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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 (6689 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mom of Two Los Angeles 06-28-15
    Mom of Two Los Angeles 06-28-15 Member Since 2017
    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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    19
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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
  •  
    Marion 06-14-15
    Marion 06-14-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Extraordinary book, perfect narrator"

    Jim Broadbent's reading of this funny, sad, joyous story knocked my socks off. More Broadbent, please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 06-14-15
    Anna 06-14-15
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    3
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    "Super depressing, slow moving"

    The story was well performed but the plot was slow and depressing. It was like watching paint dry, but sadder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Cleveland, OH 06-12-15
    Amanda Cleveland, OH 06-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Almost gave up on this book... Glad I didn't."

    A lovely story of hope, love, and life's heart aches. Like Harold, I almost gave up on this book, but I'm really glad I didn't. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dana Sacramento, Ca 06-08-15
    dana Sacramento, Ca 06-08-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great Story!! But get out your hankies!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?

    idk, I haven't read the print version. But This was a very good book!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold


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

    No I have not, however he did a wonderful portrayal of Harold Fry in my opinion!


    If you could rename The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, what would you call it?

    It is abtly named.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very, very moving tale, full of raw emotion. So expect a good cry!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen 06-08-15
    Ellen 06-08-15 Member Since 2017
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    "A Pilgrimage - Coming to Terms with One Self"

    Gripping revelation of how we self-inflict our own misery at times. Often light hearted and funny but also a true learning experience as Harold Fry and his wife reflect on life, all the while Harold travels by foot to Queenie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele 06-04-15
    Michele 06-04-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I made the pilgrimage with Harold"

    And so will you. A friend recommended this book to me at least half a dozen times. Finally I took him up on it. So happy I did. The book is full of laughs and weaves a tapestry of life lessons with threads of beautiful stories from people of all walks of life. As Harold recognizes early on...we'd never know how much sadness is inside the very regular looking man pumping petrol next to us. Joyce is a gifted writer! Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 05-27-15
    Kelly 05-27-15

    I mostly listen to spiritual (Eckhart Tolle) and skills enhancement books (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I recommend all of them on here.

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    "Such a sweet and sad story"

    I really enjoyed it. It had me smiling and also made me sad and reflective in a good way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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