Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Holiday by Stanley Middleton

Holiday is what it says on the tin. Our protagonist, in the midst of a messy relationship 'break', gets away from it all at an East coast resort. We meet fellow residents of the boarding house, relive parts of the failing relationship, and encounter the bossy parents of the wife, who are determined to patch things up between their la-la daughter and her absent husband.

I found the characters loathsome and boring, and had not a shred of sympathy with any situation.

The success of the novel is in its effortless capture of a gloomy seaside town, and its unimaginative holiday-makers, but the fantastically uninspiring setting was not enough to seize my enthusiasm.

1 comment:

  1. Sam Jordison, writer at the Guardian, has been slowly inexorably reviewing the Booker Prize winners. You might be interested in his review, as he attempts to come to grips with the fact that Holiday is really an old fashioned novel, a paradigm that no longer takes center stage, what Raymond Williams calls "residual".

    I liked the novel. It was a quick, easy read that drew its characters well and ended on a perfectly English note. As it stands up against other more "important" Booker winners, it's imminently forgettable as the text isn't interested in "Empire" or "the Other".