"Mr Golightly’s Holiday" by Salley Vickers. [review]
Dooley, Gillian Mary
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Mr Golightly is a very reassuring incarnation of God the Father. Slightly old-fashioned and unused to modern life, he is kindly and broadminded, and likes a pint at the local, though he is reluctant to involve himself in the petty affairs of the village. He has difficulty remembering what he wrote all those centuries ago in the Old Testament. The novel is full of gentle theological jokes, but the point of the story is a serious one. However hard a creator tries, once his creatures have independent life, they are out of his control. As he is told by ‘his old rival’ with ‘eyes … like ruined stars,’ ‘no author has the last word on his own work.’ Vickers claims in her note that comedy is the province of Mr Golightly, and tragedy is his rival’s; an interesting idea in these days of black and devilish comedies. But Iris Murdoch’s notion that comedy is basic to the novel, and tragedy, however hard it might try, cannot prevail within its pages is also relevant. Beautifully written, amusing and profound, "Mr Golightly’s Holiday" is wise and disarming and highly recommended.