Holiday

Holiday

Edwin Fisher is on holiday at the English seaside - but this revisiting of childhood haunts is no ordinary holiday. Edwin is seeking to understand the failure of his marriage to Meg, but it turns out that her parents are staying at the same resort - whether by accident or design - and are keen to patch up the relationship. As the past and his enigmatic wife loom larger, deeper truths emerge and the perspective shifts in unexpected ways. This is an extremely subtle story, a consummate portrait of English provincial life told with all Stanley Middleton's artistry and depth of feeling. It was joint winner of the Booker Prize in 1974. Review quotation: "At first glance, or even at second, Stanley Middleton's world is easily recognizable...The excellence of art, for Middleton, is an exact vision of real things as they are. And because he is himself so exact an observer, his world at third glance can seem strange and disturbing or newly and brilliantly lit with colour." (A.S. Byatt).

Title:Holiday
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  • The title is misleading. I expected fun and frolic, and languid beach conversation. Instead I got exposed to the darker side of marriage, which lurks in all marriages, happy or otherwise. Fisher has c...

  • So, it cannot be easy to share the Booker with Nadine Gordimer, and it is perhaps that misfortune that has caused Holiday to fall into some obscurity. It is a quiet book (not that The Conservationist...

  • Holiday is one of those subtle books where nothing much really seems to happen but deceptively filled with insights. At a gentle pace, we are taking a holiday with Edwin Fisher, an ordinary lecturer, ...

  • Plain, serious and precise. There's nothing gimmicky or trivial about this book; it's just beautifully written and finely observed. I really loved it....

  • I'd really looked forward to this, as it was an article in the Guardian earlier this year, on the book's release in paperback, that I first became aware of Middleton's work. Surprisingly I couldn't ge...

  • I have been watching Mad Men a lot recently (no spoilers, I promise) but with the recollections that our main character (Edwin Fisher) has about his marriage, I can't help picture Don Draper and Megan...

  • I only bought this book because VS Naipaul praised Stanley Middleton's ability to write good dialogue. Holiday is about a middle class teacher Edwin Fisher who goes on a holiday to Bealthorpe, an Engl...

  • This is a deceptively simple little read. The premise seems to be bland: Edwin Fisher, instructor in educational philosophy for the UK Department of Education, has left his wife, Meg, because of domes...

  • In an effort to expose myself to a broader range of authors, I began many years ago to read my way through the list of Booker Prize-winning novels. Holiday is one I picked up a while back, and this ...

  • [rating = C-]I was actually thinking this was going to be a really good book. But. It was well written and dull as dishwater. Nothing really new (ideas/theories) came from this Man Booker Prize-winnin...

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