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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Lucia on Holiday: A Mapp & Lucia Novel
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 February 2013
The beloved E. F Benson's, Mapp & Lucia series of stories has been recreated by Guy Fraser-Sampson in this new rendition, and is based on the enduring character partnership between arch rivals Emmeline Lucas and Elizabeth Mapp-Flint. In Lucia on Holiday, the social satire continues with a wry look at the English abroad, which is largely overshadowed by the rivalry which exists between the two main protagonists.

I am a newcomer to this series of stories, and so I enter into the discussion with no preconception of how the story should or should not flow, or indeed whether the essence of characterisation has been sustained, however, what I can deduce from reading the story is that the dialogue is both witty and stylised, and quirkily reminiscent of a bygone era. The larger than life characters, comparable at times to the farcical nature of P. G Wodehouse, kept me completely entertained. The droll humour is quite refreshing, and I found myself laughing out loud at the social commentary, which is wryly observed.

It is never easy to take on the mantle of a much beloved series, and I am sure that the Benson enthusiasts will be slightly more critical of this attempt to recreate a master's work, but if like me you are a new recruit to this writing genre, then you may well be encouraged to simply enjoy Lucia on Holiday as a well written and amusing social satire.
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on 8 November 2014
Loving the original Mapp and Lucia novels, I was a bit skeptical about a book about the dear ladies by someone other than EF Benson. However I was amazed at how well Guy Fraser-Sampson had kept to the characterisation. He had also managed to retain the essence of snobbery with humour that so featured in Benson's novels. I'd read more by this author on Mapp and Lucia.
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on 4 September 2012
A further instalment in the life of Tilling after E F Benson. This book carries on from Lucia In Trouble and quite brilliantly captures the mood and characters already so well known. As you would hope, the plot is very convoluted with many strands to pull together, and this is all done with great panache and a good many hilarious moments. By various means, several of the major characters find themselves in the same hotel in Bellagio, and involves a Bugatti Royale, the Maharajah of Bhanipur well known to Billy Bunter fans, and some new characters to add various twists in the tale.
If you are a Luciaphile already you will love this book - if not, buy the complete saga of 6 books for 77p on Kindle and prepare to enjoy one of the greatest collections of between the wars society you are ever likely to read.

Chris Burdon
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on 3 August 2014
Benson it isn't. Funny, well written and entertaining it is. I don't have a problem with the characters changing a little over the years, despite the small criticisms that have already been mentioned.

The most important thing is that we have more Mapp & Lucia stories.
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on 12 December 2012
Although not exactly the same as the original writer Guy Fraser -Sampson comes close to re creating the Mapp and Lucia we all miss
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on 6 September 2012
The cover says: "What bliss" - no.
The cover says: "needle-sharp dialogue" - no.
The cover says: "perfect reading" - no.
The cover says: "pitch-perfect" - no.
The cover says: "deliciously enjoyable" - no.
I say: "tedious and unfunny" - YES !
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2012
After my rather late discovery of the Divine Duo I laid waste to every Mapp and Lucia book I could find but of course there are only six. SIX! I ask you what was Fred (EF Benson) thinking? He could have trebled that amount and we would still have been gasping for more, but luckily one author, by the name of Tom Holt, came along with Lucia Triumphant and Lucia in Wartime to keep us going. Brilliantly written, hard to tell if I was presented with an untitled manuscript that I would be able to spot that it was not the original author, and I chased these down and bought them.

But that was that, no more thought I. WRONG. Along comes Guy Fraser-Sampson, who I think should be knighted for service to literature (Sir Guy of Tilling?) and he wrote a book all about Major Benjy, which has kept me going for a year or two. Flushed with success he has now written Lucia on Holiday which has had so many pre-orders that its publisher has brought forward publication date. So many fans out there and delighted to hear it.

Lucia has made rather a lot of money on the stock market so she and Georgie decide to splash out and Luciatake a holiday abroad. Off they go to Bellagio, near Milan, a location cunningly decided upon by Georgie and Olga Bracely, the world renowned opera singer. At first Lucia is dubious:

"I hardly think that Milan is our sort of place.....one must be very careful when visiting unknown locations on the Continent...Why it might be positively full of Italians"

Georgie was taken aback. " Well, it is in Italy you know" he said with some asperity "I understand most Italian towns have a quite high proportion of Italian inhabitants"

Lucia looked at him severely. "Don't be silly Georgie" she admonished him "I mean the wrong sort of Italians, naturally"....


Well off they go but to their total astonishment and dismay Major Benjy and Elisabeth Mapp turn up. They are being treated to an all expenses paid holiday by a Maharajah who the Major knew in India, in return for looking after his son Ramesh. The Wyses are also there with the Contessa ("cholera in Capri") so by the time the Mapp-Flints arrive we have Tilling in microcosm settled in at the Bellagio and we can sit back and wait for the fun, the gossip, the infighting, the vying for centre stage to begin. And it does.

This is a simply delicious book and I loved every single word. Georgie has the most wonderful suave, rather glamorous valet to take care of all his personal needs (Lucia disapproves), the Major flirts outrageously with a young lady who is under the mistaken impression that he is rich and wealthy and worth cultivating (mainly because the Major has driven the Maharajah's Bugatti to Bellagio), Poppy the Duchess of Sheffield in love with Georgie and his beard turns up much to his dismay - the Bellagio is populated with all these characters that are so dear and familiar and wonderful and it was a joy to see them again.

I might also add that Guy Fraser- Sampson is the author of a book called Cricket at the Crossroads which I have also read and reviewed here and I think it is highly unlikely that you will come across somebody with such an eclectic range of interests - I am hoping that he will combine the two and let Lucia form the Tilling Cricket Team in her next book. I think she would make a demon bowler...

Loved loved loved this book and all fans of Mapp and Lucia and Tilling will be glad to add this to their bookshelves. Lucia is as infuriating and as wonderful as ever, Mapp as awful as ever (there are times however, when I do feel sorry for her as she never ever gets the better of Lucia), Georgie a delight and I take great delight in the hugely laid back opera singer, Olga Bracely. I hope this sells in millions and trillions as it deserves to do so.

I leave you with one more quote. Georgie is being taken on a tour of Italian gardens and hating it:

"He took out his handkerchief and mopped his forehead. At this stage Lucia, who if truth be told was beginning to feel a trifle warm herself even though she had taken certain liberties with her undergarments, became a model of solicitude"

I do wonder what the 'certain liberties' were I really do.

Au reservoir.
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on 4 May 2012
What joy it is to have yet another "Mapp and Lucia" book, even if it is not from the pen of the master! Guy Fraser-Sampson's second book, based on the originals by E F Benson, takes the Tillingites out of Tilling, to spend a long vacation lakeside in Italy, and the usual fun and games and one-upmanship abound. The only complaint I have is that there are a few loose ends that are not cleared up, and I would have preferred it if there was some sort of closure, with all the protagonists back on home soil, but most enjoyable never-the-less!
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on 26 February 2013
A really excellent revisit to EF Benson' s so perfect original characters. A wonderful re-imagining of Mapp & Lucia; an excellent addition for all Mapp & Lucia fans.
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on 20 August 2013
This book continues the rivalry between the Mapp-Flints and Lucia and Georgie - it is very funny indeed. Lucia has become more waspish (preferred EF Bensons version) and Olga a fish-wife but apart from that the genteel humour remains and is a triumph!
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