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The Accidental Tourist: A Novel by Anne…
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The Accidental Tourist: A Novel (original 1985; edition 2002)

by Anne Tyler (Author)

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4,847821,608 (3.81)299
Meet Macon Leary--a travel writer who hates both travel and strangeness. Grounded by loneliness, comfort, and a somewhat odd domestic life, Macon is about to embark on a surprising new adventure, arriving in the form of a fuzzy-haired dog obedience trainer who promises to turn his life around.
Member:NickPoff
Title:The Accidental Tourist: A Novel
Authors:Anne Tyler (Author)
Info:Vintage (2002), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Work details

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler (1985)

  1. 10
    Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene (sombrio)
  2. 11
    Miss Macintosh, My Darling by Marguerite Young (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: If you're as curious as I am, you'll want to sample what Macon was reading on the plane.
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» See also 299 mentions

English (80)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
This was certainly one of the most sedate, uneventful novels that I've ever read.
Macon (I've been reading it as May-son, though I just found out the movie pronounces it May-con, but I like the sound of mine, so I'll keep it) writes a series of travel books for business travellers who want to travel with the minimal muss and fuss, the eponymous "The Accidental Tourist" series. Of course, he lives his life as an accidental (read: uncoordinated, unplanned) tourist. He goes where he is told to go, by his publisher, his family, even his dog has more to say about his life than he does. So, clearly a story about a guy who needs to get a grip, both on his life and just in general.

The primary conflict is between two women. His wife, Sarah, who leaves him, then comes back into the picture, and the younger woman he takes up with, Muriel, who comes into the picture, when Sarah is gone. A romance that is primarily a romance is not my usual type of reading, either. To be honest, my initial reason for reading this was [b: The Weekend Novelist|33002|The Weekend Novelist|Robert J. Ray|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1390312137s/33002.jpg|33110], where it was heavily recommended.

To my reading, Sarah represents stagnation, refusal to deal with the past or change with the future, and Muriel represents almost the polar opposite: near-random and mercurial change and casually, off-handed dismissal/acceptance of things. And Macon has to learn the middle path, between them.

Just as a WARNING, I'm going to offer SPOILERS, ahead, without hiding them...

The writing is wonderful, if not extravagant or beautiful. It's easy to read, even through material that, at times, carried little of import (to my mind). Faint praise, perhaps, but praise, nonetheless. But I honestly found myself rooting (without expecting it) for Macon to choose neither woman. By initially rejecting Macon for not greiving her way and blaming him for doing what was necessary, Sarah pushed Macon into a situation where he had to change. By being very, very weird and almost dangerously off-kilter, Muriel forced Macon to embrace that change, or lose control of everything.

But Sarah came back, wheedling, blaming, hinting at a future of negativity and blame. Yuck. And Muriel stalks him to Paris, as the final sign of her lack of self-control or concept of boundaries. And Muriel also has the tendency to assume blame on Macon's part, for anything she can conceive of as a possibility... I mean... the kind of personality who would have me running.

And one instant in the novel showed Muriel behaving in a way that would likely have had me becoming very physical with her, if I were Macon. When she heaves the dog up, by the collar, and dangles it until it begins to black out. Yeah. Crazy bitch. No, no, no, I can not accept that this will be a happily-ever-after story. Muriel spends too much time trying to find the errors, problems, flaws... and then attack them or run from them, as the case requires.

So... enjoyable style and a surprisingly pleasant reading experience of a f*cked up romance. ( )
  James_Patrick_Joyce | Oct 24, 2020 |
A masterfully told story of transformation , a story full of sorrow, love, and humor. It is a celebration of living in all its messy, chaotic, and risk filled glory. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
I bought this book in my ongoing quest to find fiction, set in the circumstances of my own life (that is, in time; in general place/culture; in reality of incident), that will be moving, deep, resonant. This book was okay, well crafted, tasteful in not being preposterous or illogical or unfeeling. But, ultimately, it was small. Why is contemporary fiction so small? At least it wasn't bleak and bleached and leached out of all feeling, like those tiresome Booker Prize winners and short-listers.

My quest continues. So far, Alexander McCall Smith and Michael Bernstein ("The Conspirators") are hitting the mark a lot more than the prestigious serious writers of the day. ( )
  oatleyr | Aug 22, 2020 |
Touching Story for Anne Tyler Fans

I am a fan of Anne Tyler. I love her writing and her unique perspective on relationships. Even so, I almost abandoned this book after the first chapter. I am so glad I stuck with it! Macon, finicky, emotionally removed from life, meets Muriel, and begins the most unlikely relationship. Muriel, is a bright spark of confetti in Macon' s dreary life. Muriel makes the book! Her carefree and careless ways changes Macon's life.
There are heartwarming, touching prose. I recommend it to Anne Tyler fans, or to anyone who lived through the 1980s! ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
I think I love Anne Tyler. This novel is SO much more than the movie, but since I have seen that movie many times, I kept hearing the character's voices in my head, or seeing the scenes... UGH. But all in all, a very good novel. I love Tyler's style, and will have to read more of her novels. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tyler, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They were supposed to stay at the beach a week, but neither of them had the heart for it and they decided to come back early.
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I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just how much you love someone. Maybe what matters is who you are when you're with them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Meet Macon Leary--a travel writer who hates both travel and strangeness. Grounded by loneliness, comfort, and a somewhat odd domestic life, Macon is about to embark on a surprising new adventure, arriving in the form of a fuzzy-haired dog obedience trainer who promises to turn his life around.

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