Novels







Bilbury Chronicles - The 1st Bilbury novel
The Bilbury novels are set in the fictional village of Bilbury in Devon.

`I am putting pen to paper to say how very much I enjoyed The Bilbury Chronicles. I can't wait to read the others.' - Mrs K. Cambs

`I have just finished reading The Bilbury Chronicles and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Coleman on writing such a wonderful book which is both entertaining and touching. I now enclose an order for Bilbury Grange.' - A.L., Ballymena

`I am writing to tell you how much I have enjoyed the Bilbury series. They have given me many hours of pleasure.' - Mrs J.B., Huddersfield.

`I wanted to let you know how enjoyable these novels are. I would certainly compare them with those of James Herriot in their realism and readability. Reading them plays hell with your beauty sleep as it is impossible to stop at the end of the chapter.' - C.S., London

`Entertaining and highly readable.' - Telegraph

`Please find enclosed a cheque for three more Bilbury books, then I shall have the full set. They are so full of humour; kind and gentle yet true-to-life.' - O.G., Shropshire

`My wife and I also loved the first two Bilbury books, and feel sure we will order some more on our return to the UK.' - Mr M.R., Spain

`Having thoroughly enjoyed each of the Bilbury books, I hope that you will be able to find the time and inspiration to continue relating facets of village life that are so amusing and real. My wife also enjoys reading about the various Bilbury characters so we both join in thanking you for hours of enjoyable reading and hope that more Bilbury books will emerge in due course.' - Mr. A.D., Kent


Bilbury Grange - The 2nd Bilbury novel

`I found the book to be brilliant. I felt as though I was part of the community. Please keep me informed of any more in this excellent series.' - I.C., Cleethorpes

`A cornucopia of colourful characters help to weave a rich tapestry of village life subtly tempered with gentle humour...the mixture of rural beauty, human nature and the odd whisper of nostalgia combine to make this book a real delight.' - Western Gazette


Bilbury Revels - The 3rd Bilbury novel

`Settling down with Vernon Coleman's latest novel set in the fictional Devonshire village of Bilbury is one of the best restorative treatments I know for relieving the stresses and strains of modern living.' - Lincolnshire Echo

`How I enjoyed the first two Bilburys. Dr Coleman is a superb author. Will you please inform me when the next Bilbury book is available - not soon enough for me!' - Miss J. Oxford


Bilbury Country - The 4th Bilbury novel

`This fourth novel in the series describes what happens to Bilbury and its villagers when a newspaper story turns a trickle of visitors into a flood. Full of charm and humour.' - News and Star


Bilbury Village - The 5th Bilbury novel

`A gentle, relaxing, thoroughly enjoyable and charming `introduction' for me to your fictitious Devon village. It's the first one in the series which I have read and I loved it!' - C.S., Spain

`Have just read Bilbury Village and enjoyed it very much.' - R.H., New Zealand

`I am writing to say how much I enjoyed Bilbury Village. It was so interesting to read about the life of a general practitioner from day to day. It reminded me of my younger days as a nurse - starting in 1944. Things have changed so much now, but I look back and think of them as good old days. Thank you for your very interesting stories.' - J.F., Grimsby


Bilbury Pie - short stories set in Bilbury

`His Bilbury novels have already gathered a growing and loyal readership. And now Vernon has cooked up Bilbury Pie. It is his first collection of short stories about Bilbury, the idyllic Devon retreat with its friendly pub, village green and rustic cottages.' - Free Press

`The tales he tells are truly uplifting and thought provoking. They are a breath of fresh air in a troubled world, and are also very amusing. The tale of the village cricket match in Bilbury Chronicles is the funniest thing I have ever read. Be warned - don't attempt to read it in a public place.' - People's Friend


Bilbury Pudding - more short stories set in Bilbury

Bilbury Pudding is a collection of reminiscences, stories, essays and anecdotes about life in the village of Bilbury, in North Devon. All the well-loved characters are here: the Doc and Patsy, Thumper Robinson, Patchy Fogg, Peter Marshall and Frank and Gilly at the Duck and Puddle, of course. But there are many new faces too. Some of the stories are poignant, some contain a message or two and some are just old-fashioned funny. There are the usual wonderful descriptions of the Devon countryside and, as a bonus, Bilbury Pudding includes more than a little advice on life from Dr Brownlow, Patchy, Thumper and the Doc.

