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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Audiobook

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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Publisher's Summary

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof, or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.

Jim Broadbent has starred in a huge range of films, from British favourites including Bridget Jones and Hot Fuzz, to Hollywood blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and the Harry Potter films. In 2001 he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Iris. Most recently he starred as Denis Thatcher opposite Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady.

©2012 Rachel Joyce (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

What the Critics Say

“From the moment I met Harold Fry, I didn't want to leave him. Impossible to put down.” (Erica Wagner, The Times)

“Harold Fry is infuriating, hilarious and completely out of his depth, but I held my breath at his every blister and cramp and, felt, as if by turning the pages, I might help his impossible quest succeed. Marvellous!” (Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand)

“A magical, moving and uplifting tale about a man's journey across Britain and into his own heart.” (Deborah Moggach)

“I loved this book. I loved its purity, its brutality and unerring honesty. I don't think I have read such richly composed metaphors before. They are like shooting stars glittering across each page. I can't believe this is her first novel- I wait with bated breath for her next.” (Natascha McElhone)

“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry isn’t just a book I enjoyed reading, it’s a book I feel lucky to have read. It takes the most ordinary and unassuming of men and turns him into a hero for us all. Harold Fry faces the same questions we all do as we age, questions about the meaning of our lives, faith and love, but confronts them in a most surprising way. To go on this journey with him will not only break your heart, it might also just heal it.” (Tiffany Baker, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County)

“Late last year the time came to pick 2012’s ‘new face’ for books: I read a pile of first novels and enjoyed a few, but there was only one I adored, and that was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry… It is a funny book, a wise book, a charming book – but never cloying. It’s a book with a savage twist, - and yet never seems manipulative. Perhaps, because Harold himself is just wonderful… This book may follow a pattern set by another radio dramatist-turned-novelist, David Nicholls, whose One Day has now sold more than a million copies and been made into a successful film simply because one reader said to another ‘I love this book’ over and over again. So I’m telling you now: I love this book…From the moment I met Harold Fry, I didn't want to leave him. Impossible to put down.” (Erica Wagner, The Times)

“Distinguished by remarkable confidence... Polished to perfection... Joyce's experience as a playwright shows in her ear for dialogue and eye for character diatom - even the walk-on parts stay with you as real people. She handles her material with deceptive lightness but Harold's journey towards a better version of himself is totemic. To read about him is to be moved to follow him.” (The Telegraph)

“This book is like a naive painting: simple and profound. It is a moving story, full of heart, laced through with wry wit. I loved Harold and Maureen and their separate journeys. It felt like a celebration of being alive, being human. Beautiful!” (Niamh Cusack)

“Life-affirming delight. A comic pleasure.” (Woman and Home)

“A tender, funny debut about second chances and regained love as a man takes to the road on an unusual quest.” (Marie Claire)

“The odyssey of a simple man, original, subtle and touching.” (Claire Tomalin)

“A wonderful book ... Full of sadness, hope, and ultimately love. I found it very moving.” (Esther Freud)

“Harold's unlikely pilgrimage takes him the length of the country - and into the deepest parts of himself. This beautifully written tale is by turns funny, touching, farcical and heroic. A very unusual and uplifting debut.” (Isabel Wolff)

“A delightfully original and engaging debut.” (Rebecca Frayn)

“Really enjoyable ... by turns moving, charming and very funny.” (Hugh Dennis)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (278 )
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4.5 (243 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    John Sydney, Australia 09-23-12
    John Sydney, Australia 09-23-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    9
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    "Brilliant!"
    If you could sum up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in three words, what would they be?

    What a book!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold was my favourite character and his evolution on the journey was incredible.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dutchie88 Austria 09-10-12
    Dutchie88 Austria 09-10-12 Member Since 2011

    I love reading, have since I was very little. Reading to me is fun, relaxation, acquiring knowledge and so much more. No particular preference for a genre or writer, I will read anything well written. Once gripped by somebodies style of storytelling & writing, I am likely to read everything he or she has written.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
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    57
    9
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    5
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    "In more ways then one: a moving story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely! The story is well written, poignant and in many ways recognizable. In one way or another (whether young or old(er)), I am sure we can all relate to Harold's situation at the beginning of the book.

