What can I say about Harold. He captures your heart and reminds me of the days of my grandparents and their stiff upper lip and absurd way of thinking of putting one foot in front of the other. I was captivated by the story even the pilgrim nonsense that is a brilliant way to show how social media is usually wrong and sensational seeking. The reader was excellent. Loved the book - it was GOOD and I haven't really listened to a GOOD book in awhile. Ignore the nonsense that people will post about it being a spiritual book and comparing it to this and that. It is a great story told by an engaging story teller.
in an ordinary way."
...so Joyce describes her own book, a story she was originally writting for a BBC radio broadcast, while experiencing her own father suffering from cancer. [And in about a month from this review, the author will find out whether or not Harold Fry will continue his journey from the Man Booker long 12 to the Man Booker Short List.] Joyce obviously is a very talented writer. She has a sparse style and the ability to write descriptive and poetic sentences with simple ordinary words that have an almost child-like purity. Whether or not the book is short-listed, I expect to see many beautiful reads from this new author.
"It seemed to Harold that he had been waiting all his life to walk. He no longer knew how far he had come, but only that he was going forward."
As reviewers have said, this is beautifuly written and the journey the listener embarks on with the very buttoned-up Harold is both heart warming and heart wrenching. I see the brilliance in Harold Fry, but have to admit it wasn't one that I couldn't wait to get back to each time I had to pause; I didn't look forward to continuing the journey--it was somber. But, maybe that was the brilliance -- that it made me feel so sad and ache-y inside, so much like Harold. The characters that join in the pilgrimage add some levity, but seem to serve more as vehicles just to move along Harold's melancholic reminiscing. I'm glad I finished and I recommend, but this isn't a story for everyone. I couldn't help but be moved by "Night Music's" review; she mentioned that she was an elderly woman and found that "looking back can be very disheartening," and she couldn't finish listening. I wish I could tell her to continue the journey--there is redemption. Towards the end, Harold questions whether his journey was just folley and gets this simply put lovely reply,
"You got up and you did something. And if trying to find a way when you don't even know if you can get there isn't a small miracle; then I don't know what is."
Lovely and bittersweet; not ordinary at all.
The philosophical bent of this National Bestseller had me hooked from the start. Harold and Maureen were NOT living the dream life of retired couples. Harold was boarded and boarding. Maureen complained about anything and everything, with Harold being at fault for all her disappointments.
When a seemingly innocuous letter came for Harold, everything began to change. An old work colleague, Queenie Hennessy, has written Harold to tell him she is dying of cancer. Harold hasn't seen her, nor really thought about her in 20 years. BUT, he feels the need to write her a short consoling note. Thus the "pilgrimage" begins. In taking his letter to the mailbox, he runs into a young girl who tells a tale of "just believing". Harold then decides that if her walks the 500 miles, to hand deliver his letter to Queenie, she will keep living.
During his miles and miles of walking, he meets many different people. Some want to just talk with him and give a helping hand. Some, become nuisances in many different ways. Through all of this, Harold thinks back on his life and gains different perspectives of it's meaning for him and Maureen.
I agree with all the many fans who have made this book a bestseller, and book award nominee. The writing style is engaging and very compelling. Harold's perspective on his life, reads almost like a journal, with life lessons and questions intertwined. There is a great deal of sadness in this book, but many lessons learned in the backward perspective Harold attains from his very unusual walking trip. Different, but wonderful book!!
Being visually impaired, I've never read the print version, but the audio edition is definitely high quality.
I could compare this book to others I've read about people who walk across the United States for one reason or another, but most of those books are true stories. However, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is just as believable.
I liked the way this narrator portrayed Harold, Maureen, and Rex, but he did an excellent job of making all characters come alive, giving each his/her own distinct voice.
I can't imagine a more suitable title for this book. It relates well to the story.
I just lost my husband who was partially paralyzed as a result of two strokes. I had been caring for him at home for the past six years. Over a month ago, I had to move him to a nursing home because he was losing strength, and it was getting harder and harder to lift him. When I first started this book, I wondered for a fleeting moment if when his nurse called to tell me he was declining and it was time to think about end of life care, what if instead of using the paratransit service, I walked the one mile from my home to Sheridan Manor? It wouldn't have been much of a pilgrimage, but would it have saved him? This was highly unlikely, just as it wasn't likely that Harold walking the six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to Berwick-upon-Tweed wouldn't have saved Queenie, but hope springs eternal, right? I don't know why I chos to read this book at this time, but it gave me a new prespective on life and death. To learn more about this book and its author, please visit my blog.
I really liked this book. It touched on so many facets of life that are so easy to push under the carpet. It examines the secrets people hold inside of them, eat them up but feel hopeless to discuss them. While being blunt and honest with the problems of the characters the story also fills you with compassion and hope. Harold and Maureen come to life and you become very close to them. You cheer Harold on - laugh at some of his encounters and shake your head at others. It is a thought provoking, tender, moving book that stays with you long after you're finished with it.
This book is one of the best books I have listened to in many years.
The entire book was wonderful but the ending was so unexpected ( Iwill say no more)
Harold Fry, the book is his story
A film about healing.
I cannot wait for the movie. If properly done it will be an award winner.
As good as any, better than most. Charming, intelligent, gentle, wide cast of a plot, superior language, psychology of characterization throughout
The whole thing is memorable. I'll point to Rex saying to Maureen," Did you think I didn't notice something was wrong?"
Life, timing, emphasis here, less there, voices of the gentle and the crude, the mature and the green
Do yourself a favor and listen attentively.
Harold's pilgrimage to Queenie is life-changing and told with unspeakable beauty and clarity. You grow to love Harold and Maureen because they are so broken like all of us. The narrator is absolutely perfect. He takes his time narrating to allow you the time to really hear the incredible descriptions of the journey and the people Harold meets along the way. Don't miss this book as it is truly wonderful.
Masterfully written and well performed. I enjoyed every minute of this book. The story unfolded like the English countryside.
I tend to avoid stories that I know will make me cry, but this one had such a great premise that I listened to it anyway. Who hasn't taken a walk or driven down a road and felt the urge to just keep going? I know I have. This story did make me cry, as I expected it would, but it was just lighthearted and oddball enough to keep me smiling as well.