`Colourful characters, rural reflections and a nostalgic look at country life.' - North Devon Journal


The Man Who Inherited A Golf Course

`Light hearted entertainment - very readable.' - Golf World

`The Man Who Inherited A Golf Course is an excellent and amusing story and I'm not even a golfer.' - Mr J.H., France

`The scenario is tailor-made for Vernon Coleman's light and amusing anecdotes about country life and pursuits. His fans will lap it up.' - Sunday Independent

`Hugely enjoyable, in the best tradition of British comic writing.' - Evening Chronicle

`As Captain (of my golf club) I thought your book was a hoot.' - H.D.

`I have just ordered a copy of The Man Who Inherited A Golf Course - a present from me for my birthday. Thank you for providing me with hours of happy reading.' - E.M., Cheshire


Too Many Clubs And Not Enough Balls

There are plenty of golf books which describe how to hold a club or cure a hook. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of books describing the glorious careers of golfers who have made fortunes out of doing wonderful things with small white balls. This is neither an instructional book nor a book about a golfing superstar; this is a book about people who feel that they are doing well if the ball they hit on the 18th green is the same ball they drove off the first tee. Too many Clubs And Not Enough Balls is a book about people who lose balls, clubs, tempers and, on occasion, the course they're supposed to be playing. If you enjoyed The Man Who Inherited A Golf Course you will definitely enjoy Too Many Clubs And Not Enough Balls. If you're looking for a present for a golfer (or, indeed, anyone who enjoys a `good read') you will have a job to find anything which gives as much pleasure as Too Many Clubs And Not Enough Balls.

`Laugh out loud funny.' - Golf World.

`Anyone who has played golf - or tried to play golf - will find this addictive book utterly unputdownable. Highly recommended.' - S.S., Devon


Village Cricket Tour - Classic cricket novel.

`The Village Cricket Tour by Vernon Coleman is a recent literary reminder that the traditional forms and spirit of the game are alive and well.' - Tim Heald (writing in `Village Cricket)

`It's the funniest book about cricket that I have ever read. In fact it is the funniest book I have read since Three Men in a Boat.' - Chronicle and Echo

`His powers of observation combine with his penchant for brilliant word pictures to create a most delightful book that will appeal to all those who appreciate humour and sharp characterisation.' - Sunday Independent

`I enjoyed it immensely. He has written a book that will entertain, amuse and warm the cockles of tired old hearts.' - Peter Tinniswood, Punch

`If anyone ever manages to bottle the essence of village cricket he will quickly scale the dizzy heights of personal fortune. In the meantime we read and write about it in the pursuit of understanding. Seminal reading should now embrace Vernon Coleman's latest offering, a whimsical piece about the peregrinations of a village team on its summer tour...all the characters are here, woven together by a raft of anecdotes and reminiscences and a travelogue of some of the most picturesque cricketing spots in the South West.' - The Cricketer


Around The Wicket

`This new cricket book will bowl you over! A book to be savoured over and over again.' - The Guardian

`It's a non-stop comic book, eminently easy to read. The village cricket match will never be the same again after you've read this.' - The Chester Chronicle


Paris In My Springtime - Novel or autobiography?

'A little while ago, I came across a diary I had kept during a stay in Paris in the last part of 1963 and the first months of 1964. In September 1963 I started medical school but became ill. When I recovered it was too late to resume my studies. I had to wait until the following year. Meanwhile, I had to find something to do. I decided to go to Paris. And this is the story of what happened to me that year. Or is it?'- Vernon Coleman


Mrs Caldicot's Knickerbocker Glory - The heartwarming sequel to Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War.

`I would like to tell you about what happened when I began reading your wonderful book Mrs Caldicot's Knickerbocker Glory. On the first occasion I picked up your book I laughed out loud and felt quite uplifted.' - Mrs O.J., Hampshire


It's Never Too Late - Uplifting story of a search for a new life.

`Imagine that you feel like settling down in a comfortable armchair with an entertaining book - one that will keep your attention and combat the desire to nod off. If this description fits you then you could do much worse than spoil yourself with this book. The author's style is both easy to read and makes you want to keep turning the pages - in fact I had to force myself to stop reading and put the book down. I am sure you will enjoy the book, which apart from anything else brings to life the atmosphere of Paris - so why not give it to a loved one or friend...and promptly borrow it to read yourself? Whatever you may decide, we have chosen this as our Book of the Month.' - Living France magazine.

`It's Never Too Late is a light hearted reversal of the ageing process.' - France Magazine

`You have no idea how successfully you have solved my Christmas present problem this year!' - Mrs J.M, France


Second Innings - A middle aged man escapes by running away.

