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on 13 August 2017
I read this book as a sample initially, and left it there not believing it was what I wanted to read at the time. Since then, over probably three years, the idea of it niggled at me. Eventually I cracked and bought the whole book and took it slowly, no so much savouring it as digesting it carefully.
It's written the way an art Western movie is shot, much silence and introspection, and as such trying to read it all in one or two sittings will only give you the husk of its meaning.
Peopled with characters who are relatable but not necessarily likeable, there are deeper truths discussed long before the full meaning is revealed.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 November 2014
What an absolutely gloriously brilliant, fascinating, comedic and yet deeply moving book, all at the same time!

It touches all of your senses and more, without being all mushy - trust me, I don't 'do' sentimental stories.

I admit I had my reservations because of the general hype and the genre itself. But mainly due to the nagging doubt of how someone could write a story about a retired gent walking from South Devon to Berwick-Upon-Tweed and make that even remotely interesting? Well, they did, and they did it REALLY well.

If you like A Man Called Ove, you'll love this and vice-versa. Highly recommended.

PS. To expand this story further I read the follow up book The Love Song of Queenie Hennessey - although this has similar elements and it's pretty good, I found it a little depressing and it didn't hold my attention as much as 'Harold Fry'.
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on 10 May 2017
I purchased this book a few years ago but have not yet read it yet. I have however downloaded the book as an audio book read by the great Jim Broadbent. He can bring out the characters so much better than I ever could and I enjoy each chapter greatly as I move on. I hope to become as intrigued by life and what it holds in store when I reach old age.
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on 3 September 2017
This could be a sad book, depending on your state of mind but it such a lovely read. Retired Harold isn't happy and truth be told, he hasn't been for a number of years. Then one morning a letter arrives which sends him on a quest. The experiences he gains and people he meets effect him profoundly. I don't want to spoil your enjoyment by telling you more than that. You will cry in places.
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on 17 September 2016
This is a great read. The settings are wonderful, the numerous characters encountered are cleverly established in short passages and the whole story has an an engrossing authenticity. That the book didn't win the Booker prize is probably because the introduction towards the end of the book of the rather unconvincing " Wilf" and the dog,seem to be there merely as literary devices. Wilf, a foul-mouthed, inadequate, young "Christian" fails to come to life, while the reader keeps being distracted by worries about how the continuall stone-fetching dog managed to get enough food to live on. Still, I enjoyed this cleverly written book very much.
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on 16 October 2017
I had to look at the one and two star reviews to see who on earth could have disliked this achingly beautiful book. It has gone straight into my top five. I don't think I have read anything by Rachel Joyce before and I am delighted to discover a new author.

I am going to save its sister book - The Lovesong of Miss Queenie Hennesy - for another time and try The Keeper of Lost Things.
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on 5 May 2014
I really don't know why I bought this book because it's not the type of book I usually read...but I'm glad I did. The story of Harolds journey north to Berwick can be, at times, a bit of a slog as can some of the characters and adventures he faces. The really surprising thing about this book is how suddenly by end of the book the author brings all the loose ends together and will have you saying...Ohh, now I see!! and reaching for the hanky ( I know I did, I was reading the last few chapters in a busy canteen and had to leave for fear of embarrassing myself...I'm a bloke you see and I am much more use to the stiff upper lip).
In the final few chapters, even the most hard hearted reader, will be moved as Harold's journey comes to an end.
I will miss Queenie, Harold, Maureen and David and it will be a book that I will never put in the charity bag....somethings tells me that I will revisiting these characters in the future.
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on 16 April 2017
Couldn't put it down and shows how everyone has their own agenda and how thoughtless we can be. Be sure to read the companion book, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy to find out more of the story and how someone else's point of view can be enlightening and so much in life can be misconstrued and misunderstood
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on 23 April 2017
This is the story of Harold and his journey from one end of the UK to the other by foot. It's an emotional read as Harold battles his feelings on his past. I was sucked into this book, at times incredibly sad and at other really funny. A good plot and characters.
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on 16 August 2013
I recently purchased the new book by Rachel Joyce, Patience, but someone suggested that I read this one first and I'm so glad I did. It really is a lovely book which just avoids being overly twee or sentimental by a strong realistic streak throughout. It begins with a ver unlikely premise that a man going out to post a letter to someone he once knew who is dying, and who then decides he will walk there instead. Somhow though you are soon completely involved in his travels and literally willing him on. Although the book is basically about death and how people cope with grief in different ways, it manages to remain optimistic and hopeful virtually the whole way through. I thoroughly enjoyed it and know it is one of those books that I shall remember with pleasure for a long time.
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