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The Spring Madness of Mr. Sermon Paperback – 27 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 Nov. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340286423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340286425
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Mr Delderfield's manner is easy, modest, heartwarming (Evening Standard)

R F Delderfield is a born storyteller ( Sunday Mirror)

Sheer, wonderful storytelling (Chicago Tribune)

It is always a pleasure to read R F Delderfield, because he never seems to be ashamed of writing well (Books and Bookmen)

'He built an imposing artistic social history that promises to join those of his great forebears in the long, noble line of the English novel. His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett' Life Magazine (Life Magazine)

Book Description

From one of the twentieth century's bestselling authors, R.F. Delderfield, this is a book about one man's dissatisfaction with his small life, and his desire to break free.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sebastian Sermon is a school teacher. He has been conscious for a while of a sense of dissatisfaction with his life. One day a boy in his class misbehaves and Mr Sermon snaps and hits him - and goes on hitting him. He walks out of the school, goes home, and decides, after scaring Sybil, his wife of twenty years, that he will go away for a time. He sets out with a small amount of money in his pocket and a rucksack on his back and ends up in Devon.

What follows is a heart warming and interesting story of the way Mr Sermon finds hidden talents in himself that he never really suspected. The characters he meets are well drawn and the incidents he gets involved in are amusing and believable. I particularly liked Tapper - the antique dealer - who doesn't like dishonest dealing; the irascible town clerk who sees a man he can deal with in Mr Sermon; Olga - who is on the verge of transforming her life and Fred Gray and his daughter Rachel.

The characters are far from being all sweetness and light and this is not Arcadia. Many of the attitudes expressed and the principles upheld may seem old fashioned to modern readers but perhaps we need to go back and re-examine some of these ways of behaviour in the twenty first century. Relationships are shown as being many shades of grey with imperfect people doing the best they can to make things work.

I first read this book in the early nineteen eighties and have read it many times since then. In spite of the unpromising and very un-PC beginning I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a feel-good read which has a message of hope for everyone who has ever felt that same sense of dis-satisfaction in their lives. The book is well written and entertaining and if you enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry then you will probably enjoy 'The Spring Madness of Mr Sermon'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P. V. Gregory on 22 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As all ways this is a Delderfield that you can not put down, it has to be read at one sitting. It is totally believable & you get right into the book. Not a bit like Swan on wheels or the estate books but very enjoyable
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Inverey on 22 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this about 30 years ago and stumbled on it the other day.

Some of the concepts may seem outdated but I found it as entertaining as when I read it the first time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GL CAPLAN on 12 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really good read.Already reminding us of an author who could pen To Serve Them All My Days.Yet this is a little Westmoreland a different ,more recent era.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin on 9 April 2014
Format: Paperback
This was a brilliant read and I loved every page. My only disappointment was when it ended.
As you'd expect from a book written so long ago, some of the viewpoints are very dated but it added to the charm of the book and the beautifully told story. I'm off to read more Delderfield forthwith.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By walter on 5 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down and get on with something necessary to put my life in good order.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ron Brown on 9 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it immensley as I did in book form years ago. A good storey, well written by an Author I have always enjoyed.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this a number of years ago but mislaid the original, then I found an American copy (titled simply 'Mr Sermon') and found myself engrossed in as good a read the second time around. What a delight to share the changing fortunes of Sebastian Sermon and the many characters with whom he engages as he sets out on what is a voyage of discovery aged 49. Delderfield introduces us to a broad range of people who all help address this mid life crisis in a variety of different ways and all who add to the beguiling nature of a tale told well. Don't be put off by some of the dated language and references - they add to the overall enjoyment and you gain a feel for life in England during the 1960's. As with so many of his books it is the little insights into prevailing attitudes and how a number of moral issues are addressed that makes this such an interesting read. As for his mother in law - one of the most entertaining characters in the book!
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