Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review: The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist is a 1985 novel by Anne Tyler that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the National Book Critics Award Circle for Fiction. The novel was adapted into a 1988 award-winning film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Geena Davis, for which Davis won an Academy Award.

The book revolves around Macon Leary, a quirky guy who was married to his sweetheart and who just lost their teenage son in a tragic way.  Spiraling out of control with grief, his wife moves out and he gets even more weird.  Doing things like washing his clothes by stepping on them in the shower as he cleans himself, hooking the popcorn maker and the coffee machine up to his alarm clock so he doesn't have to leave his bed to get breakfast and ignoring his dog's increasingly vicious behavior (after all it was his son's dog and he is lost without him).  It is the story of him finding his way back to himself after the loss of his son and being abandoned by his wife. The movie is actually a comedy, and although there were funny parts in the book I didn't feel like it was a "comedy".

I felt like the author did an excellent job of pulling you into Macon's world.  I felt myself agreeing with his reasoning for doing eccentric things.  When he was annoyed by someone "normal"  I felt myself being annoyed too.  There were parts of this book that were laugh out loud funny, moments that broke my heart and moments of joy.  

I think due to my own moral compass I did not enjoy how the book turned out, I wish it had ended differently however I really enjoyed the characters.  There is not an urgency from chapter to chapter in this book, it just sort of flows and you can put it down when you need to - which is nice sometimes.

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