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The Accidental Tourist
Anne Tyler
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The Accidental Tourist

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  65,842 ratings  ·  1,272 reviews
Macon Leary 40s writes a business travel series, but hates leaving Baltimore. After son Ethan 12 is killed, wife Sarah leaves, his cool attitude in high school is now too cold. Ethan's corgi turns vicious. Dog trainer Muriel 20s has a frizzy perm, stilettos, nonstop talk, and needy son, Alexander. Depressed Macon becomes "an entirely different person".
Published by Trafalgar Square (first published 1985)
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K.D. Absolutely
Mar 16, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Modern Fiction)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It looks like I'm in the minority here, but I really did not enjoy this book. I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters. I thought Macon was whiny and indecisive. I couldn't be compelled to care about what he wanted, mostly because it was never made clear to me exactly what that was. He just seemed to bump along with whatever happened.

More than anything else, my problem with this book is that nothing happened. I kept thinking that possibly in the next chapter Macon would act in some way
This is a warm, wise, funny, heart-breaking and ultimately life-affirming book. In Macon Leary, the man who writes travel books for people who hate to travel, Tyler has created an amazing character. His damaged psyche, his vulnerability, the gradual changes in his character and outlook as he starts to connect with the messiness of living leap off the page. This book makes me laugh out loud one moment and brings tears to my eyes the next. Although Macon is the centre of the novel, the supporting ...more
Stephen Gallup
I’ve read and enjoyed most of Anne Tyler’s novels (starting with Searching for Caleb, which author Don Barthelme recommended to me years ago). A character from one of her first books (I think it was If Morning Ever Comes) provided the name I later gave to my daughter. The Accidental Tourist strikes closest to home with its theme of coping with a profound loss and then the ultimate redemption that comes from such an unexpected direction. It was while reading this book in about 1987 that I first f ...more

Buddy read with Kim.

I first read this back in the late eighties and loved it, and recently decided to do a re-read just to see if I still loved it as much. I've changed and my life circumstances have changed, so I wondered...

And I'm happy to say that not only do I still love it, but I think I love it a lot more than I did the first time around. Call it accumulated life experience if you like, but it had a resonance and a poignancy that touched me at a much deeper level. I laughed, I cried, I ch
Apologies in advance to my book group. I promise to keep my mouth shut and let someone explain to me why they like this book, because I can't figure it out.

The main character, Macon, is so compulsive and deranged. I read reviews of the book where people thought the descriptions of his daily routines were humorous. I found no humor, only desperation and pathos. His life and psychotic narrative going on in his head was too depressing for words. Reading this book made me anxious to get back to my l
Oct 21, 2008 Kristie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Kristie by: no one
I finished this book a few days ago and have had to wait a few days to be able to write a review. I still am in awe of how such a slow story without any real standout events could make me miss it while I was at work and hate to turn to page and be one more closer to the end. I didn't particulary care for any of the characters until the end(except for the brash and tacky Muriel whom I loved all along). You will love Macon's transformation and watching him learn to live, not again, but for the fir ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am an unabashed Ann Tyler fanboy. She can write about things that in another author`s hands would be mundane or cliched but with her remain completely riveting, warm and funny and desperately sad. The Accidental Tourist is the story of a man with very limited ability to handle change who in the aftermath of his sons death tries to live. This may not sound like the funniest scenario ever but there are some great moments. Loved it.
Jun 04, 2007 Phyl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I guess this will always be one of my all time favourite books. For me, it worked on all levels, I loved the story, characters and the routine absurdities that form part and parecel of everyday life. There is tragedy, humour and romance. I think this is the best book Anne Tylor has written and I've read all of them. Nowhere else does she captures the nuances of relationships so well. On a personal level, this book will always mean a lot to me, introducing a kind of anal retentive anti hero who y ...more
Things I liked about the book: humorous details, the symbolism (the house, the dog), driving plot

Things I am not sure that I like: the guy's wife leaves him and he "takes up" with a vibrant young woman who has a kid and a hard life. The wife comes back. I don't know who I want him to be with, since his life has somewhat changed for the better with the younger woman, and she saves him from his bitter, OCD life, but he does still love his wife and to me marriage is a sacred bond... so who should h
Una boccata d'aria fresca

Mi piace leggere Anne Tyler, perché mi rilassa, mi diverte, mi rende serena. Ogniqualvolta mi sento con l'acqua alla gola, ogniqualvolta vivo un periodo cupo e contrassegnato dal più tremendo dei malumori prendo in mano un libro scritto da Anne Tyler. Le sue storie, seppur mai troppo originali o sorprendenti, riescono a trasportami in un mondo parallelo, dove la vita viene vissuta con più leggerezza.
Le parole di Turista per caso scorrono velocemente e ogni capoverso cost
If you're interested in reading a book that will challenge every single emotion you thought was possible.....this one will not disappoint. I was able to step inside the psyche of every single character and understand to the fullest extent their feelings of loss, fear, sadness,desperation and frustration.....simply because I have been there myself.
This story will reveal what really happens when someone loses a child.
Best have your Kleenex closeby.
No wonder this was made into a movie. But if you only saw the movie, read the book; this is her funniest, I think.
Robert Palmer
Apr 16, 2012 Robert Palmer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I first read this book about 25 years ago,I gave it three & half stars at that time,the book is the same but I am not. It gets five stars today. I understand the Macon
Leary so much better now. He seams to be so lonely in a crowd. A year after the death of has son he is still in mourning & is unable to open up even to his wife.
In the opening chapter his wife leaves him because of this, shortly after this he & Edward ( his sons dog) move back to the home he grew up in with his sister &
Accidental tourists are annoying! (These are those pesky travelers who refuse to give up all their customs, their comforts; refuse to get lost a little in the foreigness, to LIVE.)

