An insightful look at a life filled with regret, framed by a long and difficult walk across England. I liked this book a lot. The story is of a deeply unhappy man who leaves the house and just keeps going, unprepared and with no real plan. His life unfolds as memory while he faces a series of physical and personal challenges. Anglophiles will appreciate the language and geography; however, the real journey here is inward.
Very entertaining. Didn't want it to end.
The performance was great!
A walk, an awakening!
Tell us about yourself!
I read the reviews and thought I'd give it a try. It was a pleasent book on second chances and not being afraid to follow your heart.
not the best, but definitely up there.
When Harold left the garage and the reader realizes that he,s really going to keep walking
That he managed to sound as if this was just an ordinary everyday occurence.
Harold Frye tries to put things right.
the book made me want to do something just as extraordinary .
I really enjoyed this book, although I usually listen to a different type of books - biographies, thrillers or business-related. This seemed to be a quaint little adventure story, with a very emotional appeal. I felt like my sister-in-law, a high school literature teacher, would appreciate the nuances of this book, and assign it as reading material.
Harold. I felt an emotional connection with him, as his journey moved him through the countryside as much as through emotional struggles.
The neighbor. I felt as though I could actually see that gentleman.
The last quarter of the book, just after the pilgrims went on. Raw, emotional times which made me uncomfortable because I could feel the pain.
Heart warming, insightful and selfless means of finding ones self! I loved this book.
A beautiful story of redemption and hope. A hope not of some pie in the sky idea coming true but a promise that continuing on the journey is the healing. If you're not afraid of your own tears don't miss this book.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
This book is an EVERYMAN book. It is meant to convey a message to all of us about our connection to our fellow human beings - about how we are all really alike, how much we have to teach each other, and how precious and yet fragile these connections are. It's not until the end of the book that Harold finally realizes and internalizes how we all make choices along the way that affect not only ourselves but those close to us.
"He saw that people would make the decisions they wished to make, and some of them would hurt both themselves and those who loved them, and some would pass unnoticed, while others would bring joy."
Harold's walk to the north of England was both a discovery and a healing process for him and for his wife, Maureen. Harold and Maureen had a lot of healing to do, not only from their son's problems but also from their marriage AND from Harold's cold and abusive family. Along Harold's path, he makes slow and sometimes painful discoveries about himself through the people he meets and the adventures that he has. As Harold learns, so does the reader. I found myself very moved by many of the lessons, I must say. Although the message/theme aspect of the book was forefront, I thought the author did a good job of balancing these messages and the plot.
Another thing that struck me as I was reading is a similarity to a book I recently finished - Wild, from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Although Wild is a memoir and much more hip and contemporary, it has a similar message that a physical journey can engender an emotional one, and that many dark places can be healed by taking on a journey or a task. The goal that is reached is not only a physical one but also a psychic one as well in both cases.
I looked up Pilgrim's Progress, that 17th century religious classic by John Bunyan, and it seems to me that this Harold Fry book is intentionally related to that book as well:
"The Pilgrim’s Progress demonstrates that knowledge is gained through travel by portraying Christian and his companions learning from their mistakes on their journey. Pilgrimage depends on travel, and so a pilgrim must be a voyager prepared to go far and wide. Yet in Bunyan’s book, voyage in itself does not make a traveler a pilgrim. The pilgrim must advance spiritually as he or she advances geographically. The key factor is knowledge, which must increase as the pilgrim proceeds forward. Christian never makes the same mistake twice or meets the same foe twice, because he learns from his experiences. Once he experiences the Slough of Despond, he never needs to be despondent again. Other pilgrims who lack understanding may advance fairly far, like Heedless and Too-bold, who almost get to the Celestial City; however, they do not understand what they undergo, and so they only babble nonsense and talk in their sleep. They are travelers but are not pilgrims because they cannot verbalize or spiritually grasp what they have been through." (SparkNotes Editors)
What's interesting to me in comparing the Harold Fry book to Pilgrim's Progress is that Harold Fry definitely does NOT consider himself religious and several times mentions this and directly spurns religious ceremonies. However, in the end, the location to which he's hiking IS a Catholic run hospice facility with nuns taking care of the patients. Also, Harold does seem to go through a spiritual transformation, and he does wander off the path and almost lose hope, almost die, etc, before he finally rises up and reaches his final destination and finds his own salvation, whether secular or spiritual. So he is on a journey similar to that in Pilgrim's Progress.
In the end, I think all 3 books I've mentioned contain a pilgrimage in the sense that the main characters definitely learn from the difficulties they encounter along the way.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is beautifully crafted with a language that takes you from achingly tender sadness to breath-taking beauty and joy. I found myself pausing to absorb and savour Harold's description of the countryside and moments of pure insight.
This book took me by surprise; it delivered so much more than I was expecting. I can think of no other book like it. It will amuse, enlighten and touch you deeply with every mile that Harold walks.
Mr. Broadbent is a master artist. He brings you into the hearts of every character. You feel the trepidation, fears and pure joy that Harold experiences. I found myself crying with wonder; joy; deep felt sadness, and his profound regret as Harold reflects on his life and opens his eyes to the life around him. Mr. Broadbent's voice, characterization and timbre bring out the individual souls of each person you meet during this book. I can't recommend it enough.
This is a book you want to savour and never want to end. Sit yourself down in a comfortable place and open your mind to wonder.
I probable would. I was caught up in the journey, although knowing the secret now might chang how I see things.
The Memory of Running
I have not
Not Harold, he wasn't that open. I liked the neighboror.
All of the characters along the journey were fascinating. I was glad though that they only stayed for a short periond of time.