This poignant novel is about mistakes, grief, misunderstandings and one man's impossible journey to move on.
One of my favorite audio books, narrated by the wonderful Jim Broadbent. A perfect combination of stellar writing and spot-on delivery.
Beautifully written, heart wrenching tale of one man's observations about people and his own life's failures, ending with a glimmer of hope. Easy to suspend belief and nod your head at the emotions you share with Harold, while listening to the fabulous narration by a British actor Jim Broadbent. Get ready for a good cry at the finish. Wonderful for those who like "slice of life" stories.
Subtle and well written.
When Queenie dies.
Sometimes love requires a 627 mile walk.
Mr Fry's trip was enchanting. Harold is so "everyone" at some time in their life. If you don't see yourself in Harold, you find yourself in some of the characters he encounters along the way.
I enjoyed going with Harold for the fun parts and when things weren't fun I just wanted to tell him "sometimes people do what they have to do and you can't go back, but you can still go forward and its hard and slowbut you do have the power to make it better." and give him a hug.
I'm a sucker for the happy/sad scenes, either way I end up crying. Its just that kind of story.
This story touched me. I loved the characters in this book.
I was drawn to this book because of the promising story and (I'll admit) the hype. Though I very much enjoyed the first third of the book, I quickly became bored with the narrative. What began as an interesting premise quickly devolved into a rather lackluster adventure. There are really brilliant moments in the novel (Harold's encounter with the doctor from Slovakia, for example, is beautifully written), but I personally found Harold's emotional experience to be (forgive me) trite and his connection to Queenie tenuous. By the time the pivotal moments/revelations/epiphanies came round, I wasn't really interested enough to care anymore. I kept thinking to myself that this would make a wonderful film--I wouldn't revisit the book, but I would certainly go to see Harold Fry on the big screen.
The revelation of the event that tied Harold and Queenie together in their past was, after all the ballyhoo, disappointing.
Broadbent's performance was inspired--absolutely flawless. He seems the perfect choice for this novel, so much so, in fact, I could conjure no other Harold in my mind than Broadbent. He became Harold in such a natural way, yet he also did an admirable job with the myriad female characters. I likely would have abandoned the book altogether, had it not been for his expert narration. The hours of listening to a story I didn't particularly enjoy seem less of a loss because of Broadbent's pleasant and emotional performance.
In theory, this novel has all things I enjoy when I read for fun. I expected quirky emotional fragility wrapped up in pair of deck shoes and got a sluggish, sad sack coming to terms with the fact that he's a kind and apologetic, yet not especially sympathetic, character.
I loved the simplicity of the story, the little details, the charming people Harold met. The story's background unfolded nicely. But when things went wrong for Harold, the low-key writing, his physical and mental condition, the people who used him, his sad memories that kept cropping up, made the experience of this book a downer for me. I'm not saying it's not a well done and meaningful book. It's just not what I prefer.
But for Jim Broadbent this book would have been a snooze. Nicely written but what depressing characters. The "surprise" at the end wasn't much of a surprise and even the final joke must have been so nothing that the author didn't even bother to tell us what it was. Find a week full of Mondays, play some Neil Diamond in the background and you are all set.
I loved this book at the beginning. I loved the premise of the book. And I loved how the autor kept Harold as a regular person at the beginning of the walk. But by then end -- can't put my finger on what happened, but I felt like the author got tired of writing and just wanted to wrap it up. Maybe it was that she stayed with the reality of the situation, but it just wasn't fulfilling for me. I didn't feel that I ended up taking anything away, other than just a pleasant story.
This isn't my typical read, but I found myself laughing in some places and crying in others. This story has so many layers and they are laid out in such simple prose. The author examines love, loss, communication, marriage, societal quirks, and aging (and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.) This book has strong ratings and I see why. Well worth the credit.
Harolds willingness to get to know people just made him so endearing.
When Maureen visited him along the route and looked at him and loved him so much.
I found myself doing extra work just so I could keep listening.
This book and the characters are so believable I found myself crying with their heartache and laughing with their memories. It is a book I will not soon forget.
I loved "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" and was searching for a book of the same ilk. This book just wasn't it. Firstly, it's really difficult to like the characters, Harold Fry especially. He's just so infuriating! The book does have some nice moments and some interesting insights, and, at the end, as the backstory FINALLY reveals itself, the reader better understands how Harold and his wife became the miserable, annoying people they are... and they redeem themselves,thank goodness. Secondly, I feel like much of Harold's pilgrimage could have been left on the cutting room floor. So overall: meh. I can't really recommend it.