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The Accidental Tourist (1985)

by Anne Tyler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,218901,683 (3.82)321
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.
  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 321 mentions

English (86)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Too depressing. I had to stop. ( )
  sriddell | Aug 6, 2022 |
The writing and character development in this book were great but the story left me melancholy. ( )
  Tosta | Jul 17, 2021 |
death of their son separates couple, man finds new self with dog trainer
  ritaer | Jul 1, 2021 |
This one had been on my tbr the longest so I had decided to tackle it for a reading challenge. It was also a big award winner, but for the life of me, I really don't know why. Don't get me wrong-- it wasn't horrible-- it was OKAY, but it certainly did not leave me dazzled.
The story initially introduces us to the main character, Macon and his wife Sarah. The reader learns that they are both, in their own way, struggling with the grief over a 12 yr. old son that was cold-bloodedly shot during a robbery at a fast food restaurant. Sarah cannot comprehend the way that Macon is dealing with the grief in his own way and finally decides to leave him after 20 years of marriage. Macon has always had some extreme tendencies (that would have driven lots of people crazy around him), but he got worse after the separation from his wife (for example: washing the clothes he wore that day by stomping on them in the shower while he was showering, then hanging to dry. Also, sewing the bed sheets together into a sort of sleeping bag, eliminating the need to wash lots of bedding.). These eccentric tendencies were problably a manifestation of depression he wasn't acknowledging... After breaking his leg, he moved back home to the house that he and his siblings had spent a good deal of their childhood in, since he felt that he could not simply cope alone in his own home. His siblings still live in their childhood home of their grandparents. His 2 brothers are both divorced and his sister never married, devoting her life to the care of her family.
It emerges that all 4 siblings are definitely what lots of people would consider odd, debating the smallest decisions endlessly, probably stemming from the very unstable life their mother had them lead as children prior to dumping them on her parents. They all seem to share some eccentric traits and have the inability to decide anything quickly.
Macon then hires a much younger woman to train his dog that is a handful and ends up romantically involved with her (Muriel), and moving in with her and her 7 yr. old son. Then he runs into his wife again, and decides he wants to be with her. After Muriel stalks him on a business trip to France, he ends up leaving his wife and goes back with Muriel. His indecisiveness drove me crazy and I can't figure out why either woman were both vying for him. It really irritated me that they kept letting him back into their lives to keep disrupting everything.
The title comes from the travel guides Macon wrote aimed at business people who would rather be home by that title. But I also see it as an allusion to the fact that he was an accidental tourist in his own life, always feeling like he was a victim to whatever befell him and never taking affirmative action towards any decision until the end of the book. I was really disappointed in the book, as I thought all the book awards can't be wrong, but I can't see what the hype was about. ( )
  Stacy_Krout | Apr 12, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tyler, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baumrucker, AndreaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome 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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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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