`A piece of good old-fashioned escapism, an easy to follow plot; just right to relax with after a busy a day...you would be happy to lend it to your granny or anyone else's granny come to that. This author has the ability to create a distinctive `mind's eye' picture of every character.' - The Journal of the Cricket Society


Mr Henry Mulligan

The poignant story of a dying man who disappears from the geriatric ward of a large hospital in the English midlands. His wife, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, disappears with him. Where have they gone? And why? A young, newly qualified doctor working in the hospital has made friends with the couple. He tries to find them. His search proves more of a challenge than he had expected and he discovers that he didn't know as much about Henry Mulligan as he thought he did. Only by uncovering some well-hidden secrets can the young doctor find the missing couple. Mr Henry Mulligan is extraordinarily moving and revealing and is based on a true story.


Deadline
- A page-turning thriller.

`I really enjoyed your book Deadline. It was so exciting I could not put it down. The best fiction I have ever read.' - A.R.

`A very enjoyable read.' - W.M., Co Antrim

`I am not one for reading novels but Deadline is brilliant. It should be made into a film. It is better than James Bond.' - D.C., London

`If I had to choose an all-time journalist to admire it would have to be without doubt the often controversial, always knowledgeable and usually witty Vernon Coleman. But he is much more than a journalist, of whom fee, if any, could claim to have written over 90 books on a variety of subjects, both fiction and non fiction. The latest from the master's pen is his fictional Deadline in which investigative reporter Mark Watson has problems. He's lost his job and his wife has walked out on him. But before he has time to feel sorry for himself he's dragged into a search for a former colleague's bride who mysteriously disappeared while having coffee in a busy Paris cafe. Watson's search takes him across Europe and exposes a massive insurance fraud and a chain of crooked nursing homes. It also brings him into contact with a former girlfriend he hasn't seen since he was 18. Watson is accustomed to deadlines but the one he faces this time is different. The chase is gripping, the stakes are high and the opposition deadly.' - Stewart Peterson, Greenock Telegraph


Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War
- Inspiring story of an elderly woman's battles with the world. Now a major film available on DVD.

`Funny and thought provoking novel.' - Western Morning News

`It's poignant, funny and `socially relevant'.' - Daily Telegraph

`...funny and poignant film about a woman pushed into a home who decides to fight back, transforming the lives of those around her.' - The Times

`At certain points, the film becomes something of a lightweight One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but its mouse-that-roared scenario is always charming and entertaining. It also takes quite some talent to bring the character and story so close to a dark abyss - and keep the audience smiling.' - Empire (`UK's No 1 Movie Magazine')

`...destined to be regarded as a typically understated British classic.' - Express & Echo

`An endearing fairytale quality...There are some serious points about society's ill treatment of the elderly, but they come neatly packaged in the kind of gentle comedy that should please devotees of Last of the Summer Wine.' - Daily Express

`It's a gentle sub-Ealing comedy starring Pauline Collins as a feisty inmate of an old people's home leading a revolution against the unfeeling powers-that-be. Collins shows her usual warmth, and people over 60 may be uplifted by the theme of grey power.' - Daily Mail

`Pauline Collins leads a revolt by the residents of an old people’s home in this amusing tale, almost a throwback to the Ealing comedies.' You can't help but root for her as she gets her own back on the nasty home manager, played by her real life hubby John Alderton.' - Daily Star

`Pauline Collins as a widow puts up a feisty struggle to retain her independence when parked by her son in a twilight rest home. Humour, pathos and sympathy as she opposes John Alderton and all the rules making life miserable for senior citizens.' - Alexander Walker, Evening Standard

`Feelings of solidarity aren't hard to summon for Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War, a little British film about a woman unjustly imprisoned in a penny-pinching retirement home.' - Metro London

`Multi-million selling author Vernon Coleman is behind a big new film comedy. The story, published by Great Fiction in its paperback novel form, has been lauded as a comedy with an important social message.' - Huddersfield Daily Examiner

`...a film you can't help liking...' - TV Times

`Cabbage flick leafs competition standing.' - Plymouth Extra

`...a little British comedy with a big heart.' - Financial Times

`After 30 years of thankless marriage to a sewage engineer, Pauline Collins is shipped into a nursing home by her obnoxious son and his greedy wife. Tired of eating boiled cabbage and sedatives, she decamps with a squad of half-dead incumbents and ends up on national TV. Viewers will applaud the sentiment...' - The Times

`The potential for a provocative hilarious look at old age and its attendant problems are all here in the script...' - What's on in London