    It doesn't matter whether or not his decision to go on a pilgrimage is realistic or not. What matters is, he decides to do something. About his life, about his friends and, as it turns out, much more.

    Good for him! And good for all of us/you who - like Harold - dare to go for the unexpected, the nonconformistic and take our/your lives into our/your own hands!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold, off course. The way he starts out and slowly evolves; he grew on me more and more.


    What does Jim Broadbent bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love Jim Broadbent's voice and presentation of the book. I especially like the way he gives each character his/her own voice without going overboard with accents, funny diction, etc.


    If you could take any character from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Maureen and Harold after he - or in a sense they both - finished his pilgrimage. I would love to get to know them both better after they both learned and evolved so much.


    Any additional comments?

    Really recommend it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Melbourne, Australia 09-05-12
    Ms Melbourne, Australia 09-05-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charming"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    This novel was beauifully read which moved graciously through a story of rememberance. Totally engaging. This novel takes you through all the emotions, one minute you are laughing and the next a tear springs to the eye.


    What other book might you compare The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to and why?

    This book is similar in style to Major Pettigrews Last Stand and Mr. Rosenblum's List.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    One man's journey through his history...


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading charming books that take you on a journey just like Harold Fry's pilgrimage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Christchurch, New Zealand 09-03-12
    Chris Christchurch, New Zealand 09-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "A Gradual Revelation"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    I absolutely loved Jim Broadbent's narration. I thought that I might visualise him as the protagonist because he has such a distinctive voice and face, but I didn't. The story captivated and allowed me to forget who the actor/narrator was


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?

    The novel was full of images. The slow revelation of the reason for Harold's pilgrimage drew me in.


    What does Jim Broadbent bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The warmth of being read to by an excellent narrator is one of the treats of listening to books, rather than reading them. Jim Broadbent's narration is one of the best.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kylie Ahern 06-27-15
    Kylie Ahern 06-27-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "Great narration, story needed a good edit"

    This book should have been inspiring and in parts it was but it was let down by the length and meandering that gripped the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicki 05-18-15
    Nicki 05-18-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
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    "Stunning!"

    Not only is Rachel Joyce's narrative a keen commentary on life, but Jim Broadbent's performance is utterly superb. I'm so glad I selected this novel and will likely listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shipleyj 04-13-15
    Shipleyj 04-13-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "Heart-warming & life-affirming"

    A beautifully narrated Heart-warming & life-affirming story. Harold is a character you can't help but love. Very highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 04-01-15
    Sharon 04-01-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    Overall
    "Unbelievably poignant"

    Man Booker short lists and long list nominees signify tears and unbearable sadness or at times pure randomness. While at the centre of the story is a heart-breaking event and the road to redemption and acceptance difficult, I would recommend this book over and over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 02-18-15
    Linda 02-18-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    11
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    Story
    "A stubborn man"
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was easy to follow the story of this man who set out on what appeared to be quite a ridiculous walk to prove a point.


    If you could take any character from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I think the women in this story deserved attention - the long suffering, confused wife and the 'friend' who prompted the walk.


    Any additional comments?

    The various characters that Fry meets on his travels were interesting - at times almost ridiculous especially the large group he attracted. However, the encounters were unexpected and had a certain simplicity and honesty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shivani 08-04-14
    Shivani 08-04-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Maintain a fast pace in reading this slow book"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It is a slow paced book by itself so you need to ensure that you listen to it within a matter of a few days to keep the tempo high otherwise it will just - drag - on.
    The 45+ crowd may enjoy it more than others. The first half is better than the second half.
    It primarily is about a lot of introspection and realization by the man who is walking. The narrator is not bad but not great either.


    Would you recommend The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really. Maybe if you are insomniac...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Lucinda
    Stroud, United Kingdom
    8/13/12
    Overall
    "Beautifully written - Wonderfully narrated"

    Listening to Jim Broadbent narrate this brilliant book was a joy from beginning to end. Rachel Joyce takes you on a journey, which is funny, sad and awkward in equal measures. Once you have been introduced to Harold Fry you will want to go on the pilgrimage with him. It was beautifully read and Jim Broadbent was the perfect choice. This is now my number one download. Take it on a long journey....you will not want your journey to end.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    10/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it, loved it, loved it."

