The incredible pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The incredible pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2012) by Rachel Joyce

Reviews: Amazon | Goodreads | Google Books | Guardian: 1 2 | Independent  | LibraryThing | Observer |  Readmill | Richard and Judy | Wikipedia

A quick check of my LibraryThing reveals that this is only the second novel I’ve finished reading since August 2011, although I don’t read yer actual books much these days anyway.

Loved this – perhaps smacks slightly of a creative writing class and the early pages are a bit of a slog, but once it got going I ran through it. Brilliant pastiche of walking challenges, media coverage, hangers-on and all, culminating in a tear jerking finale. Read it now!

Rachel has written about writing Harold Fry, which might well make you well up again, and there’s a pilgrimage map on Facebook.

Apparently other novels about men with failed relationships going wandering about Britain include Jonathan Coe’s The terrible privacy of Maxwell Sim and Jude Cook’s Byron Easy.

See also Walking for dear life, which also brings in Herzog, Geoff Nicholson and Old Leatherman, plus the etymology of sauntering (from sainte-terre, or “holy ground”, to denote pilgrims who walked to the Holy Land). A true drift!

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