This story is beautifully crafted and told. The characters are so real, I feel as if I know them personally and the story is utterly believable. It is a worthy study of the human character, flaws and all. I strongly recommend it.
Not quite a humor book, not quite a romance, not quite a mystery, but a little of all of that.
This story moved me beyond expectation. I was completely unprepared for how it snuck up on me. I wish I could write a review that would do it justice. Just go read it.
54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
I would be willing to bet that quite a few readers never finished Harold fry`s pilgrimage. This is a challenging read. Challenging in its unsparing deppresiveness. I've found there are a large segment of readers that dismiss books (and movies for that matter) that contain a depressing story line and some that are repelled by mere elements that are depressing in a story. On the one hand I can fully appreciate this sensitivity and respect it. On the other hand it is very unfortunate especially for those who cannot stand to read or watch a story that just has a depressing element. Most of the best lit and movies contain depressing elements which means those people miss out on a huge slice of art and in extrapolation-life.Too bad, so sad, but I do understand.
If you fit in the above description don't even enter the same room as this book because it's pretty relentless in its depresivnes. There certainly are times when I'm not up to such a book, For instance - In the last few years I've found it very, very difficult to look into anything regarding the holocaust , despite having read my fill in earlier years, I'm sure becoming a father of 2 has a lot to do with it. Becoming a parent changes your perspective and sensitivities on everything. When I think of reviewing this book I get the image of a bomb blast having just gone off- my ears are ringing and the smoke is just starting to clear. That's easy enough a vision to decipher. Its in this moment's reflection that I realize how deceivingly overwhelming The book really was and while I can see the main elements I feel the smoke has to clear, or my emotions need to settle down in order to really appraise this with any depth.
.That this book has had that much effect on me may be sufficient on one level to give it a qualified thumbs up. Though It's one thing for a story to be bittersweet and another to just be a bitter bummer with nothing to redeem it. I know this book has great and original insight and there are elements that are refreshingly honest and real but how those will taste after this acrid smoke clears and my ears stop ringing remains to be seen-no- its IF the smoke clears and my ears stop ringing. Will the depressive elements subside enough for me to extract and enjoy the pathos and bittersweet elements in this story? aha! thats the question in my mind.
The one thing I can say without giving any of the story away is that the author has written a book that took balls to write and get published. In our times of rehashed trash and formulaic fare this is a fairly rare entry and it is refreshing to know that such a challenging book will still get published AND be widely read. There are elements of this story I would love to talk about but that's not possible without giving things away. Its times like this that I wish I could give 2 reviews- In this case a review perhaps 6 months from now as well would be fit = once Ive emotionally and psychologically digested this very HEAVY fare. Narration- I cant imagine anyone else but Jim Broadbent narrating this book, he's a perfect match!
Compassionate, uplifting, meaningful.
I liked the way I felt reading the book. It gave me inspiration to be kind to strangers.
Somewhat depressing, but in the end some realizations.
Set a goal and trudge on for the reward at the end.
Don't let your relationships just go on without keeping it alive. One day you wake up and feel like strangers.
When you set the goal, remember it's your goal and not to be "shared" with others unless that was your original plan.
I think the book could have been much shorter, but overall, I liked the characters and how their lives were changed.
The story itself starts off simply. A man goes off for a walk. Although some might find this story slow at times, I think it was perfectly timed. It was timed just right for Harold to find the truth about himself, his life and his place in the world.
I found myself listening to this as if he were somebody I knew and I became curious about whether or not he would finish his journey.
The narration is nicely done as well.
I'm an avid reader who now listens to books on tape. I'm a bit late to the game but enjoying the hands free reading.
A elderly man impulsively decides to walk across England to visit a dying friend from his past. During the walk he uncovers years of denial about who he thought he was and comes to a greater understanding of his wife, marriage, son and his role as father and husband. The best thing about the story is he had no idea of what it means to be human and how he never lived his life until he took his first step across the country.
I will listen to the book again which is rare for me.
This book touched me because it seemed so genuine, so honest, and so bitter that it was beautiful. I am much like Harold, touched by the goodness of everyday people and amazed by how many of us have a story. Harold's journey is not perfect, but it is a reflection of his life inside a much bigger world that are both filled with complications, strain, heartbreak and healing. You will feel anger, and fatigue, and worry, and joy. Well worth the listen especially with such a fantastic performance on the part of Jim Broadbent. Fantastic for those who love a good tale about what it is to be human in such a imperfect world.
There is meaning in every word with crafted prose and a compelling story. An unexpressive man receives a letter and takes a walk across England, hoping to redeem himself in the eyes of a friend he never thanked. We walk with Harold and everyone he meets along the way - even the dog. Life, death, friendship, love and fear intermingle in a story that keeps the listener wanting to take one more minute to find out what's around the next bend.
Maureen was my favorite character. Flawed, blaming, and bound up by the things of life while hidden away in her house of grief, she slowly emerges as a lively and loving woman. We meet her as she is; then travel back to who she was, eventually knowing that she can be both and still be loved and lovable.
Every man's journey to life.