`Doctor in the picture house.' - Sheffield Star

`Doctor's orders for film - Coleman highlights battling pensioners.' - Birmingham Evening Mail

`A genteel comedy with a subtle social message. Superb cast of seasoned professionals. An amazing job considering it probably cost 1/20th of most Hollywood product.' - The Guardian Unlimited

`The film has already been hailed a winner at the Chichester and Cannes film festivals, and is showing in many parts of the UK, as well as being on a six month tenure in the picture houses of New Zealand where it has broken box office records. Is there some `oldie' cult there that we don't know about? Or have they just got good taste?' - Western Morning News

`Adapted from the novel by Vernon Coleman this is the warm and often funny story of an ordinary woman who finally decides to stand up for herself, having been pushed around by others for most of her life.' - Surrey Mirror

`Cosy, fairytale comedy.' - Daily Express

`Vernon Coleman has an impressive list of novels to his credit and this one, first published in 1993, has provided the basis for a newly released film with the same title, starring Pauline Collins as Mrs Caldicot. Humorous, and often touching, this is an entertaining tale with a delightful comeuppance ending.' - Leicester Mercury

`...a sort of bastard son of Fawlty Towers.' - Mail on Sunday

`On the one hand it's a fairly serious issue film highlighting the plight of pensioners packed off to sub-standard care homes, given dreadful food, nothing to do, and a constant supply of tranquillisers to keep them quiet. On the other it's a jaunty suburban comedy...' - Sunday Telegraph

`Absolutely FAB film. A must see. It had me smiling from beginning to end and has an all star cast (you will be wondering where you've seen them before). Pauline Collins is terrific. A heartwarming film.' - The Guardian Unlimited

`Vernon Coleman wrote the novel from which this is adapted. And his fans won't be surprised to find that even in fiction he likes to get stuck into a good campaign.' - The People

`With a new film comedy starring Pauline Collins and based on the novel just released why not catch up on this heart-warming story in print? It's the tale of an old woman whose husband dies and is forced by her relatives to go into a residential home, where she leads a rebellion. It's funny, sad and exposes important social issues about growing old.' - Belfast Telegraph

`...a coup in a twilight home in this panto-style British comedy.' - The Guardian

`...conflation of One Foot in the Grave and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.' - The Times

`This magnificently heartwarming film once again highlights the immense talent that abounds in our leafy suburbs. Pauline Collins gave an utterly captivating performance as a downtrodden housewife suddenly widowed and cast into a `care' home for the elderly. On befriending the other residents she finds an inner strength and passion to stand up to the home's heartless regime...and its `big' bosses, thus discovering herself and her potential. I swung from laughter to tears and back to laughter, and left warmed, content and inspired as I made my way home...' - Lady Lucy French, Hampstead and Highgate Express

`This story, recently made into a film, is about an old woman whose husband dies and who is forced by her relatives to go into a residential home, where she leads a rebellion...Coleman can still raise a chuckle.' - Oxford Times

`Sounding like something written by Beatrix Potter, Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War is actually a comedy drama.' - Loughborough Echo

`...a tale of a downtrodden woman finally standing up for herself. Adapted from the novel by Vernon Coleman, Pauline Collins stars as Thelma Caldicot, a naturally intelligent woman who has endured 30 years of a dull and oppressive marriage.' - West Sussex County Times

`Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War, the preview film that overwhelmingly won the Audience Award for the Best Film at the 11th Chichester Film Festival last year is now on general release. Catch up with Pauline Collins's exceptional performance in this forthright comedy...' - Chichester Observer

`It is refreshing to see a film that tackles the problems and issues surrounding elderly care tackled in such a dignified and entertaining way.' - Help the Aged

`This is the first Vernon Coleman book to get the movie treatment. It is the latest step in the remarkable career of a man who has brought unconventional medical wisdom to millions of readers.' - Express and Star

`Screenwriter Malcolm Stone's adaption of Vernon Coleman's novel is commendable in its desire to remind us that being old doesn't equate with being dead. Highlighting the appalling conditions that exist in some UK rest homes, its `message' is an important one.' - BBC

`Really enjoyable British comedy in which the excellent, feisty Pauline Collins battles with heartless developers and leads a revolt in the old folks home. There were tears, then cheers from the audience the night I saw it when Mrs C finally - ah, but I mustn't give away any of its neat twists. Accomplished performances from a gifted cast of top actors. Peter Capaldi excellent as the shifty son and Martin Jarvis satisfyingly villainous as the devious property owner who'd like to see loveable Miss Collins and her fellow residents on the streets. If this were a Danish or French film I suspect it might now be hailed in the press as a small masterpiece. As it is, director Ian Sharp must be content with appreciation and applause from film-going audiences who recognise a genuinely heartfelt human comedy when they see it.' - The Guardian Unlimited

