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Past Reads > Holiday by Stanley Middleton, chapter 9 to end

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George (georgejazz) | 480 comments Mod
Please comment here on Holiday by Stanley Middleton, chapter 9 to end.

Irene | 545 comments Holiday by Stanley Middleton

This is one of those award-winning novels that, despite its stellar technical quality, left me bored. A young man, recently separated from his 6 year marriage, spends a week’s vacation at the shore. There he recalls childhood holidays, flirts with other vacationers and contemplates his complicated relationship with his wife. I never connected with this young man, understood the motivations of the central characters, made sense of all the sexual tension among the vacationers or cared about their petty lives.

message 3: by George (last edited Apr 07, 2018 08:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

George (georgejazz) | 480 comments Mod
I can understand that this novel will not appeal to all readers. I didn't particularly like any of the characters in the novel, however I was interested in learning about what Britain was like in the early 1970s. What I liked about this novel is how it transported me back to a way of life that has all but disappeared. Relationships, flirting, communicating, meeting people, class differences, entertainment, how what is enjoyable to one person, isn't to another.

The book made me reflect on family holidays, the sociability of holiday makers, the general willingness to be helpful and participate in activities with strangers. I found the gentle way Middleton describes father/son relationships and old age, thought provoking. I loved this quote from the book, "Everybody judges from the point of view of his own inadequacy.”

I liked the way that as the story progressed, Meg doesn't seem as 'mad' as Edwin initially states. As the story proceeds we learn that Edwin is a long way from being an empathetic individual.

Irene | 545 comments I did not have childhood experiences that were remotely similar to this holiday. So, that element did not connect for me. But I did appreciate the gradual revealing of both these characters. Neither are saints and neither are villans. However, I had not much hope for that marriage at the end of the novel.

George (georgejazz) | 480 comments Mod

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