    Superbly performed by Jim Broadbent, (though I cast my own Harold as Tom Courtenay and Anne Reid as his wife) the story is funny, moving and utterly charming. A delightful way to explore Harold's character and challenge his views, opinions and beliefs. The encounter in the railway cafe with the well-dressed man was particularly touching, but Harold can't fail to touch the lives of everyone he meets.

    A book to fall in love in.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gavin
    Dunbar, United Kingdom
    8/4/12
    Overall
    "Just a joy. It will make you think about yourself"

    It starts and you just have to wonder how the book can keep you interested, how can it be interesting . Believe me it draws you in you will feel every emotion there is. It was just a beautiful book.
    I will bet that you want to make a difference after you read this

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    3/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it had good reviews."

    because this book had so many good reviews I decided to buy it. even my husband enjoyed it but I didn't like it. I found it boring to the point I fell asleep or my mind wandered. I got through 4 hours and finally had to admit defeat. the only character I found any sympathy for was a well dressed man with silver hair who couldn't make up his mind whether to buy a pair of trainers for his friend. I got to the point where I didn't care whether Harold got to Berwick on tweed before queenie died or not.
    my advice - read the reviews, listen to the book then make up your own mind.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • P.Lean
    1/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Prepare to weep."
    Would you listen to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry again? Why?

    Yes , to enjoy the detail without any distraction of trying to predict he plot.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold was my favourite because Jim Broadbent was so wonderful as Harold.


    What about Jim Broadbent’s performance did you like?

    I could imagine him in the film version, which I sincerely hope gets made one day. The whole book was very filmic.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Couldn't stop until near the end when I was forced to stop, sit on the floor and wail!


    Any additional comments?

    So sad but so beautiful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Issie's mum
    Bucks, UK
    1/8/15
    Overall
    "Renewed my love of reading!"

    Being a busy Mum of two., a wife, and someone that holds down two jobs I've often felt sad that I don't get the time to read anymore. Thanks to Audible, I've "read" my first book (apart from holidays!) and have absolutely LOVED this story. Poignant, funny, heart wrenchingly sad. Jim Broadbent narratoring is just THE best. Please someone make a film of this lovely book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    12/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not sure"

    Still not sure about this book. Story is a bit far fetched as someone already mentioned here. Geography is not quite right and the mani character more going on 85 than 65.
    Some parts are very very similar to Forrest Gump. Ans why so much swearing?

    It made me quite angry and I a few times I wanted to stop but decided to finish the book and even cried at the end so I guess author's mission was accomplished in some way.

    But i wouldn't listen it again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • mollyeyre
    Leicestershire UK
    11/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely tale"

    I read this a while ago on my kindle, but was tempted by the thought of Jim Broadbent as a narrator, and also by the 'sequel' of Queenie Hennessy's story. I was NOT disappointed. I did get a little irritated by Harold's lack of backbone, as I did when I originally read it, but he is such a sweetie that I could understand, it wasn't really lack of backbone, it was just that he felt everyone had a right to be as they are!
    Jim Broadbent is absolutely fabulous as the narrator, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story, couldn't leave it and listened late into the evening, which I usually try NOT to do with audio books as my mind won't let go when I try to sleep if I listen too late.
    A real delight, and left me pondering about Harold and his life long after reading it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • N Cowan
    Great Yarmouth, norfolk
    10/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best stories and audiobooks available"
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks that I've listened to from Audible


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold, of course! Though Maureen is compelling as well


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The final sections. I can't really say without giving it away.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. I didn't cry or anything, but I literally stopped in my tracks, turned it off and stood, thinking about the implications of what I had just heard. Amazing book.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best examples of narrative reading, coupled to one of the best books I've ever downloaded. Beautiful, wrenching and heart warming all at the same time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • lynn clough
    10/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "uplifting"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?

    Jim Broadbent brings Harold Fry to life. This book demonstrates so many life truths. One learns so much about ones self and your fellow man/woman.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What makes us tick..


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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