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Mr Golightly’s Holiday Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.0 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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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
  • Package Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,430,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

Review

‘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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book. I didn't catch on until the end. Very clever - great story. I read it again straight away.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not my cup of tea, read as a book club read - definitely a marmite book. Didn't feel that well written and story line bizarre
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a most wonderful book, funny, poignant and life-enhancing. Salley Vickers writes with tremendous warmth, empathy and humour; and her insight into the contradictions of what it means to be human is breathtaking. I loved it, my husband loved it and everyone I've lent it to has loved it.
I recommend this book most highly.
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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed it! As ever with Sally Vickers, there is always a twist in the end.
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Format: 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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