum Barnes, Morning Star
"Berg reminds a little of Veronique Olmi’s tragic Beside the Sea, or Ferrante’s lost dolls in the sand, but with a runaway, off-kilter style all of its own that reminds the reader how celebrated Quin ought to be." - Laura Waddell, The Skinny
"A triumph of post-war literature. A classic of social surrealism." - Andrew Gallix, Irish Times
"What makes Berg one of the best British novels published since the war, is [the] repetitive, unyielding territory of failed transformation ... not merely a mystical plane opened up by the work of literature: paradoxically (and with a heavy dose of sadness and black humour) it is the place where literature comes closest to life." Daniel Fraser, Dublin Review of Book
"Read the book. There’s nothing I can do in this review that approaches the feeling of reading Ann Quin’s Berg. I can make lame comparisons, saying that it reminds me of James Joyce’s Ulysses (in its evocations of loose consciousness), or David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (in its oedipal voyeuristic griminess), or Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel (for its surreal humor and dense claustrophobia). Or I can repeat: Read the book. [...] Quin wrote three other novels before walking into the sea in 1973 and never coming back. Those novels are Three (1966), Passages (1969), and Tripticks (1972). I really hope that And Other Stories will reissue these in the near future. Until then: Read the book." - Edwin Turner, Biblioklept