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....
Great characters developed, amazing reader and absorbing story. Loved every minute of it and very sorry when it ended.
Completely unrealistic but completely believable. Makes you want to get out and do something different.
His voice, accent and tone match the character and story in a way you could not imagine.
Queenie to get the full story
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.
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.
I am a new comer, but most definitely amongst the top 5, so far.
Silver Linings Playbook
Where he got rid of his possessions and simplified his journey - the symbolism
This is a wonderful story of a personal journey of discovery for Harold Fry. Poor Harold initially appears terribly mundane and the story is a little slow to start. However, the slow start is deliberate. Each step of his journey we learn more and more of the personal side of Harold as he reflects on his life; of mistakes, missed opportunities, and regrets. The gradual unveiling is masterfully handled by the author, leading up to the terrible tradegy near the end. The descriptions of the countryside he passes are detailed and colourful, the characters he meets are varied, rich, and entertaining. Although we learn of a terrible tradegy near the end which puts the whole story in a completely new perspective the end note is very positive, reminding the reader of the power of resiliency. This story made me laugh and cry and made me reflect on my own life journey, of regrets, and missed opportunities, thankfully not nearly as tragic as Harold. A great listening experience
I am new to audio books and selected this story based on some of the positive feedback it received and was not disappointed. It is beautifully written, very well narrated and quite inspiring. It was lovely to find a simple storyline that opened the door so effortlessly into examinations of relationships and a raft of feelings including guilt, hope, regret, love and determination to name but a few. Hard not to review aspects of your life after reading this and that can only be a good thing to my mind. Highly recommended.
A brilliant story, fabulously read. I loved it. A brilliant unfolding of a story all about the 'lives of quiet desperation' lead by ordinary people. The story also captures beautifully the particular eccentricities of Englishness.
What a super novel. A great story with several stories within the main one and as they unfold, I was left inspired.