Hiliary Hughes and husband, Shaun, are on holiday in the Costa del Sol in an attempt to rescue their marriage. Pasternak's aim is to get a shag, while Maggie McLaren, the holiday rep, tries to stop naive British girls falling prey to the local gigolos. The essence of a package holiday in the Med.
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Leisure, the follow-up to Powder , is Kevin Sampson's third novel and the ultimate beach holiday read as it follows the antics of a group of English holidaymakers on the Costa del Sol. The book opens with "Pasternack. A fat bloke", otherwise known as "Doctor Fun", downing yards of ale in a Stockport pub with his mates Tom, Mickey, and Matt, who "looked like the rugby player Jeremy Guscott", all of them preparing for "one glorious week of madness" in Spain. Their week abroad is fated to become entangled with Hilary and Shaun, travelling to the same hotel. Both are desperately trying to save their marriage, on the rocks since Shaun's fall from a building site, which has impaired his sound and vision. As everyone settles into a round of drinks, clubs, drugs and sex, cracks begin to appear in the midst of all the fun. Pasternack, pursued by Millie from Nijmegen, who "looks like a well-made Brooke Shields", confesses to being a virgin, and Hilary's sexual frustration with Shaun reaches a crescendo with the rather dumb but appealingly misunderstood Matt.
Leisure is full of very funny moments, as Shaun is mistaken for Jesus by a group of Spanish nuns, and Pasternack summons up his sexual courage with a cocktail of ecstasy and viagra, stomping his way through Abba and Madness, but the book's more lyrical moments of seriousness fall rather flat. It's much better if you take it as a funny fantasy about getting everything you want (and sometimes even a bit more than you bargained for) from your package holiday in the sun. --Jerry Brotton.Review:
"An amusing yet tender look at the strange things people get up to when the sun comes out." -"Mirror" "What makes Sampson's third novel such a fun read are his acute observations about contemporary twentysomething life, detailed personal traits and scenic descriptions." -"Face"
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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099285150