Laurel Wicke's Reviews > The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
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's review
Feb 08, 12

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

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 and grief, though they are certainly there. Tyler's gift is her ability to see the strangeness of life--how tragedy, humor, love, monotony, habit, and the unexpected are all wrapped up together all at the same time. Macon Leary, her protaganist here, is an excellent example. He is dealing with the most traumatic of all human events. Nothing is bigger, and yet somehow life goes on in a series of small, unimportant details and decisions, and what is most fascinating is that it isn't the death--the gargantuan tragedy--that ultimately changes him; it is all the tiny, insignificant events afterward that force him to answer the question of who he will become. And isn't that true about life? That's her genius.
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