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Mr Golightly's Holiday Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Abridged edition (Reissue) edition (17 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007171110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007171118
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,077,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Salley Vickers' subtle, witty style and clear-eyed observation of human nature has been compared to Penelope Fitzgerald and Barbara Pym. She has worked as a university teacher of literature, specialising in Shakespeare, and in adult education, where she specialised in the literature of the ancient world. She is a trained analytical psychologist and lectures widely on the connections between literature, psychology and religion. She divides her time between London, Venice and the West Country.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fiction readers with a sweet tooth and a high tolerance of Anglican whimsy are offered much beguilement in Sally Vickers' new novel Mr Golightly's Holiday. Set in the Devon village of Great Calne, it records the events observed, and in part precipitated, by Mr Golightly, the author of a work once famous but now tending to be overlooked, who has elected to settle himself in this community for a while. Mr Golightly himself, a rumpled, elderly figure arriving in a half-timbered Traveller van, is a familiar enough version of "the male author"; Great Calne, an apparently idyllic village with a wide range of carefully differentiated characters, but underneath seething with unseen discontents and rivalries, is itself another easily summoned trope--the kind of community now perhaps most commonly encountered in fictional terms in TV shows. This is handy, for Mr Golightly decides that the best way of dragging his great work into the limelight of popularity and relevance is to recast it as a soap opera. In the event, he makes little headway with this project because, of course, the affairs of the village become all-absorbing and gradually draw him in. And so things unfold, as the characters carefully established by Sally Vickers work out their destinies in a mixture of social comedy (some of it very sharp), melodrama, nature mysticism and visionary redemption that delivers far more than the opening paragraphs can suggest. Moreover, the precise identity of Mr Golightly, while not exactly part of the plot, is disclosed gradually and may come as a surprise to some.

It should be said that this is not really a novel, although it does offer many of the satisfactions of a novel. It is a fable with distinctly eschatological overtones, and as such runs the general risks of the genre, most of which are successfully negotiated. --Robin Davidson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘Salley Vickers is a writer whose subtle intelligence and unobtrusive command of narrative I always enjoy. She sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand, and she knows how the world works; and these qualities are much rarer than they should be. She's a presence worth cherishing in the ranks of modern novelists.’ Philip Pullman

"Few novelists would dare tackle the theme of Salley Vickers's third novel; fewer still would pull it off so triumphantly. I am speechless with admiration." John Julius Norwich

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jo D'Arcy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
I hate to say I have given up reading a book half way through, but I nearly did with this one more than once. I persevered but wish I had the courage of my convictions and just put it down. It was not a book I enjoyed.

Mr Golightly's Holiday is set in Devon, where a writer of only one successful book goes for a break to see if he can reinvent the book and himself. Whilst in the village of Great Calne, he makes friends and acquaintances with the locals.

Johnny Spence the local boy who hardly goes to school, whose mother, Rosie seems to have disappeared and his step-father is neither nice or gentle with him, seeks solace with Mr Golightly who helps educate him on many matters including Classical music. Ellen Thomas the next door neighbour, who is overwhelmed with the grief from the death of her husband and is merely waiting until she is called forward to be with him. Paula who seems to be trying to control a number of members of the village so she can seek her own agenda with Jackson, her eventual live in boyfriend. These are to name but a few, the book is littered with them and it does take some concentration to remember them all and who is who and who does what.

On the face of it, the book seems a rather quirky village tale, but there is a lot more to it than that. There are so many questions raised that I actually became lost in the storyline, it was like having someone firing one after the other without time to catch your breath and actually understand the questions and the meanings of everything including it seems in the author's intention the meaning of life.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By sunnylanes VINE VOICE on 3 Aug 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think Salley Vickers has done it again and for those of you who are fans of the first two books you won't be disappointed with Mr Golightly's Holiday.Ms Vickers finds 'the voice' in this book and as the omniscient narrator she cleverly allows us to warm to some characters and dislike others.A thread of intrigue weaves its way lightly through the book as we follow the very likeable Mr G. on his 6 month get-away-from-it-all holiday on Dartmoor. He has been a one hit wonder with his first book and needs to revamp his style in the face of stiff opposition in a changing world.I was awestruck by the final revelation and immediately wanted to re-read the book to check out the well laid clues.This book will bear a second if not a third reading as the meanings are multi layered and the lightly woven thread becomes one of great depth.
As a Devon resident my only gripe is the typos in the frontispiece map, the residents of Okehampton(Okenhampton!) will be horrified as will residents like me of the Tamar (Tamer!) Valley....small price to pay for such a good read.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Thompson on 18 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous reviewer. I regard myself as quite a close reader, but I didn't get the ending till it came upon me. It made me go back and re-read, with a great deal more amusement and enjoyment.
As with other Amazon reviewers, I am new to Salley Vickers and yet when I mention this book, and writer, to friends they nod wisely and say 'Oh yes' as if she's an 'in' secret. I can see why. She's very subtle and not at all in your face but she stays in the mind, like a good and wise friend's advice, discreet and cheering and making sense of the world in an unforced and unsentimental yet optimistic way. This is very unusal in today's cultural climate, which is either romantic, in the wrong way , or deeply pessimistic.
I have now read her other novels and would say the same of them. She writes beautifully, too. Elegant and clear but poetic and haunting. I can't wait for her new one, 'The Other Side of You', which I think must be a quote from Eliot's Four Quartets. A very intriguing title from a very intriguing author. Incidentally, it is impossible to 'place' her, other than to say she is very cultivated while being also very modern and witty.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Laura Stack on 6 July 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a teacher of literature and I read this novel as a result of a (male) colleague's enthusasm for this writer. I read it with some initial scepticism but was totally converted.
This is a very clever, subtle and indeed brave book. It is also very funny and kind. Once you have read it and got the hidden point (and do press on until you do because it is both original and thought-provoking) you will want to go back and read it all again. Then it is even more enjoyable.
This is entirely original work which has the immense advantage that it is very easy to read while in no way superficial. Quite the reverse. More, please, Salley Vickers. We need novelists like you.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Max Rivers on 7 Feb 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I read it to a friend who had had an op and could not use her eyes. She had read Salley Vickers's other two novels and adored them. So, not expecting anything much, because I am cynic, I read it to her. I must say Salley Vickers was new to me but I can't think why. Either this book is a well kept secret or I missed something when it came out (or maybe I was on holiday like the eponymous Mr G?). It has a brilliant premise, which is very subtle and resonates long after you have finished the book, and is full of very clever references and allusions. But Salley Vickers has the knack of never seeing to put her readers down. In fact, she seems to expect a high level of emotional intelligence while making you think hard about rather profound matters and at the same time being a very accessible read.
The prose is lucid, the ideas original, the tone witty and ironic. A thoroughly accomplished book. Terrific stuff. More soon, please, Salley.
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