We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel | [Rachel Joyce]

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.
Regular Price:$28.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Why did I love this book so much? The answer to that question is as complicated as trying to explain why you love a particular person. Because that’s what this book is – an entire life encapsulated and explored through the thoughts and encounters of a man on an unexpected journey. The story slowly grows and unfolds until the full picture is before you – blooming and beautiful and completely irreplaceable. Jim Broadbent’s narration is so utterly real it breaks your heart. — Emily

Publisher's Summary

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.

Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. And thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage at the heart of Rachel Joyce's remarkable debut. Harold Fry is determined to walk 600 miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie Hennessey will live.

Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest across the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him - allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.

And then there is the unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.

A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise - and utterly irresistible - storyteller.

©2012 Rachel Joyce (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"When it seems almost too late, Harold Fry opens his battered heart and lets the world rush in. This funny, poignant story about an ordinary man on an extraordinary journey moved and inspired me." (Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank)

"There's tremendous heart in this debut novel by Rachel Joyce, as she probes questions that are as simple as they are profound: Can we begin to live again, and live truly, as ourselves, even in middle age, when all seems ruined? Can we believe in hope when hope seems to have abandoned us? I found myself laughing through tears, rooting for Harold at every step of his journey. I'm still rooting for him." (Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife)

"Marvelous! 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." (Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3807 )
5 star
 (1810)
4 star
 (1334)
3 star
 (484)
2 star
 (102)
1 star
 (77)
Overall
4.2 (3381 )
5 star
 (1594)
4 star
 (1147)
3 star
 (450)
2 star
 (122)
1 star
 (68)
Story
4.5 (3373 )
5 star
 (2095)
4 star
 (931)
3 star
 (265)
2 star
 (45)
1 star
 (37)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Leigh Ann Hornbuckle TN 03-18-13 Member Since 2011

    horn

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Interesting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I think it's a good story. At first I didn't think it would be interesting enough but as I went further, I got it. I walk a lot for fun so I know it helps you sort your life out. That's what Harold did.


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

    No


    Have you listened to any of Jim Broadbent’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Who was the most memorable character of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and why?

    Harold himself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 03-18-13
    Laura 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    168
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved, Loved, Loved this book!"
    Any additional comments?

    The book starts out a little slowly - please don't be put off by that because it really delivers some incredible messages and packs a punch in the end! I actually did laugh and cry and rooted and cheered for Harold and those who love him and show him kindness. This is a very heartwarming and insightful novel and I have recommmended it to family and friends already - I now recommend it to you! Jim Broadbent is masterful and there is no doubt in my mind that if and when this hits the big screen he will be just the man to put a fact to Harold Fry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Aurora, CO 03-17-13
    Lynne Aurora, CO 03-17-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The human fear of authentic connection"

    This is a book about fear...the fear to be truly seen by others and to let people in. Harold Fry can't trust,can't be with others, can't express himself. There is a little Harold in all of us. The story is beautiful and the performance is lovely and moving. A great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci Stern Kings Park, NY United States 03-16-13
    Marci Stern Kings Park, NY United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Profoundly moving story"

    I loved how the story unfolded a little at a time and the many interconnected layers of metaphor. The performance of Jim Broadbent was simply magnificent and allowed me to connect with Harold and his world immediately. I highly recommend this novel as it takes you on an emotional, spiritual journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ahsan WATSEKA, IL, United States 03-15-13
    Ahsan WATSEKA, IL, United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Beautiful Journey"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could empathize with Harold Fry very much, although I am about 30 years behind where he is in his life. .You don't have to be at the tail end life to identify mistakes made in life and the contemplation of them. The lessons he learns are applicable to just about all of us. At times I found his story to be funny, sad, helpless, and then empowering, tragic yet ultimately hopeful. At all times, I found Harold to be immensely sweet and likable. Even his wife, Maureen, who initially seemed to be a wenchy antagonist, you learn is a true human being with flaws, yet strength and love. This book felt good to my soul,


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shakya Cedar Pocket, Australia 03-11-13
    Shakya Cedar Pocket, Australia 03-11-13

    Little bit crazy but prefer the term eccentric. I am a recluse by nature so I live for my books and the friends I find within their pages.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Journey of Discovery"

    In this wonderful tale your emotions will by tested to their full range. Funny, sad, insightful and best of all honest. The narrator takes you on the journey with Harold and you feel evrything he is going through with empathy and love for the man. I had a crazy week but found time everyday to find out what Harold was up to and it made my week bearable.
    Thank you Racheal, Jim and Harold you enriched my life with your story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adina Andreu Concord, NC United States 03-09-13
    Adina Andreu Concord, NC United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    432
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is the reason that I listen to Audiobooks"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?

    Only did audio, but in my experience with such a good reader there is no comparison


    What did you like best about this story?

    I wait for books that offer a unique story with beautiful writing that just takes you in and doesn't let go


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

    Harold


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. Beautiful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 03-08-13
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 03-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    130
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    283
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Midlife male, midlife crisis, great story"

    I admit, I read the synopsis and ordered the book. Then, I lost sight of it in the mass of other impulse books I tend to order. I am so glad that I finally migrated back to Harold Fry. As we approach a certain age, midlife or perhaps beyond, we face thoughts and regrets about things we have done unto others. Harold Fry's crisis relates to an incident in his work setting -- he allowed another to take responsibility for something he had done. She is now dying of cancer and he decides to walk across Britain as a sign of repentance and to ask for forgiveness. It is certainly a LARGE gesture, but given what this character has faced in life, it is understandable. I think many of us would want to opt-out of life for a while and do something out of character. Harold does that. He attracts attention from others and disrupts his wife's quiet existence.

    The writing is direct, thoughtful and even believable, given the basic premise. I appreciated the story's unfolding and the burdens the main character has carried with during his life. It is filled with anticipation of a reunion that becomes much more than a determined meeting between two former colleagues.

    This book reflects regret, atonement, unwanted attention, distance and coming together. I truly appreciated its subject and imagine that it will provoke discussion among other readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie A. Levin Pleasant Hill, California 03-06-13
    Julie A. Levin Pleasant Hill, California 03-06-13 Member Since 2013

    Marriage and Family Therapist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love and redemption on a very long walk"

    Sometimes magical thinking works. Harold sets off to save a friend in a way that makes his wife question his sanity, but his quirky quest leads to more being saved than either could have imagined. Sweet, funny, moving. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Reno, NV, United States 03-06-13
    Kathy Reno, NV, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Much more than I expected"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?

    This one pulls you in. Starting simply you are pulled into a lifetime of reflection on choices made, heartaches suffered....the tapestry that made Harold and his wife. I aches with them, I cried with them, I laughed with them, and I felt their lives. Don't miss this one


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 231-240 of 417 results PREVIOUS123242542NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.