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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry | [Rachel Joyce]

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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.
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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 (230 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • John Innes
    Musselburgh, UK
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "surprisingly engaging story"
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the finest stories I've read, it engaged me, made me cry and uplifted me


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold Fry because his determination and fragility was so superbly portrayed


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

    I couldn't listen in a single sitting but I did look forward to hearing the next chapter


    Any additional comments?

    Such a moving tale, revealing the tragedy of a family and the realisation of the power of their love forgotten over the years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    Rockland St Peter, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like Harold I wasn't sure I would get to the end."
    Any additional comments?

    One of the joys of an audiobook is that when the going gets hard I have the narrator to keep me going. Jim Broadbent was wonderful as Harold, and if he wasn’t as convincing as the other characters it was because Rachel Joyce was not so involved with them either.
    Although part of the point of the book is the great length of Harold’s journey I did feel that was overdone, and towards the end I wished he would get on with it or go home.
    Having said all that, I’m glad to have heard this book, and the development of Harold’s memories, and the changes in his mental state, are delicately handled. It’s the only book I’ve come across for years that hasn’t been written as a film script, and I hope no on tries since it would completely spoil the gentle thoughtfulness of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • samantha
    fort william, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?

    I found myself crying and absorbed


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

    Finally getting to Berwick upon Tweed


    What about Jim Broadbent’s performance did you like?

    His intonation was amazing


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

    We are able to make up for our mistakes


    Any additional comments?

    I fantastic listen though be careful where you listen as I found myself crying whilst driving!! Having listened to this have since read the book and recommended it for our book club.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roderic
    Victoria Park, Australia
    11/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting and gentle read"
    Would you listen to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry again? Why?

    I may listen to this again before I go walking in England. I would listen with a road atlas of Britain in front of me.


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

    The Next Step...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barry
    Coventry, United Kingdom
    11/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a beautiful book!"

    This is a delicate and lovely book full of insight and Jim Broadbent gives a tender and compassionate voice to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin
    stackport, United Kingdom
    11/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "highly recommended"

    I have recommended this book as a well written, highly entertaining book which grips the reader from start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ernest
    Stockton on Tees, Cleveland, United Kingdom
    11/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I was not an enjoyable read."
    What would have made The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry better?

    It was a labored read. I found it a most difficult book to read. It seemed that I had walked every step of the way. It might have been more interesting if I hadn't know the area it was travelling through.


    What could Rachel Joyce have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I don't think it would have been possible I felt that Harold fry had mental health problems. I could not re-read this book ever!


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jim Broadbent?

    Perhaps someone less well known, with a less distinctive voice.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The fact that he ended his journey and there was a final explanation of his relationship with his wife made it less awful!


    Any additional comments?

    I am sorry I didn't like this book, because I wont get the time back that I wasted reading it. I really did think it must get better. I was told that it was' a page turner' and that you 'couldn't put it down'.
    I must take less notice of other people's opinion about their book choices!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elaine
    Wigan, United Kingdom
    10/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    It's a heartwarming story that makes you think about how you live your own life


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously Harold, such a gentleman.


    What about Jim Broadbent’s performance did you like?

    Everything. He is Harold Fry!


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

    Made me laugh and cry. I wanted to get into my car and go look for him.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. One for the author, one for the quality and one for the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Giovanna
    Varberg, Sweden
    10/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A nice story, very well read."
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    Definitely the reader. Jim Broadbent read the story with passion and kindness, making every character alive. It would be great to hear more from him.


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

    Yes, it is not a masterpiece but it is an enjoyable book with a touching story.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Broadbent – was your favourite?

    Harold for sure.


    Any additional comments?

    The first half of the book flowed very slowly, too slowly. In the first place I thought it was going to be a really boring book. The second part was definitely better. I wish the whole book was like that. But, for being her first book, Rachel Joyce did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patch
    Staffordshire
    10/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning"
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is up there as one of my favourite listens this year.


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

    I can't say because it would spoil the story


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This is a beautiful book, well crafted plot, gentle, absorbing and beautifully read by Jim Broadbent. My ears couldn't put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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