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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a winner!
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...
Published on 3 Aug. 2003 by sunnylanes

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book to go lightly with
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...
Published on 18 Jan. 2009 by Jo D'Arcy


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book to go lightly with, 18 Jan. 2009
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (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.

I did make it to the end, and I completely understood who Mr Golightly was and what the book was that was published a long time ago, there are clues in the book, if you want to think deeply and you can see them. What I thought was going to being a pleasant sojourn about village life and how an outsider fits in, was lost; it all goes a bit deeper than that.

Would I recommend this book? I really do not know..... if you want a light read then no, if you have the time and the interest in all things religious, philosophical then yes.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a winner!, 3 Aug. 2003
By 
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected ending from a writer of great force and charm, 18 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle brilliance, 6 July 2004
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Scintillating and Enlightening, 7 Feb. 2005
By 
Max Rivers (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern Jane Austen, 4 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (Paperback)
I was put off this book by the Amazon reviewer who described it as 'Anglican' and for those with a 'sweet tooth'. Then a clever and highly cultivated friend, who loves jane Austen and George Eliot, and thinks Salley Vickers is on a par with them, forced me to read it. I came to the conclusion that your reviewer had not read the book - or only very superficially.
It's very clever, very sharp and utterly unsentimental. In addition, it is courageous and radical in its conception but also in it's subtle metaphysical overtones. I had not read Salley Vickers before and was thrilled to be introduced to her. But Amazon would never have sold her to me. Believe me, she's a one off, entirely original, thougthful, funny, sharp-witted, generous but certain never whimsical. In fact, all her books are deeper, more philosophical and better written than any recent Booker prize winner. But they need to be read with an open mind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Golightly's Holiday - review, 22 Mar. 2010
By 
A. M. Beattie - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (Paperback)
I didn't guess. Not at all. Even I who consider myself well-read and more than averagely sensitive to cultural references. And yet when I re-read it, as you inevitably must, it was all perfectly obvious. I thoroughly enjoyed it as the best sort of literary game (especially identifying the quotations!) and it provoked lively and positive discussion at our book group. A worthwhile and rewarding read, even if you will kick yourself for not getting it the first time.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant and Gracious Writer, 16 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Mr Golightly's Holiday (Paperback)
I heard Salley Vickers speak last summer at a Way With Words Festival at Dartington and I was so entranced by her talk that I went to hear her again last weekend at Southwold. She is like her books, graceful and generous and full of illuminating wisdom which she wears very lightly. I only finished Mr Golightly just before hearing her speak and have still to digest the astonishing range. It's very funny as well as being profoundly thought provoking and always beautifully written in her clear, understated yet often lyrical style.
She's a very special writer and I shall be giving her books to my discerning friends and loved ones for Christmas. Defintitely 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charmingly quirky, 24 Mar. 2013
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It becomes apparent quite quickly (to me at least) who Mr Golightly really is, although it's never stated explicitly. As a tale on its own, without the religious allegory, I think it still stands up as an enjoyable yarn. Mr G is described as an author on a rural sabbatical, trying to work on an update to his only big successful publishing effort to date.
The plot involves the various intrigues of the people and places in a village in rural Devon, and Mr Golightly's often unwitting and unwilling role in these. Not all of the characters are likeable, but I found them all quite credible. It's not my favourite Salley Vickers novel, but well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even better the second time, 6 Jan. 2014
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I read this again at a time of some personal trauma. I'd liked it the first time; this time I loved it. It's the gentleness and humanity of it I think; the understanding of loss and sadness and the wry humour. I appreciated the references more too - I hadn't recognised the betrayal of Judas when I read it the first time. Still frustrated by the long chapter on the devil's argument., though, which is too clever for me. I'm an atheist, so don't be put off by the religious theme; just read it because it's worth reading and you'll feel better for having done so.
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