And this book isn't. A success then!--considering the subject matter. Yeah, the protagonist is a huge bore and as he has one of the best jobs of all time is doubly douche-ey, but he has a reason to be maudlin and dissatisfied. Lifetime Movie Network viewers would have a blast... and the novel feels dated indeed. But T
The ordinary stuff of life, but with so much depth, humor, pathos and wisdom.

"He woke. It was pitch dark, but through an open window he heard distant laughter, a strain of music, faint cheers as if some sort of game were going on. He squinted at the clock radio: three thirty. Who would be playing a game at this hour? And on this street-this worn, sad street where nothing went right for anyone, where the men had dead-end jobs or none at all and the women were running to fat and the children were
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This book brought tears streaming, but also made me laugh out loud - unusual for me. Macon Leary and his wife Sarah lost their only child the year prior to beginning of the story. It was a difficult year not only for them as individuals but also for their marriage. Anne Tyler lets us see Macon, whose life has been one of order and routine, now struggle with his grief and with a life without everything that has provided meaning to his life. I am a fan of Anne Tyler, will not be able to get enough ...more
A decent read, but I didn't love it, for the following reasons:

1. The dog training scenes were unrealistic, and borderline cruel. I realize this isn't a dog training book. I only hope that Anne Tyler is a cat person.

2. Muriel's desperation was overwhelming, and off-putting.

3. My usual complaint about character development and show-versus-tell. I did not discover Macon, he was handed to me as a pre-packaged collection of quirks and tragic back story.

Adam Wilson
The Accidental Tourist really surprised me. I have never read Anne Tyler before and I don’t usually get into general fiction like this but this was, to put it very simply, a beautiful novel and story. It is amazingly well-written, the characters are totally unique but believable, and the plot is interesting from beginning to end. I lost just a little bit of interest near the end when the book seemed to turn into a romance, but most stories involve love and the choices that go with love so this w ...more
Janice Williams
I read this book a few years ago and just reread it for the second time. (The copyright is 1985). It's a wonderful book, because, of course, Tyler's writing is so seamless, every word easing the story along, but also because of the characters in this book. For "The Accidental Tourist" is about love and about living one's life, and about families; but what stands out to me are the characters and how Tyler brings them to life.

You never really know how the main character, Macon, will make it throu
I didn't know this was an old book until I began reading it and noticed some references that dated the book. I also didn't know it had been made into a movie! Neither of these facts influenced my mixed opinion of the book.

I enjoyed the author's writing style and ability to illustrate the way seemingly tedious events influence the path of one's life as much as big events do. The author also did a wonderful job of demonstrating how difficult it is to break away from one's comfort zone and what the
Lou Robinson
Our latest book club novel, and I gave it the highest score out of 5 of all our members. Most people thought it was ok, a few didn't like it, particularly the ending.
This is the story of a group of pretty dysfunctional characters, focussing on the main guy, Macon. His marriage goes awry, following the tragic murder of his young son, and this book is really about him rediscovering his life and eventually changing direction. The book is littered with ancillary characters, including Macon's 3 sibli
Now, that was just delightful. I'd like another helping of Anne Tyler, please.
The story of Macon, a man who is stuck in life: he writes travel books but hates to travel, his young son is killed, his wife Sara leaves him, and he takes it in stride to the point that you want to thump on his head and ask if he's really in there. His greatest concern seems to be how to avoid doing laundry (his solution is to put his dirty clothes in the tub while he showers and walk on them while bathing). That is, until he meets Muriel, a young divorcee whom he initially he finds quite annoy ...more
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I'd never read anything by Anne Tyler before, and I was pleasantly affected by her writing. Her characters, however odd and unfamiliar, really seem to come alive. I didn't identify well with them, but I really came to know them and understand the reasons for their actions.
However, I felt that the conclusion was a little rushed. The first half of the book taking place in Macon's family home, then the second act, if you will, his relationship with Muriel, then the third s
Macon Leary is a man of routine. So much so that it borders on OCD. Men like Macon do not cope well with change. So when his wife leaves him after the loss of their son, his world is thrown upside down. This story follows his journey as he tries to leave a 'normal' life.
I loved the writing in this book. I haven't read any of Anne Tyler's work before, but I will certainly be picking more up in the future. I liked that there is so much to it than the words on the page. The story is heavy with sym
Laurel Wicke
I was a little young when this one was first published, so it was new to me--although it is probably her most well-known work, and I absolutely enjoyed it. I always love the quirkiness of Anne Tyler's characters as well as the insight she has about the human experience. Though the book's premise deals with the aftermath of a son's random murder and the implosion of a marriage as a result, Tyler refuses to give into the temptation to bang that one note. Her character's life is more than despair a ...more
During their marriage, Macon and Sarah never really evolved as a couple and become one unit like other married couples. They were two distinct people: Macon had a fondness for method and order and it annoyed Sarah to no end. Their differences put a strain on their marriage but when their twelve-year old son is killed, it ruins them. After Macon and Sarah separate, Macon meets a woman named Muriel. She is extreme, unpredictable, and anything but orderly. Muriel falls for Macon but Macon misses hi ...more
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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. The Beginner's Goodbye is Anne Tyler's nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts a ...more
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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.” 220 likes
“It is not how much you love someone, but who you are when you are with him.” 62 likes
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