Stephen Gallup's Reviews > The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
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Oct 24, 2011

it was amazing
Read in January, 1987

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 felt moved to pick up a pen and begin scratching out my own story.

I should say that the book and the movie are forever intertwined in my mind now: When I think of Macon and Muriel, I see William Hurt and Geena Davis. It’s very rare for the film version of any book to be anywhere near as good as the source, but in this case both are excellent. The cameo appearance of the French boy who looks just like Macon’s lost son takes my breath away every time.
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05/13/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4)




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Paula Londe Dzik based on all these rave reviews it clearly turns into a different book than the one I'm reading now. it's still depressed. he's on his way to england and just dropped the dog off to be boarded. i welcome humanity and emotion, but prefer that my pleasure reading not be mired in, well, mire. does it in fact come out of this gloom soon?


Stephen Gallup Paula, I can think of many books that are more lighthearted or out-and-out funny, and maybe that's the kind of reading you would prefer right now. On the other hand, fiction that grapples with heavy issues often does involve a certain amount of mire. When the writing is good, readers shouldn't have to have personal experience that validates it. Still, maybe recognizing an important issue provides the incentive for wading through that stuff. It's OK to not finish if it's becoming a chore. I definitely don't finish every book I start. :)


Paula Londe Dzik Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Indeed I also let books go. And this may be one for me. I'll give it 2 more chapters and see if it takes a turn.

Happy reading!


Lynda Felder Stephen, this is a book I've read many times. I felt like I was in a game of Vaccination once, with my inlaws; the game had so many rules and just as I thought I was beginning to understand, another rule came up.


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