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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst
Winner of the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.
This is one of those books that you can’t help but fall in love with. Experienced radio playwright but debut novelist Rachel Joyce has written a moving and poignant, yet comic, story with such affecting characters it’s hard to stop reading – rather like the journey the central character Harold takes. And it all starts with a simple letter… wonderful. One of the Richard and Judy Spring 2013 Book Club selections.
Listen to an audio extract by clicking on the orange arrow below.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
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.
'The odyssey of a simple man, original, subtle and touching.' Claire Tomalin
'At times almost unbearably moving.' Sunday Times
'A brilliant and charming novel: full of comic panache yet acute and poignant. Spectator Wonderful -- Deborah Orr Guardian
'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 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...This book may follow a pattern set by another radio dramatist-turned-novelist, David Nicholls, whose One Day has now sold more than a million copies and been made into a successful film simply because one reader said to another 'I love this book over and over again. So I 'm telling you now: I love this book.-- Erica Wagner The Times
'A terrific book, comic and sad and very honest. Harold is a wonderfully-drawn character... his story is at the same time emotionally gruelling and yet ultimately uplifting.' Joanne Harris
About the Author
Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, winning a Time Out Best Actress award and the Sony Silver. This is her first novel. She is currently at work on her second.