When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof, or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.
Jim Broadbent has starred in a huge range of films, from British favourites including Bridget Jones and Hot Fuzz, to Hollywood blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and the Harry Potter films. In 2001 he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Iris. Most recently he starred as Denis Thatcher opposite Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ms on 17-06-12
Gentle but engaging
I really enjoyed this story. I was engaged with the narrative from the beginning, and though never thrilling or demanding, it held my attention throughout and made me look forward to my next chance to listen. The story was sometimes soothing, sometimes moving, always interesting and overall an uplifting read (I wish there were more of these!).
28 of 29 people found this review helpful
By Kirstine on 11-02-15
A memorable, moving and marvellous story
Thanks to a friend’s recommendation I listened to this exceptional book. I was swept along eagerly wanting to hear how Howard’s journey to save Queenie Hennessy, would end. On impulse he embarks on a journey on foot from the South West of England to Berwick-on-Tweed in the belief that this will keep his former colleague, now suffering from terminal cancer, alive. Why he feels he needs to do this isn’t revealed until near the end. It’s a pilgrimage without a religious basis, though there are episodes that remind one of biblical stories and later parts of his journey have echoes of the Canterbury Tales when other ‘pilgrims’ join him. It is a deeply moving story that delves deep into human relationships and how resentments and misunderstandings can fester and sour a marriage. The book is steeped in melancholy, leavened by humorous episodes.
The author couldn’t have a better narrator than Jim Broadbent. As I listened to his lovely voice tinged with sadness and regret I could picture him trudging the roads North. It sounds depressing: but it isn’t. It’s an uplifting story of how an ordinary man can do something extraordinary and get redemption by his simple courage. I think it’s a marvellous book and I look forward to listening to the companion book telling the story from Queenie’s perspective.
29 of 31 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Carol on 11-07-12
What a wonderful story!
So sad how 20 years of a relationship could be wasted. Secrets, unspoken words, tragedy, loneliness.
A 65 year old man embarks on a journey (pilgrimage) to see a long lost friend who is dying of cancer. On the way, he meets ordinary yet special people who inspire him and give him hope - most of the time. He thinks about the shadows of the past and how he thinks he failed his wife, son and friend. Meanwhile, his wife is going through the same feelings while left at home. Has he left her? Will he come back?
The narration was superb. The male narrator didn't try to imitate the female voices as some do (badly!). But you always knew who was speaking.
Very moving and emotional. And so well written and narrated. An absolutely wonderful story!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Jenny on 17-09-12
A gentle story with lasting memories
Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?
I thorughally enjoyed Jim Broadbent's performance. As a female I find it interesting to listen to the male voice of a novel.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I would have made Harold a bit stronger in the latter stage of the journey. But ultimately I was pleased with his character. I really disliked the pilgrims!
Which character – as performed by Jim Broadbent – was your favorite?
Harold! He was a wonderful Mrs Fry as well.
If you could rename The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, what would you call it?
I like the title.
Any additional comments?
I did find the third quarter of the book very frustrating and tedious - but I suppose that was how Harold was also feeling. I thought it was wrong of him to expect someone with cancer to wait for him given the terrible pain they are in but that could well be because of my recent experiences.
The description of grief being like a big hole given by Reg was spot on! A book I would recomend to friends and may well buy the printed version to keep.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful