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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  242 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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, de...more
Unknown Binding, 239 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Not Avail (first published January 1st 1974)
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Booker Prize Winners
48th out of 48 books — 1,307 voters
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21st out of 71 books — 7 voters

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Courtney H.
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 is loud), and has an entirely narrow focus: the inner workings of a single man’s mind, on holiday in the English seaside, as he tries to sort out why his marriage failed. He meets fellow holiday-goers, deals with the machinations of his ex-in-laws who are trying to force a truce (and piece the marr...more
Paul Blakemore
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.
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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. It has something to do with their fights and their passion.... Now, Edwin is not nearly as attractive as Don Draper, but it's just something about the relationship that reminds me of them.

This book is just so.... English. Stiff upper lip all the way. Even when married women are letting divorced me...more
Sally Flint
What a relief to finish this book and feel like my reading time is my own again (silly man booker challenge!) I only started to enjoy this in the last two chapters which is too late! A thirty something man, leaves his wife and goes on holiday to a seaside town evoking memories of his father of his overbearing shopkeeper father. He spends the week, exploring his relationships with other people in the bed and breakfast in which he stays, has a series of mild flirtations and reflects on the various...more
Edwin Fisher takes a holiday to a seaside resort following his divorce, only to find his ex-wife's parents staying there also. A subtle and engaging book.
Elizabeth Kelly
An interesting look at marriage. Even though this is set over 30 years ago it still seems relatively accurate to todays society.
Rick Patterson
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 domestic differences and has taken a week off at Bealthorpe, a seaside resort town (that may be an alias for Bournemouth) where he tries to put his head back together about whether or not he wants to stay married. While there, he happens to meet his father-in-law, David Vernon, a solicitor who practises...more
Alex Rendall
Stanley Middleton was jointly awarded the Booker Prize in 1974 with Nadine Gordimer. Middleton’s Holiday is, on the face of it, a novel about a man who goes to a British seaside town for a week-long holiday. In reality, education lecturer Edwin Fisher is escaping from the death of his son and his crumbling marriage to grieving, volatile Meg. Through a series of flashbacks, prompted by events during his holiday, the reader sees how Edwin first met Meg, their courtship and eventual marriage, the b...more
So-so read about a man separated from his wife, trying to figure out what is up next in his life. Told largely through a series of flashbacks.
Despite the prosaic and downbeat subject matter (man goes on holiday to Lincolnshire seaside town and considers whether to attempt to save his failing marriage) this book was surprisingly perceptive and moving, and I can understand why it won the Booker prize. Full of sharp observation, wry humour and humanity.
David Whittlestone
Homely little story nicely written. A quick read.
***spoiler alert***

I neither loved not hated this book, more I just felt it missed the opportunity to be... more. More passionate, more angsty, more angry at life's injustices. edwin Fisher has a choice to make, but its almost like he falls into it. he neither jumps at the chance to get back with Meg, nor feels dragged back into the relationship. it just all seemed a bit 'meh', which is a shame because I had warmed to him and the depiction of a different of-the-time Britain. I wanted something m...more
Mary Lou
Fisher takes a week's holiday in the same English seaside town he went to as a child. Recalling with embarrassment the way his father used to interact with his fellow boarding house guests, he is surprised to find himself acting in much the same way.
An acutely drawn picture of life in the early 70s, things get much darker as Fisher mulls over whether or not to return to the unusal marriage he has recently walked away from.
Alexandra Popovic
Very boring. Yet another nail in the coffin that holds my faith in the Man Booker Prize. There's very little change in scenery, and I don't know if it was just my copy or not, but there were tons of typos and grammatical errors - some sentences were almost unreadable. I only gave it 2 stars because I appreciated his character development, and some of the flashbacks were nicely done.
Many of the descriptions of people by the seaside in the 70s struck a chord, but the main character didn't really do the same. He struck me as a spineless drifter. Couldn't really see how the novel won the Booker!
All I can think is there must have been a better choice for the Booker in 1974.
Catrien Deys
Lots of printing errors but still a good read; genuine.
O'Fallon Public Library
Recommended by Westside Library (Galway City, Ireland).
Dec 15, 2008 Jen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
1974 booker prize
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The Opening of Holiday 1 2 Nov 16, 2013 02:47AM  
  • Saville
  • Something to Answer For
  • The Elected Member
  • The Conservationist
  • Offshore
  • G.
  • The Old Devils
  • Staying On
  • In a Free State
  • Rites of Passage (To the Ends of the Earth, #1)
  • How Late It Was, How Late
  • Heat and Dust
  • Moon Tiger
  • The Siege of Krishnapur (Empire Trilogy, #2)
  • Sacred Hunger
  • Last Orders
  • Hotel du Lac
  • The Famished Road
Stanley Middleton wrote 45 novels, including 1974's Booker Prize-winner Holiday. A Cautious Approach was his last novel.
More about Stanley Middleton...
Entry Into Jerusalem Toward the Sea Mother's Boy A Cautious Approach Her Three Wise Men

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