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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 (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,013 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

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Holland on 19 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never rated any book above four stars but this is Delderfield who mastered his craft when English was taught at its best. Thank God Amazon via Kindle are making probably the best English writer of the 20th century
accessible again. Don't expect action or intrigue, murder or violence but expect to be taken on a journey that moves the reader into the lead characters persona like never before. Every married male over 50 should read this book as it answers that question all married men ask but invariably don't act on. Every married female should read this book to know what their man is thinking. Everyone younger person should read it to enjoy an insight to the forthcoming journey and decide whether it is worth the risk. Arousing book. Simply 10 stars would not have done it justice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jac Ciampolini on 7 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Sermon's reaction to work frustration and mid-life emptiness is to beat up a spoilt, misbehaved pupil and then go on the run. This is a theme similar to the one of Michael Douglas in the movie "Downfall", but I am pleased to inform prospective readers that this book does not end as tragically.

It is, indeed, a light-hearted and enjoyable book. I found the description of the South West England environment and way of life in the 1960s particularly interesting.

It is fair to say that society has moved on since then, and slapping people is hardly the best way to resolve your problems nowadays. But hey, don't worry, it's just a book; sometimes it's good to read a politically incorrect one!
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2 of 2 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By valerie wassell on 2 Jan. 2013
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This book can be read over and over again its light hearted and if you want to chill out this is the story to read. To start with you feel sorry for Mr Sermon but end up cheering for him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Calum J Innes on 22 July 2013
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GL CAPLAN on 12 Feb. 2013
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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 Jax on 7 Mar. 2013
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Brilliant writing, takes one back to the days when life seemed civilised and standards were different, A funny, sweet story!
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