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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 (5850 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Chelsea 03-19-13
    Chelsea 03-19-13

    driving = books

    ratings
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    4
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    "Not horrible"
    What would have made The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry better?

    I'm not sure. It was interesting in some part but really weird and random in others.


    What was most disappointing about Rachel Joyce’s story?

    I really wanted to enjoy it more. I finished it though and the ending is surprising which was cool.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jim Broadbent?

    Probably.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?

    Some of the walk, lol.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    School Nurse Cindy WV 03-19-13 Member Since 2016

    I've been listening to audio books for years and have been an audible subscriber for ? 10 years maybe? A long time anyway.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pleasantly surprised"
    Would you listen to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry again? Why?

    I chose this book for my book club prior to reading it. (That is my self-imposed rule for all my selections) I was quite pleasantly surprised.

    I'd actually like to read it again prior to the meeting of my book club on 4/13 so that I can set up an actual map of Harold's trip. Perhaps I will.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how hidden stories for each character came out and came together in the end.


    What about Jim Broadbent’s performance did you like?

    He has the perfect voice for the main character for sure.


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

    I was intrigued by the girl at the gas station at the beginning of the book and the fact that she showed up near the end as well. Not too many kids are willing to share in an earnest conversation with an older adult, especially one that they do not know.


    Any additional comments?

    Sad, moving, but motivational all in one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peg Colchester, VT, United States 03-19-13
    Peg Colchester, VT, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Soul Medicine"
    What did you love best about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?

    The characters were real, lovable, growing and interesting. The story warmed my soul and breathed gratitude into me.


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

    The most memorabel moment occurred at the end of the story when Harold and Maureen believed in love again.


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

    Harold was most memorable because of all the changes and peaks and valleys he navigated in his heart. Martina was also quite memorable because of her utmost kindness despite her own pain.


    Any additional comments?

    This was just good medicine!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Ann Hornbuckle TN 03-18-13 Member Since 2011

    horn

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    "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
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    "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 03-17-13
    Lynne 03-17-13 Member Since 2009
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    "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
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    "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
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    "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.

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    "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
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    "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

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