So sad how 20 years of a relationship could be wasted. Secrets, unspoken words, tragedy, loneliness.
A 65 year old man embarks on a journey (pilgrimage) to see a long lost friend who is dying of cancer. On the way, he meets ordinary yet special people who inspire him and give him hope - most of the time. He thinks about the shadows of the past and how he thinks he failed his wife, son and friend. Meanwhile, his wife is going through the same feelings while left at home. Has he left her? Will he come back?
The narration was superb. The male narrator didn't try to imitate the female voices as some do (badly!). But you always knew who was speaking.
Very moving and emotional. And so well written and narrated. An absolutely wonderful story!
I thorughally enjoyed Jim Broadbent's performance. As a female I find it interesting to listen to the male voice of a novel.
I would have made Harold a bit stronger in the latter stage of the journey. But ultimately I was pleased with his character. I really disliked the pilgrims!
Harold! He was a wonderful Mrs Fry as well.
I like the title.
I did find the third quarter of the book very frustrating and tedious - but I suppose that was how Harold was also feeling. I thought it was wrong of him to expect someone with cancer to wait for him given the terrible pain they are in but that could well be because of my recent experiences.
The description of grief being like a big hole given by Reg was spot on! A book I would recomend to friends and may well buy the printed version to keep.
For me, the narrator can make or break a book. In this case, the narration was perfectly matched to the story and it's characters. Jim Broadbent did an awesome job of making a superb story even better.
I loved it's simplicity and the bare boned honesty of it's characters.
It's impossible to choose just one scene as a favorite though I especially liked the interactions with people Harold met along the way.
This whole book is moving, tender and at times very funny.
I so enjoyed going on this journey with Harold and Maureen. It's a book I'll listen to again. I find it hard to believe this is the authors first novel. I look forward to reading future books by this amazing author.
One of the best
All of them - he is a fantastic narrator especially for foreigners ! Harold Fry was my favorite -
so calm all the time.
Harold Fry in the hospital
I highly recomend this book to everyone.
Yes! Such a lovely story, poignant, clever, sad but in the end uplifting
A man receives a letter from an old friend who is terminally ill. He walks to the post box to send a reply, but keeps walking. He continues walking across England because he is convinced it will save his friend's life. The premise 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' is based on is so unlikely that I didn't read it for a long time, despite glowing reviews. I can't say, even now, why I changed my mind, only that I am glad I did.
The story is so much more than a man's physical journey from one end of England to another. It is a journey through his life, through his triumphs and disappointments, his regrets and if-onlys. Along the way he meets people who help him, people who hinder him, and somewhere along the way he finds a sort of peace. I know this sounds rather fanciful and neatly-tied-with-a-bow. It isn't. It is about life being about connections and wonder and fear and laughter and a collection of memories of interconnections and opportunities missed and taken. And it's funny - laugh out loud funny in parts. Jim Broadbent is a brilliant narrator. Rightly or wrongly I pictured him as Harold, but it wasn't because he injected himself too far into the story, but rather because he sounded to me like he got Harold.
The problem I am finding with audiobooks is that when the author uses a particularly brilliant turn of phrase, or expresses something perfectly I can't dog-ear a page and come back to it later. Rachel Joyce is a talented writer, and there were quite a few times I wished I wasn't driving (I listen to audiobooks in the car) so I could write something down. You'll just have to discover these treasures for yourself. Recommended.
No. Although one may read to help understand the human condition it is not mandatory that a tale be uncritically accepted as useful. The author's own plodding style,rather like the Harold of the title, is bereft of any grace or finesse. What a tedious, unconvincing and uninteresting account leavened by so few good points as to be amongst my worst listens ever.
The plot is so tired..it has been used so many times before with far more panache.
Bland stereotypes litter this book.
The characters don't even " sit up from the page," let alone "stand."
Leave them to die in peace!
For a start she could have interested the listener in the predicament of the main characters. So little succeeds in her writing to excite the imagination. Shudder. I am very glad this is over.
Jim Broadbent's work was what attracted me to the title but I now have such a different opinion. He appears to be not comfortable with this role where he needs to be bringing something of himself to the part, without directorial assistance. His own bland, whining voice in this context may have seemed appropriate. In fact it doubles the negative impact the listener gets and at no point can one get an ounce of hope from this ghastly tale.
The only thing listeners can keep doing is providing cogent reactions to titles so prospective readers can get near to a realistic insight into what a book may offer.
Rewriting the plot is not helpful thank you.
Please be frank and honest about the pace, use of language and characterisation so others have hope of gauging the suitability of the title before purchase.
I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!
harold is a retired older gentleman, with a colourless life, with a nagging miserable marriage, unfulfilled in all areas... love, laughter, joy, excitement and he exists from day to day... Until he receives "the letter"... this changes his whole life. It has a cataclysmic impact on his life, his marriage, his friends and the spillover of people on his peripheral edges.
Its a story of hope, that allows you to be drawn into believing and realising that it is never too late for change and that we should never give up.
It leaves you feeling hopeful and reflective....
This story is a well worth a read. I was fascinated discovering what made the characters tick as the experiences of their past unfolded. Harold became an endearing character with his persistence and good heart coping with many difficulties while considering so many other people's feelings. I am glad I read it and was not put off by the title. Highly recommended.
Wondrous, Emotional, Charming
Harold reminds me of my grandfather who passed away some years ago. My grandfather had the same quiet, non-judgmental approach to others that Harold adapts as he meets strangers along the way, and I could imagine my grandfather in Harold's shoes--no pun intended.Like any great piece of literature, it shows us human truths and frailties in all their ugliness and beauty, through a new voice. It lets us filter our own experiences through the story. And it begs the question, would I do that if in the same situation?It has moved me more than any piece of writing for a long time. I believe that it's a story to "listen" to. Jim Broadbent is brilliant. I feel privileged to have listened.
All of them. He is faultless.
Yes! But I split it up as much as possible to savour it. About four sittings as I couldn't wait.
Listen to it!