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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 (263 )
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4.2 (229 )
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Story
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Sort by:
  • Andy
    7/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Far more to this uplifting story than I imagined"
    If you could sum up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in three words, what would they be?

    Surprising, motivational, satisfying


    What did you like best about this story?

    Like Harolds journey, the book kept moving, each chapter as rewarding as the last


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

    His quality that he delivers in everything that he does


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

    Both, frequently


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Irene
    London, United Kingdom
    6/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How patronizing!"

    You can tell the writer is much younger than the character. The poor man is depicted as an 80 year old! Nobody I know in their 60s behaves like this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Happy customer
    5/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hooked"
    Any additional comments?

    Really lovely story and brilliantly narrated. It was so good that it made me look forward to getting in my car for my daily commute just to get to listen to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow in the middle"
    Would you try another book written by Rachel Joyce or narrated by Jim Broadbent?

    The book overall story is great and thought provoking, but I found it a little slow in the middle and almost gave up on it. I;m glad I didn't, the ending is really nice and worth waiting for.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable, a feel good story."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I found this audiobook was enjoyable for the most part, if not a little boring in places!


    Any additional comments?

    I would say this book was certainly worth listening to. It is nothing spectacular, but then not all books can be!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crime Fiction Groupie
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    1/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heart-breaking and uplifting"

    As this book seemed to be grouped with other quirky novels like Alex Woods or 100yo Man, I was expecting to be amused. However although there are many chuckles, it's a very different type of novel. In many ways it is desperately sad to see lives with so many missed opportunities, and such 'quiet desperation'. However, throughout there is a real sense of hope, ultimately realised. I really enjoyed the journey with Harold, and felt the reader accompanies him every step of the way. A huge call-out to Jim Broadbent for fantastic narration. This is one novel where having such a wonderful actor makes a huge difference. Very enjoyable and highly recommended performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jenny
    essex, United Kingdom
    1/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Touching and heartwarming"
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Read by Jim Broadbent it is a lovely story which has made me cry and laugh. I have really enjoyed this story of revelation and realisation made on a journey that becomes hijacked by well wishers. An insight into human nature, good and bad. British, middle class answer to Forest Gump.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was read by Jim Broadbent.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Harold Fry phoned to speak to Qheenie Hennessey and he thinks she has died and he is too late. I wept buckets.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A dog joins the pilgrimage.


    Any additional comments?

    The change in Harold Fry who was a private man who did not make friends, eventually having to take care of an unlikely band of misfits.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Louise
    Scalloway, United Kingdom
    1/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly beguiling and beautifully read"
    Would you listen to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry again? Why?

    I adore this book. It is one of those stories that you think you will like and it just smashes all your expectations


    What about Jim Broadbent’s performance did you like?

    Jim Broadbent added depth to the characters and his voice is like listening to an old friend.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria Hulland
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    1/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heart breakingly beautiful."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?

    When things begin to unravel for Harold and he is stripped emotionally bare.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last 2 hours completely wrenched me apart.


    Any additional comments?

    So touching, beautiful, heart breaking and heart warming. Beautiful writing from the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Judith
    Neston, United Kingdom
    12/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"
    What did you like most about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?

    This was a lovely book to listen to whilst driving. The story captured you right from the start and developed with little twists and turns as it went along. It made you laugh, cry and think. What more could anyone want from a book?
    The narration by Jim Broadbent was easy and pleasant to listen to.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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