Audio books are divided into many categories. Good book, bad reader. Good reader, bad book. Good reader and good book. A reader can make a midocore book very enjoyable. But a poor reader can kill an excellent book. With this book both blend into a wonderful experience.
For me a good audio book transports me from my everyday world to another. But it also connects in some way to my life. Harold Fry delves into many of the issues and questions we all carry in our heads. Especially those of us of a certain age. We are not young but we are not "old". We are on the border and we ask ourselves what is real and what is the illusion of reality.
More importantly Harold Fry asks what is important and what will you fight for and take a stand. It shows where we might have failed ourselves in our struggle to survive in a less than ideal world but also where we are human and forgive ourselves for breaking our own rules to survive.
I loved this audio book because it resonated with how I would have read the story in my own head; as I would have read it if I had the written book in my hands. The voice would have been similar and the cadence of the sentences would have been similar. That is what makes or breaks an audio book for me, if the reader follows what would be the tone if I read it myself. This reader surpasses my inner voice and delivers a story I don't think I would have heard if I read the book on my own.
It is a great book but will probably not resonate for a younger audiance. There are some books, and ideas that only living to a certain age brings to you. For age is not what you think it is when you are young or even in middle age.
Harold Fry is a voice that is the sane child of Joseph Heller and others. It asks the same questions of all of us. What is life and what make life worth while. Sometimes it is just doing what needs to be done to get through the day and you try to do your best with what you are giving. That means sometimes you let yourself down. Sometimes you just get through the day. But on occasion you take a stand even if whatever that stand is has no meaning to anyone but yourself. Sometimes you must give yourself that gift.
The best book I've listened to/read in a long time and I'm not one normally for gentle sweet stories. Like a combination of Babe and Babette's Feast. Beautiful, poignant story wonderfully written. Simple yet so many surprising turns. First time I've yelled out a characters in a book, lol! "Talk to her!" And Jim Broadbent? What can I say except that his magnificent narration was the perfect match for the story and characters. I can't even remember how I came across this book but so very glad I did.
No, fellow readers, I would not. Broadbent's perfect delivery delivered every syllable, every nuance and every emotion with such eloquent intensity that once, was, indeed, enough
Queenie in the hospice. Totally unexpected, blew me away. A subsequent chapter spoken with such purity and calm that I was awash in tears.
Have not yet, will do soon.
When Harold felt good, I felt good. When Harold was lost, I felt lost. I felt the crowded, moist heat of an afternoon in Bath, Harold's restless nocturnal wanderings and sleeplessness, the jolt from reverie of a jolly hospice sister's tea tray, shared laughter so deep it really does make your stomach hurt, the sound of an ax splintering wood in impotent sorrow and rage, the slow unveiling of useful wall map ... Mr Broadbent pats a sofa cushion, sits you down, opens the book, smiles at you, murmurs "Now, then, Catherine" and immerses one into Harold Fry's Unlikely Pilgrimage.
Ms Joyce deftly and unstintingly pares, peels, tugs and delves past English reserve; she will none of it. Here are Maureen and Harold, the quintessential English couple, their silences, their sorrows, their (few) joys and above all, their secrets. May not sound too jolly and frankly, I put I might well have put aside the book aside if I were reading it. But Broadbent's narration was a strong, enduring, dogged, and faithful companion into and through the Fry's travails and I can congratulate Ms Joyce for this superb journey in their lifetimes.
Heartbreaking, Joyful, True
Harold's letter to the girl at the garage. I had to stop the book and catch my breath. I felt like I had been hit in the solar plexus. It knocked the wind right out of me.
Harold of course but all the characters are well done. Supremely so!
I would take Harold so I could tell him my secrets and he could carry a piece of me in his strong, sure heart.
Often you will hear the word "seminal" used to speak for a breakthrough piece of literature for the young. This is truly seminal work for those of us who are entering the latter phases of our lives and are wondering "is it too late". Harold and Maureen answer this question with a beautiful honesty. I will carry this book in my heart for a long time, How often can you say a work of fiction has changed you? This one can if you open your heart.
I loved following Harold's journey. His story was at times funny and other times incredibly sad.
Maureen, his wife. She didn't give up on him. It took a while but she came to believe in his journey.
This book was so beautifully written, with every strand neatly wrapped up by the end. I was constantly surprised by the turns it made. Often I would expect Joyce to go in a particular direction, and groan, only to be surprised that she never was trite. She never took the lazy way out near the end, which many good authors do.
The end was absolutely perfect! I truly wasn't expecting it, and I am still smiling about it.
I've never listened to anything by him, but will look for more. He was compassionate and sometimes funny. He never made the women sound silly by making his voice high or simpering. I think he really loved reading this book aloud. I felt like I was curled up at his feet, waiting him to turn another page.
I would take the shadow character David. I don't understand young men like him, and would like to do so.
This book was so compelling. It was in turn funny, poignant, painful and wonderful. Having been to most everywhere Harold walks on his pilgrimage made it even better for my husband and I. This book is introspective at times, and will make you examine where your life is and has been. I was afraid I would be let down in the end, and was totally not! I'm waiting for the next one by this incredibly talented writer.
This is a story full of second-guessing, regret, and hope as Harold relives his life while on his "unlikely pilgrimage." The reader cannot help but cheer for Harold as he encounters one challenge after another ... and in doing so, discover they are cheering for themselves on their own pilgrimages through life. Never would have found this on my own. I am grateful to the other readers who loved it before I found it.
This audio book is a delightful listening experience. It is sad, funny, and insightful. One of the best audible books so far.
It is impossible to change the past, but Harold comes to understand it in a way he has not done before. Harold sets out on his journey impulsively, with a naive belief in his ability to effect change, but grows in knowledge as his pilgrimage continues.
Harold of course. Jim Broadbent is a marvelous reader. Also liked Harold's wife, Maureen.
No, you could, but I wanted to take my time with it.
This is an incredible story about an everyman's journey through life. I love this story and have recommended it to all my friends.
Pretty high up there.
Well, Harold, of course. If he wasn't you wouldn't enjoy the book.
No, but I certainly would. He was excellent.
It made me laugh and cry--but sometimes the tears were for good. It is so touching a story.
I don't think anyone who hasn't been married or lost someone to cancer can truly get this book.