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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Wish You Were Here
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 October 2010
This was my first Mike Gayle and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I've had a couple of holidays in Malia where the story is set so the setting felt quite familiar although I must admit that I never actually did the club scene out there, but do remember watching all the clubbers parading past on their skyscraper heels on an evening!

I thought that it would be a bit too 'laddish' for me and that I wouldnt relate to the story at all, but no, Mike Gayle is a really good author and the story, although very funny and typically blokish in parts has some quite emotive and moving parts.

Basically the story of Charlie - thirty-five and recently dumped by his long-term girlfriend. Charlie's mate Andy thinks that a week in Malia will cure Charlie - he'll have a holiday fling and forget all about Sarah. Their old friend Tom is invited along too - three blokes trying to hold on to their youth in a place that they'd enjoyed a previous holiday.

Of course, they are all ten years older, Tom is married with two children and a born-again Christian, Charlie is heartbroken and Andy is a bit of an idiot.

During the week they drink too much, eat too many belly-buster breakfasts and think back on their lives and to their futures. There are some touching scenes, some great narrative and on the whole a good storyline that kept me engaged and eager to know what was going to happen.

I'll look out for more books from Mike Gayle.
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on 22 February 2008
Well I do! His books are always a joy to read, witty, refreshing and honest and 'WISH YOU WERE HERE' is no exception!

'WISH YOU WERE HERE' centers around three friends who upon ones break up with his longtime girlfriend, decide that a holiday to bring his spirits back up is just what the Dr. ordered. The trio, now in their mid-thirties decide to relive their misspent youth by returning to a vacation spot in Crete that held special memories for each. Unfortunately once they arrive the 18-29 crowd just isn't what they remembered. They spend night after night trying to recreate their youth soon settling upon the realization that they are no longer young or hip.

Watching these three almost middle aged men bumble about trying to keep up with the young guys with the rippling muscles and party all day and night attitude and the even younger girls with the oh-so-short skirts and barely there bikini's is a riot! But watching the main character, Charlie, come to terms with the loss of his long term relationship is the heart of this story and what we have grown to know and love about all of Mr. Gayles books.
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2008
Charlie, Andy and Tom have been friends since college and are now in their early-mid thirties. Each has reached a juncture in their life; Charlie has just come out of a long term relationship; Andy is getting married and Tom has a health scare; which is how they come to be on holiday together.

The majority of the book is set whilst they are on holiday in Crete and most of what happens is instantly recognisable to anyone who has done one of the cheap package deals to the Med; the themed bars; the regular haunt for breakfast; the groups of people you meet; the lack of anything even vaguely foreign!

I have read other Mike Gayle books and this did seem fairly typical to me. He writes well about male friendships and their complications without things ever getting too heavy, and even though they are described as lads-lit, I still find them very enjoyable.

Great beach reading.
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on 15 June 2017
Such an easy read, likeable characters, scenarios that are easy to believe
Good to read in the summer, but would add sunshine to a winter's day too
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on 30 July 2007
I was give this to read by a collegaue, and although I haven't read any of his books for years, I thought I'd give it a try.

Unsurprisingly, this is a light, easy read, full of short chapters and characters that are quite shallow and easy to understand.

The story centres on three men going on holiday in their 30s to the place they went to when they left uni.

Having been on this sort of holiday, I cringed at some of the descriptions of 18-30s holidays and enjoyed the small twists and turns of the story that saw all of the main charcaters revealing secrets and acting far more immaturely than you'd expect .

Whilst it isn't a life-changing book, it's a nice tale that is told proficiently. The only thing i would say was bad was a convoluted plot device involving all the characters getting suppossedly symbolic tattoos at the end of their holiday, which was a bit sick-inducing, but other than that, it was ok.
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on 24 March 2013
Never read a book by mike gayle, this was my first and i will want to read more of his books. Here is an author who writes good juicy stories.
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on 8 July 2007
Having read all of mike Gaayle's books I would say that his first , (My Legendary Girlfriend ) was the best.
However, using the same formula as his others ,he draws you in to the plot and I found myself picking it up at every spare oportunity,and after only two days felt disappointed that I had finished yet another good book.It is simply written and Ifeel it would appeal to all ages without offending them in the slightest.Well done Andy
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on 2 July 2007
I bought this book for my summer holiday read. However one again Mike Gayle has put my marking on hold while I have to finish his books!

It is an excellnt book, one that anyone who has been away with friends, or dumped! can relate too.

The book is based in Malia Crete, a resort I visited in 1989 and so that also made it even more interesting to read.

Somehow Mike seems to create characters that you know or have met.

Altogether 'unputdownable'.
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on 23 July 2007
Wish You Were Here was a very enjoyable read with a nice contrast between the 3 principal characters. I have not read a Mike Gayle book before and was attracted by a) the cover and b) the book summary - although the latter seemed very similar to another book I read a few years ago called You Are Here, also set in Crete and about a group of thirty something males on holiday; some of the observations are naturally very similar here although the feel of this book and general story and very different. Wish You Are Here has more of a chick-flick feel and is very driven by character conversation but it ultimately works. I ended up reading it in a rain bound cottage in Devon rather than on a med beach but it certainly kept my interest, especially when the main character, Charlie Mansell, sees his life become as tumultuous as it ever could in the final chapters and you really do end up caring about the outcome.
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on 14 June 2007
Mike Gayle's books have always been brilliantly composed and this one ' Wish you were here' is no exeception.

I personally bought this book at 4pm and I finished reading the book at 10:04pm.

I can only say that I have utterly enjoyed every moment, seconds, minutes and hours of reading 'Wish you were here' and if anyone decides to buy this - TRUST ME - it is an utterly delightful and mesmerizing pleasure to read.

The plot is beautifully created, where main characters Charlie is dumped by his 10-year relationship girlfriend Sarah and then his best mate Andy arranges a holiday with the aided accompaniment of Tom who has a medical secret to hide.

So, three blokes visiting Malia, Crete where sun, sea, clubs, bikini-clad young females dominate the place and relationships on the boil in the heated cretan sun - things are certainly going to get spicy hot and tense. What these guys don't know is that one simple basic package holiday will change their life completely.

The characters themselves are so realistic and wonderfully expresssed to such as point where you could immerse and imagine yourself being Charlie the main character or any of the other characters: Andy, Donna, Lisa, Sarah, Tom. Oh and Steve the bar-man doesn;t say a lot but ceratinly amusing - lol.

It has certainly been worth the wait and with so many unexepected twist toward the latter half of the book - you'll definately be hooked.

All I will say is that Mike Gayle's new books just simply gets better and amazing than the previous one and 'Wish you were here' is no exception to that rule.

It will certainly be worth every single penny you pay for it and more.
This is a good investment!

So remember - a simple basic package holiday may change your life forever!
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