`Funny and thought provoking novel. It proves to be an entertaining read, focusing with a liberal dollop of humour on the plight of the elderly who find themselves in care homes they would rather not be in, but feel they have no one to fight their cause - certainly not the relatives who have dumped them there.' - Western Morning News

`Now an award winning film starring Pauline Collins, this is a poignant, warm and often funny story of an ordinary woman who, after being pushed around by others for most of her life, finally decides to stand up for herself. Thelma has endured 30 years of a meaningless marriage and when her husband dies, she is pushed into a care home. It is there that she acquires a band of strange new friends - fellow `in mates' who look to her for help and assistance. These new responsibilities give her life a new purpose and meaning, at long last.' - Western Mail Magazine

`Witty, poignant and beautifully written. A tearful journey into pensionable age with a glimmer of hope in the laughter.' - Western Mail

`...a good fun read as well as pinpointing an important social message for our time. Vernon Coleman is a multi-million selling author, a former family doctor and television presenter whose 90 books have been translated into 22 languages and sold all over the world....(Mrs Caldicot's) cabbage war story is told with laughter, a few tears and a strong eye on special conditions which need fighting.' - Jim Howie, The Chester Chronicle

`Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War...made me laugh out loud. Dr Coleman's lightness of touch and direct prose are all that one could wish for.' - Maxwell Craven, Derby Evening Telegraph

`A list of almost 100 title acquaints us with Vernon Coleman's literary outpourings, a spectrum of subjects too vast for selective mention. Many readers already acquainted with this versatile author will know that newcomers are in for an entertaining read, an easy style underpinning a firm social structure...Vernon Coleman's observations cannot fail to hit home. The catalogue of his previous writings with their very frank titles bear witness to his knowledge of the human condition in all its frailties and strengths. But then he is a qualified family doctor.' - Joan Cory, North Devon Journal

`Vernon Coleman really captures the personality of Mrs Caldicot...You'll be hooked and won't be able to put it down. Vernon Coleman has written 90 books which have been successful across the globe and this book can only add to those sales. It is heart warming and funny all at once.' - Newton Abbot & Mid Devon Advertiser


Tunnel
- Disaster in the Channel Tunnel! How An Explosion Caused By A Wet Sweater, A Caravan And A Heart Drug Blew Up The Channel Tunnel

For over a century men have dreamt of building a tunnel underneath the English Channel. In Tunnel that dream becomes first a reality and then a nightmare.
     Tunnel is set in the late 1980s and it is the story of what happens to a group of people travelling by train.
     There is a spinster schoolteacher, a bitter and ageing squash champion and a publisher who has been smuggling pornographic pictures into France. There are two doctors returning from a conference, a female official from a European Bank, and a family returning from a rain-ruined caravan holiday, an art dealer travelling with his mistress, a male secretary and a computer expert who has left a dead prostitute behind in Paris. After an explosion this very mixed bunch of travellers are trapped together beneath the English Channel. While they struggle to escape, and a team of engineers fight against time to reach them, a power game is being played in Paris and Zurich.
     In the compartment with the trapped survivors there is a threat so horrifying that it's very existence must be denied.
     Tunnel, the story of tomorrow's Channel Tunnel disaster, is just the book to read on a long train journey - though perhaps not if your train journey will take you under the English Channel.

`Tunnel was written in the late 1970s and first published in 1980 - before the final plans for the Channel Tunnel were drawn up and long before the tunnel was built. When researching the book I spent some time trying to work out where the tunnel should start, where it should end and what form it should take. I am delighted that the tunnel which was eventually built (after millions of pounds of research) bore a notable resemblance to the tunnel I `designed' and `built' for this novel.
     I originally wrote Tunnel under a pen name because my literary agent at the time didn't think it was the sort of book I should be writing (I had just begun to establish a reputation as an author of hard-hitting medical books such as The Medicine Men and Paper Doctors and was already writing light, humorous fiction under the pen name Edward Vernon). So the book was first published by Robert Hale under the pen name Marc Charbonnier.
     Finally, I should mention that since the Channel Tunnel opened for business, and despite what happens in this novel, I have used Eurostar approximately once a month to travel to France.'- From Vernon Coleman's Preface to the 2005 edition of Tunnel



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