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The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist

A Novel

eBook - 2007
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“Incandescent, heartbreaking, exhilarating…One cannot reasonably expect fiction to be much better than this.” —The Washington Post

In this irresistible novel, Anne Tyler explores the slippery alchemy of attracting opposites, and the struggle to rebuild one’s life after unspeakable tragedy. Travel writer Macon Leary hates travel, adventure, surprises, and anything outside of his routine.  Immobilized by grief, Macon is becoming increasingly prickly and alone, anchored by his solitude and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts. Then he meets Muriel, an eccentric dog trainer too optimistic to let Macon disappear into himself. Despite Macon’s best efforts to remain insulated, Muriel up-ends his solitary, systemized life, catapulting him into the center of a messy, beautiful love story he never imagined. A fresh and timeless tale of unexpected bliss, The Accidental Tourist showcases Tyler’s talents for making characters—and their relationships—feel both real and magical.
Look for Clock Dance, the charming new novel from Anne Tyler, available now.
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group


From the critics

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May 28, 2020

Nice writing and I enjoyed the characters, Macon in particular. But I was severely put off by the medieval dog "training" and don't think the author knows a thing about dogs or dog behavior. In the real world, using fear or pain (i.e. a choke collar) to try and modify behavior like Edward's barking at people or biting will almost certainly result in worsening of the behavior and in many cases the euthanizing of the dog. So don't do this! There are modern force-free methods for training and behavior modification and they are used on hundreds of different species at zoos around the world. Finally, I was put off by the ending -- going back to Muriel (the inept dog-trainer) was simply a mistake on Macon's part; like the dog-training, it will not end well.

Jun 23, 2019

I saw the movie way back when it first came out and I remember not liking it as much as I wanted to. Perhaps I was too young to appreciate it but years later I decided to give the book a try and I'm glad I did. I absolutely loved it and it inspired me to become a fan of her writing. When I finished the book I treated myself to another viewing of the movie. I was amazed at how closely it followed the book. However watching it was like starting in the middle of the book and reading it in fast-forward. Yes this is a book review and not a movie review so I definitely recommend this one!

CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

Macon writes travel books for businessmen who hate to travel. Then he meets Muriel, who yearns to travel.

Jun 12, 2017

This novel read like the script for a Mr. Bean movie. The main character, Macon Leary, was absurd. I almost quit reading about page 65 but persevered as the protagonist seemed to gain a new, sensible life. But then the author executed two plot flip-flops that made the ending crash in my opinion.

Apr 03, 2013

I liked the quiet humour in this book, and the fact that the characters were so human and so likable.

Apr 13, 2011

Great read about human behaviour and human relationships.

Apr 05, 2011

One of my favorite books. A masterful story and easy read that captures human nature and the quirkiness of families wonderfully.

smc01 Jul 18, 2008

This is my favorite Anne Tyler novel. The character development is wonderful. The novel explores how the murder of a son affects a couple, but in the end is an uplifting love story about how to find what really makes us happy. The movie made from the book is very true to the novel, and well worth watching.

Jul 18, 2008

My all time favourite book. It's a light read, but very well written and hard to put down.


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Jun 13, 2017

"... [Alexander, the son of Macon Leary's girlfriend] slipped his hand into Macon's. Those cool little fingers were so distinct, so particular, so full of character. Macon tightened his grip and felt a pleasant kind of sorrow sweeping through him. Oh, his life had regained all its old perils. He was forced to worry once again about nuclear war and the future of the planet. He often had the same secret, guilty thought that had come to him after [his late son] Ethan was born: From this time on I can never be completely happy. Not that he was before, of course." (p. 257-8)


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