- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; 1 edition (March 26, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812983459
- ISBN-13: 978-0812983456
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,901 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.82 shipping
+ $3.98 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel Paperback – March 26, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Praise for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
“[A] gorgeously poignant novel of hope and transformation.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“You have to love Harold Fry, a man who set out one morning to mail a letter and then just kept going. . . . Like Christian in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, Harold becomes Everyman in the eyes of those who encounter him. . . . Harold's journey, which parallels Christian's nicely but not overly neatly, takes him to the edge of death and back again. It will stick with you, this story of faith, fidelity and redemption.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“For all of us perfectly responsible, stoop-shouldered suburbanites wearing a path in the living-room carpet, Harold’s ridiculous journey is a cause for celebration. This is Walter Mitty skydiving. This is J. Alfred Prufrock not just eating that peach, but throwing the pit out the window, rolling up his trousers and whistling to those hot mermaids. Released from the cage of his own passivity, Harold feels transformed, though he keeps his tie on. . . . In this bravely unpretentious and unsentimental tale, she’s cleared space where miracles are still possible.” —Washington Post
"[R]emarkable. . . . I can't think of a better recommendation for summer reading. And take your time, just as Harold does.”—USA Today, four out of four stars review
[A] story of present-day courage. . . . . about how easily a mousy, domesticated man can get lost and how joyously he can be refound.”—Janet Maslin, New York Times
“From its charming beginning to its startling and cathartic denouement, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a comic and tragic joy.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“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
“Harold’s journey is ordinary and extraordinary; it is a journey through the self, through modern society, through time and landscape. It is a funny book, a wise book, a charming book—but never cloying. It’s a book with a savage twist—and yet never seems manipulative. Perhaps because Harold himself is just wonderful. . . . I’m telling you now: I love this book.”—Erica Wagner, The Times (UK)
“The odyssey of a simple man . . . original, subtle and touching.”—Claire Tomalin, author of Charles Dickens: A Life
“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry takes the most ordinary and unassuming of men and turns him into a hero for us all. To go on this journey with Harold will not only break your heart, it might just also heal it.”—Tiffany Baker, author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
“A gentle and genteel charmer, brimming with British quirkiness yet quietly haunting in its poignant and wise examination of love and devotion. Sure to become a book-club favorite.”— Booklist
About the Author
Rachel Joyce is an award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and won multiple awards. Rachel Joyce lives in Gloucestershire on a farm with her family and is at work on her second novel.
From the Hardcover edition.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
3,901 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-3 of 3,901 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
BOTH disappeared before I could save or send.
(Srsly, modern tools of convenience???)
I'll give it one more go. Apparently I feel VERY compelled to review Harold's pilgrimage.
Let me start with the fact that I REALLY wanted to give this novel a higher rating than 3 stars. Truly. But, to be fair, I just couldn't.
I will say that while I would recommend reading this, the recommendation includes stipulations (warnings? suggestions?)... but no intended spoilers. (I LOATHE those.) Here we go.
While I enjoyed the premise behind the novel and the pilgrimage, I felt that both (the novel AND the pilgrimage) needed to be edited for length. The purpose for the journey itself started out with such a sweet note of hope...and later [necessarily] segued into an even deeper discovery and disclosure of the main characters:
his wife, Maureen
their son, David,
and the person for/to whom the pilgrimage started, Queenie.
HOWEVER, there comes a point in the pilgrimage where it turns from a walk of purpose interspersed with poignant introspections and VERY relative meetings with both strangers, neighbors as well as the pasts of the main characters, into a arduous journey akin to:
slogging through calf (even knee deep in some places) mud (viscous, viscous mud)...
in heavy boots...
wearing long, thick, new jeans...
in the rain...
It really didn't have to come to that in order to get the point across. There ARE (trying to be cautious here) important triggers along the way; but, some acquaintances and incidents (ALMOST entire chapters) could have been deleted ALMOST without any effect on the ending. An ending which I felt was perfect, relevant and believable.
Do I regret reading it? Nope. Not at all.
Did I have to push myself to not skip to the end? You betcha.
The problem would have been that the ending wouldn't have made as much sense had I skipped. Simply because ALMOST every chapter contained at least one or two discoveries needed for the ending be as good as it was.
So...middle-of-the-road stars aside...yes, read it. Take your time. Take a break for a day if needed but not longer. No skips. No shortcuts.
Because, Harold's Pilgrimage drives home MANY valid issues in relationships, both past and present, which are, apparently, found in more long term relationships that I thought. Just when you think you're the only one, regardless of the reason, you find out you're not alone.
In their separation, Harold and his wife, Maureen, do discover some truths about each other and about themselves that would not have been possible if they did not have distance between them. But for me, the novel was unrelentingly sad with a focus on loss and regret.
What follows are a few themes that resonated deeply and are supported by a quote or two from the book. Admittedly, this is a bit lazy for a review but it is authentic. Though the quotes are not necessarily spoilers you may want to avoid reading on. Instead, take my advice and read the entire book with a highlighter and an alcohol-spiked pot of tea along with the capacity to forgive yourself.
“The past was the past; there was no escaping your beginnings.”
"Again he felt in a profound way that he was both inside and outside what he saw; that he was both connected, and passing through."
"He saw that when a person becomes estranged from the things they know, and is a passerby, strange things take on a new significance."
Challenging Our Belief Systems
“But maybe it's what the world needs. A little less sense, and a little more faith.”
“There is so much to the human mind we don't understand. But, you see, if you have faith, you can do anything.”
Unintended, Earth Shattering Awareness
“Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.”
“But it never ceases to amaze me how difficult the things that are supposed to be instinctive really are.”
Ordinary People Just Getting By
“People were buying milk, or filling their cars with petrol, or even posting letters. And what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside. The superhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday. The loneliness of that.”
Coping With The Inevitable Bad Things
“I miss her all the time. I know in my head that she has gone. The only difference is that I am getting used to the pain. It's like discovering a great hole in the ground. To begin with, you forget it's there and keep falling in. After a while, it's still there, but you learn to walk round it.”
“We hang on by so little, he thought, and felt the full despair of knowing that.”
Redemption, Compassion And Understanding.
“He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was also his journey to accept the strangeness of others.”
“People would make the decisions they wished to make and some of them would hurt both themselves and those who loved them, and some would pass unnoticed, while others would bring joy.”
“They had offered him comfort and shelter, even when he was afraid of taking them, and in accepting he had learned something new. It was as much of a gift to receive as it was to give, requiring as it did both courage and humility.”
“He must have driven this way countless times, and yet he had no memory of the scenery. He must have been so caught up in the day's agenda, and arriving punctually at their destination, that the land beyond the car had been no more than a wash of one green, and a backdrop of one hill. Life was very different when you walked through it.”
“Beginnings could happen more than once or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before. He had faced his shortcomings and overcome them and so the real business of walking was happening only now.”
“He had started; and in doing so Harold could already see the end.”