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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Audiobook

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

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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

4.3 (5991 )
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Performance
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    Mom Gilbert,AZ 02-13-15
    Mom Gilbert,AZ 02-13-15
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    "A very good story"

    A well written novel. Especially enjoyed the performance of Jim Broadbent. He brought this novel to life in a very pleasant way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandie Beckman 02-12-15
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    "Great book"

    Best book I've read in a long time. What a tale of life and love and loss.everyone should read this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grinda 02-09-15
    Grinda 02-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable"

    Broadbent brings the characters alive. What a wonderful story! Well written and well told. Best Audible selection for me so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lena chicago area 02-06-15
    Lena chicago area 02-06-15 Member Since 2011

    lena56

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    "Intriguing story of redemption"

    Well titled story of a man who starts out on a trip to the post office and ends up walking across Europe. He reminisces about his life and meets interesting characters on the road that effect his physical and psychological journey

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 02-05-15
    Richard 02-05-15
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    6
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    "HOPE"

    This was a very lovely story of a married couple who find their way out of a bitter depression and come back to loving and living. The narration is absolutely impeccable,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb 02-05-15
    Deb 02-05-15
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    "Wonderful book, far beyond expectations"
    Would you listen to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry again? Why?

    What a great book! I expected something light and fluffy, and instead got a wonderful, thought-provoking book with full deep characters and a compelling story line. Terrific!


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

    Great narrator! Just the right approach.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vas Port Moody, BC 02-04-15
    Vas Port Moody, BC 02-04-15 Member Since 2013

    Green professional and pro blogger; Audible addict!

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    "Great stuff"

    I love British English; walking to keep a friend alive is a funny idea; some funny bits.
    Listened to it while landscaping.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashleigh Norris 02-04-15 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "Captivating, deep and meaningful"

    Loved it! Cried, laughed, was left thinking about my own life and how to make it more meaningful and how precious life is. Great narrator! Really colourful, draws you in. Didn't want it to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Boulder, CO, United States 01-30-15
    Donna Boulder, CO, United States 01-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing slow plodding deep & worth it!"

    You go on the pilgrimage with Harold. It is tender and heart wrenching. Amazing slow,plodding,deep & worth it! The narration is pitch perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 01-29-15
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 01-29-15 Member Since 2005

    With almost 800 books in my library, I am an experienced listener. I appreciate a well written good story. I am pretty critical of trash.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engaging Deceptive"

    This book was engaging from page one. It was also deceptively friendly at the beginning as it continued the unraveling of details that gave meaning and depth to the story line . It was well and strategically written to reveal the necessary aspects that emerged as the pilgrimage progressed. I never wanted to quit but listened right through, although it became painful to me as the details were revealed. It had the sense of a very plausible family in todays society. this is not a feel good book for the light hearted. I will repeat well written and especially well narrated. I assume it was meant as a story of redemption. I did not like the ending or felt that it was adequate as an implication of "light at the end of the tunnel". I gave it four stars because of originality and writing, but it was not my cup of tea towards the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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