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 Audiobook

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

Regular Price:$24.00
  • 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 -

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 )
5 star
 (3315)
4 star
 (2208)
3 star
 (788)
2 star
 (162)
1 star
 (103)
Overall
4.3 (5908 )
5 star
 (2941)
4 star
 (1936)
3 star
 (752)
2 star
 (186)
1 star
 (93)
Story
4.5 (5901 )
5 star
 (3892)
4 star
 (1494)
3 star
 (405)
2 star
 (60)
1 star
 (50)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lee 07-07-13
    Lee 07-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poignant and compelling"
    Would you listen to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry again? Why?

    There is meaning in every word with crafted prose and a compelling story. An unexpressive man receives a letter and takes a walk across England, hoping to redeem himself in the eyes of a friend he never thanked. We walk with Harold and everyone he meets along the way - even the dog. Life, death, friendship, love and fear intermingle in a story that keeps the listener wanting to take one more minute to find out what's around the next bend.


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

    Maureen was my favorite character. Flawed, blaming, and bound up by the things of life while hidden away in her house of grief, she slowly emerges as a lively and loving woman. We meet her as she is; then travel back to who she was, eventually knowing that she can be both and still be loved and lovable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Every man's journey to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 06-24-13
    Nicole 06-24-13

    I mostly read historical non-fiction and fiction and I love it when it's done well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Broadbent Makes it Better"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I really enjoyed Broadbent's performance.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Rachel Joyce? Why or why not?

    Probably not. While I liked listening to the book, I didn't care as much for Joyce's writing style. It was a little manipulating and the "reveals" toward the end of the book should have come sooner, in my opinion.


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

    Harold Fry.


    Do you think The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. I thought it was too long as it was.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-21-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the summary sounds rather dull but you endure the life of one character and how much it meant for him to walk to visit an ill friend.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold was may favorite because of his interactions with each person he met on his venture.


    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?

    Well, it would have to be Harold. The book is about him, his wife, all the various people he interacts with on his walk. He did it for all the right reasons and he met some shady characters that joined him for all the wrong reasons.


    Any additional comments?

    N/A

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky 06-19-13
    Becky 06-19-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Depressing"
    What did you like best about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry? What did you like least?

    I liked the general idea of the story and I thought the reader did an excellent job.


    Was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry worth the listening time?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book to be way too depressing. I probably would have loved it in my younger years but find myself enjoying more uplifting stories as I get older.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Petrea 06-15-13
    Petrea 06-15-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I started listening, "put it down," and returned!"

    And I am so glad I did. What a wonderful book this is. Heartbreaking, funny, understated and yet a little fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 06-12-13
    Carol 06-12-13 Member Since 2010

    Can't stop listening

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    120
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Every journey begins with one step"

    There are layers here. There is beauty and there is a profound sense of what life is about. I haven't been so sad to finish a book in a long time. Perfect for a walk.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Orlando, FL, United States 06-10-13
    Tammy Orlando, FL, United States 06-10-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Makes you think about who you can be."
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 10


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite was when harold leaves the group and starts out on his own again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 06-09-13
    David 06-09-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well worth the walk with Harold"

    This is not the type of book I normally listen to, but the description intrigued me. I was not disappointed. Harold is a quirky, but lovable character and the narrator does an excellent job of bringing him to life. I also enjoyed the wide range of other characters he encounters on his pilgrimage. The best thing about this book is that you begin to examine your own life and relationships just as Harold examines his. His emotional journey is as compelling as his physical journey, and you will enjoy traveling with him through both.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monique Menomonee Falls, WI, United States 06-04-13
    Monique Menomonee Falls, WI, United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favorite Audio Book so far"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I couldn't put this one down and finished it in just a few days. There are so many themes running in this book- love, loyalty, regret, independence, and finding meaning in life, and though these can be heavy topics, they don't seem that way. It will make you think about the expectations you have for your own relationships- friends, spouse, children, neighbors and strangers. Can there be kindness left in humanity? The plot synopsis seemed so simple and yet this simple story of a man trying to reconnect with a friend has made me really think about all these topics. And it has a twist to boot! Listen to this one.


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Great Falls, VA, United States 05-29-13
    Christine Great Falls, VA, United States 05-29-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spontaneous and Reflective"
    Where does The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well done audiobook. The chapter character transitions between Harold, Queenie and Maurine keeps the storyline interesting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harold is my favorite character who discovers his strengths through the hearts and minds of others along his journey across England.


    What does Jim Broadbent bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Broadbent brings life to the thoughts and memories of the main characters, especially Harold's life review.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.