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The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist [Kindle Edition]

Anne Tyler
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Brilliant, funny, sad and sensitive" (Independent on Sunday)

"Anne Tyler gets better with every book, and this one is a triumph - funny, profound, sad and ultimately reassuring" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Now poignant, now funny... Anne Tyler is brilliant" (New York Times Book Review)

"A vibrant and astonishing and, above all, achingly funny book" (Cosmopolitan)

"My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world, is Anne Tyler" (Nick Hornby)

Book Description

As Macon's life falls apart, he tries to tie it back together with routine and habit. But sometimes life just doesn't work like that.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 702 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0099480018
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (10 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007V079Y2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,008 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, A Patchwork Planet, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage and Digging to America. In 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English'. Anne Tyler lives in Baltimore where her novels are set.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and wise 21 Sep 2008
By Veronica VINE VOICE
The Accidental Tourist is a wonderful novel. It is beautifully written and very wise and sensitive. The characters are ordinary people and the plot is full of everyday occurences, and yet I was turning the pages as if I was reading a nail biting thriller.

I'm always hearing that good writers should 'show and not tell', and Anne Tyler does this to perfection. The first chapter alone is a masterclass in how to create an original and moving marriage break-up scene. At the beginning of the novel, we find out that Macon and Sarah's son has died. In other books there would have been endless pages about the death and flashbacks to the family before the tragedy, but Tyler manages to convey the parents's terrible loss without going down this rather tired route. As the book progresses, Macon and Sarah separate, and then Macon meets Muriel, an unusual dog trainer who seems determined to work her way into his life.

All of the characters seem like living, breathing people - with good and bad points. Macon, the main character, is an excellent invention. Being an introvert myself, I felt like I could understand much of his motivation and attitude towards life. I also grew to admire Muriel a great deal and the physical descriptions of her - her frizzy hair and clothes ('I look like the Wrath of God') - were particularly good. I was glad the author didn't go down the stereotypical route of having her be tremendously good looking. And yet, the tension was there the whole time about whether Macon would return to his wife, if she would have him back. The novel made me care deeply for all the characters, and I was utterly torn as to what I thought Macon should do.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enter Muriel. 2 Sep 2006
Macon the traveller who hates travelling can be forgiven for being boring. Macon lost his only child in a senseless murder and his marriage collapses. A recipe for despair you might think! Well, yes and no. Yes because he cannot properly grieve or piece his life together. No because the process of his life is comic in the face of inevitable twists and turns. Enter Muriel. Muriel takes life by the scruff of the neck with zest. She more than overlaps into his life. She knows what she wants and he does not - but it is not just about the two of them.

It is a romantic comedy but without the romance as we know it. I found easy to read dusted with just the right amount of expression. Great language, you can really hear the characters speaking and see the dynamic in the dialogue. Once again Tyler wonderfully presents the ordinary like a refreshing breeze to the reader dancing cheerfully page after page.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb read - absorbing and funny 26 Jan 2000
I thought this book was absolutely superb. I loved the way the characters were portrayed: real 3-dimensional people, with real human characteristics and foibles. I found the book more and more enjoyable as I got to know the individuals and was sorry to close the book for the last time. The only (minor) irritation was the pronounciation of Macon, but perhaps that was just part of his character. I am a great fan of Anne Tyler's books. She writes about ordinary people with style and panache.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1985, this thoughtful character novel focuses on Macon Leary, a travel writer who hates to travel, a man who has gone through life observing what is happening, but who has never been truly engaged. Compulsively tidy, Macon has always believed that it is possible to order one's life so effectively that the untidiness, or chaos, that throws life into confusion can be avoided. And then his beloved 12-year-old son is cold-bloodedly murdered in the senseless robbery of a burger joint while he is away at camp for the first time.

It gives away nothing of the plot to say that this event totally undoes Macon and his wife, and their polite and predictable marriage goes into a tailspin. When the novel opens, Macon and Sarah have decided to separate, with Sarah getting her own apartment (where she can be as messy as she wants) and Macon remaining in the house with his son Ethan's undisciplined dog Edward. In fact, Macon has moved back with his sister and brothers in the family house, to recuperate from his physical wounds--an accident in which he breaks his leg-- and from his emotional wounds.

Then into his life comes Muriel, a divorcee with an over-protected, allergic, and hypersensitive son. She is a dog trainer, a flake, the only person willing to undertake the task of civilizing the aggressive, sometimes vicious "pet" that lives with Macon.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I got into this book slowly but ended up reading it straight through twice over. The theme of love and why we love different people is brilliantly handled. "Maybe the important thing is who you are when you're with someone not whether you love them." The central character spends the book coming to terms with his feelings about love and who he loves. The final sentence packs an amazing punch and illuminates the whole book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I have only read one other Anne Tyler book and enjoy the style as...
I found it very enjoyable. I have only read one other Anne Tyler book and enjoy the style as light reading for summer. Nothing too deep about the book.
Published 1 month ago by Norma B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I read this for my book group, as one of our number said she had read all of Anne Tyler's work and recommended this book for last month. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lesley Watts
5.0 out of 5 stars Doggy Insights!
This is an exceptional book which stood up to my reading it again after almost 30 years.I was struck afresh with how exceptional it is. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mot Juste
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully observed, but spoilt by a romcom ending
I don't know why it's taken me so long to get round to Anne Tyler. I like slow, well-crafted and well-observed character studies with plenty of wit and wisdom and a dash of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bookwoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters
Macon and Muriel really drew me into their story. This is Anne Tyler's best work with Breathing Lessons a little ways behind it although it won the Pulitzer. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-observed and touching story.
Anne Tyler has a very easy writing style considering the depth of charachterisation she delivers. I'm sure all readers will relate to at least some of the feelings and foibles she... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lena Victor
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and sad.
A very good Ann Tyler book to read. Great story and so interesting I had difficulty putting it down. Didn't want to finish this one.
Published 7 months ago by Tilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Tyler at her peak
The Accidental Tourist was one of the first Anne Tyler novels I read, and it remains my favorite. Witty and poignant with brilliantly drawn characters. A must read!
Published 10 months ago by cmac1
5.0 out of 5 stars Anne Tyler rarely disappoints; these characters linger in your mind...
Edward, the dog, is one of the most interesting portrayals. His reactions to the events in the story are as thought-provoking as the humans'; his behaviour is understandable, even... Read more
Published 10 months ago by JennyM
4.0 out of 5 stars A Guide to Life
Macon and Sarah Leary have lost their only child, 13 year-old Ethan in a random shooting. They drift apart and Macon's life starts to fold when Sarah leaves. Read more
Published 11 months ago by gerardpeter
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