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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 (6576 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MariannePayne 08-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "This book had me at the first line."

    I've listened to this book so many times, always marveling at the magic of Harolds's story. Narration is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KERI Hart 08-02-15
    KERI Hart 08-02-15 Member Since 2014

    road (and plane) warrior

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    69
    10
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    "Grew to enjoy"

    A Slow paced story that was appreciated at the end. Makes you think about the impact of small and big events in your life. The story builds slowly. Worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Fisher Salt Lake City, Utah 08-01-15
    Mike Fisher Salt Lake City, Utah 08-01-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!"

    I enjoyed this story and it kept me in suspense for much longer than I thought it would.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyeux 07-31-15
    Joyeux 07-31-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    6
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    "Disappointed"

    The narrator was good but the story was tedious and sentimental. I thought it would never end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Barber Seattle, WA USA 07-27-15
    Katherine Barber Seattle, WA USA 07-27-15 Member Since 2013

    Wild Ringlets

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    4
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    "Wonderful!"

    One of the best books I have listened to in a long time. So well written and narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aunt Ninja Northern Neck, VA 07-26-15
    Aunt Ninja Northern Neck, VA 07-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "Inspiring"

    This was an awesome book. James Broadbent brought the characters to life. I laughed and cried as they struggled and triumphed. Splendid!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dad of 3 07-18-15
    Dad of 3 07-18-15
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    "Depressing but well-written"

    No offense to Rachel Joyce. She did a masterful job. But the story was far too weighty and depressing for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mom of Two Los Angeles 06-28-15
    Mom of Two Los Angeles 06-28-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "I loved this book"

    Great writing, so funny and profound. The characters were endearing, and my heart ached towards the end. Brilliant performance by Jim Broadbent. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rlc123 CHESTNUT HILL, MA, US 06-26-15
    Rlc123 CHESTNUT HILL, MA, US 06-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    18
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    "Excellent"

    Highly recommend. Such a thoughtful and touching read. Intriguing path back to love and connection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Living the Life 06-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I still think about this book months later"
    What did you love best about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?

    I felt like I went on his walking pilgrimage with him. The pace was leisurely and Harold Fry's awakening was fun to follow.


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

    Harold


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

    No, I listened to it while driving. It was always great to pick it up where I left off.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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