Book Review: Wish You Were Here by Mike Gayle

Wish You Were Here
by Mike Gayle

Publication date: 1st July 2008
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 409


After ten years together, Charlie Mansell has been dumped by his live-in girlfriend Sarah. All he wants to do is wallow in misery, but mates Andy and Tom have a better idea: a week of sun, sea and souvlaki in Malia – party capital of the Greek islands. But Charlie and is mates aren’t eighteen any more. Or even under thirty. And it shows. It isn’t the cheap beer, the late nights or even the fast food that’s the problem. It’s girls. And life. And most of all…each other.

Source: Goodreads


I’d been saving “Wish You Were Here” for my holidays; set on holiday with a beach scene on the cover, it seemed ideal for a day round the pool.

This lighthearted story sees three 35 year old guys travel to Malia for a holiday away from the reality of routine, broken relationships and medical worries. Of course, the holiday is not all group leader Andy claimed it would be when selling it to his mates; the friends argue, debate over how to spend their time and generally regret agreeing to go in the first place.

Predictable, cheesy and easy to read, this was an ideal poolside read but won’t be winning any prizes for literature. It was nice to read a book like this from a man’s point of view for a change and sometimes you need to read something that doesn’t require a lot of effort! You know exactly what will happen and shouldn’t expect anything too exciting to crop up, but it was fun to read about father Tom’s attempts to speak Greek using phrases from his Rough Guide, or party boy Andy’s attempts at flirting with bar girls which lead him into empty nightclubs. Even the protagonist Charlie is likeable despite his recent breakup.

Overall rating: A light holiday read about a holiday which couldn’t get much worse. Easy to read and enjoyable too, it’s not fantastic literature, but it’s not claiming to be either. I’ll be giving “Wish You Were Here” 4 stars.

See my other reviews of books by Mike Gayle here:

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