The Accidental Tourist Kindle ´ The Accidental


The Accidental Tourist I adored this book Appreciated itthan Breathing Lessons or Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant It is touching and hilarious and timeless.Macon lives alone with his misbehaving dog Edward in the wake of the double catastrophe of his son Ethan being murdered while away at summer camp and his wife Brenda walking out on him He is not in great shape He felt much worse in the morning It had been a warm night and he woke up sticky and cross He couldn t face the thought of popcorn for breakfas I adored this book Appreciated itthan Breathing Lessons or Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant It is touching and hilarious and timeless.Macon lives alone with his misbehaving dog Edward in the wake of the double catastrophe of his son Ethan being murdered while away at summer camp and his wife Brenda walking out on him He is not in great shape He felt much worse in the morning It had been a warm night and he woke up sticky and cross He couldn t face the thought of popcorn for breakfast He laundered a load of sheets and then, in the midst of hanging them, found himself standing motionless with his head bowed, both wrists dangling over the clothesline as if he himself had been pinned there p 57 This particular scene reminded me of the one in Don Quixote when he is standing on poor Rocinante s back looking spying through a window at his beloved Dulcinella, but Rocinante sees a piece of grass lying on the ground and wanders over to it leaving Quixote suspended in space, mike Macon Wonderful image He moves in with his equally maladjusted brothers Charles and Porter and his sister Rose to fight the feeling of loneliness, but this still looks to him like a poor solution Charles and porter on either side of him, Rose perched in the foreground Was there any real change He felt a jolt of something very close to panic Here he still was The same as ever What have I gone and donehe wondered, and he swallowed thickly and looked at his own empty hands p 81 Macon is the author of the popular travel guides The Accidental Tourist which are tourists books for businessmen that travel for work, helped along by his friend and boss Julien Before leaving on a trip, he is rebuffed by a kennel who will not take Edward for him because he bit someone on a previous stay This mishap leads us to the other protagonist, the wonderfully ebulent and verbose Muriel who, over at the Meow Bow animal hospital, takes in Edward and offers to train him I can even teach split personality What s split personality Where your dog is, like, nice to you but kills all others You know, I think I may be in over my head here, Macon said p 97 This is typical of the quirky and direct talking style of Muriel and a small sample of the rich humor throughout the book or the small observations such as when Edward seems to be learning too quickly in Muriel s presence the way a toothache will improve the moment you step into a dentist s waiting room p 101 See also the training session on p 114 So funny Macon and his siblings are all in a sort of suspended animation, stuck in their thoughts and in their ways Muriel represents an escape from this monotony which Macon embraces, rejects and ultimately embraces this tension and back and forth forming the backbone for this excellent book His transformation is not without pain and risk, however He was gone too far to return He would never, ever get back He had somehow traveled to a point completely isolated from everyone else in the universe, and nothing was real but his own angular hand clenched around the sherry glass p 180 This is truly a wonderful novel, full of love and humor and I truly preferred it over the other two Tyler books I have read so far A fantastic read and it still surprises me that she missed the Pulitzer One of my next reads is Lonesome Dove which won out over this one This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Burying one s child is against the flow of nature, said the wife of the Speaker of the House Philippine Congress in her eulogy for her 16 year old daughter several years ago Her only daughter got burned when their short circuited Christmas tree went in flames The clueless poor daughter was sleeping and got trapped inside her room No one was with here in the house when that happened.This is one thought that, whenever it crosses my mind, I always whisk away immediately the death of my chil Burying one s child is against the flow of nature, said the wife of the Speaker of the House Philippine Congress in her eulogy for her 16 year old daughter several years ago Her only daughter got burned when their short circuited Christmas tree went in flames The clueless poor daughter was sleeping and got trapped inside her room No one was with here in the house when that happened.This is one thought that, whenever it crosses my mind, I always whisk away immediately the death of my child Typing it here even feels wrong as I remember reading that mind has that power to attract what you always think of I just don t know what to do if this happens I might as well kill myself, I guess However, this thing happens It s one of the sad realities of life Once we are born, we can die anytime In fact, I have some friends and acquaintances whose children died ahead of them I also read and liked books that have this as its main or underlying theme Ordinary People 1976 by Judith Guest was my first The older son Buck died while sailing with the younger son Conrad and the unspoken guilt of the son and the unexpressed emotion of the parents blaming the younger son who survived was so powerful that when it was made into a movie, it won the Academy Awards for Best Picture That was in 1980.Second, was a book that I read a couple of years back and topped my list of my favorites for that year What I Loved 2003 by Siri Husvedt The grief is also not as openly expressed as in Ordinary People but the child who died was their only one and there was no one to blame as the death was an accident Similarly, the devastated couple separated and the father tried to see his dead child from same age children of his friends or even strangers In this book, The Accidental Tourist, the father, Macon Leary starts to withdraw to his own world he would imagine that his whole body was enclosed in a cast and people would peep into the hole in his eyes and would asked Macon, are you thereHowever, Tyler s story went further Macon seems to belief that the soul of his dead son, Ethan remains in his son s dog, Edward and no matter how strange or brutal the dog behaves, he keeps it and even hires a dog trainer Muriel to tame the dog The Accidental Tourist was the 1985 novel by Anne Tyler born 1941 A finalist at 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 as Macon Leary , Kathleen Turner Sarah, his estranged wife and Geena Davis Muriel, the dog trainer Davis won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in this film for the succeeding year s Academy Awards This is my first Anne Tyler novel Her writing is straightforward No frills yet incandescently clear It s an easy read You ll have a feeling that you are watching a movie although I missed this film but I will not forego a chance of seeing it Her strength seemingly is her strong way of building her characters She goes inside their minds and she seems to have the ability to know how the character should behave in the circumstances that they are in Her women characters are not stereotyped they can be as brutal as Sandra leaving Macon to his solitude, as funny yet decisive as Muriel who fights for her love and her son Alexander or as eccentric but loyal, vulnerable yet loving as Rose who arranges her groceries in alphabetical order and cries over the fact that her brothers would not want to eat her cooked overnight in low fire turkey Then there are the Leary brothers Macon the father , Charles and Porter and they all are poor in direction that they always get lost even if they are just going to the corner store This book is peppered with many memorable characters that I had a feeling that I was standing in front of a buffet table and I am confused which one to put on my plate as my favorite.I used to ignore the books of Anne Tyler but next time that I see Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant that Tyler said to be her best work or Breathing Lessons that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989, I will surely buy them right there and then Be it bargain or regular priced Anne Tyler can surely give back the value of every penny you have in your pocket Love is in the air or maybe anxiously repressed in February and my romantic literature jag concludes with The Accidental Tourist, the 1985 novel by Anne Tyler and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction that year Like all of my reads in the shortest month of the year, this was my introduction to the author and I found much of Tyler s story to be an absolute delight This is a novel by and for mature adults that finds a wonderful balance between the melancholy of losing a Love is in the air or maybe anxiously repressed in February and my romantic literature jag concludes with The Accidental Tourist, the 1985 novel by Anne Tyler and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction that year Like all of my reads in the shortest month of the year, this was my introduction to the author and I found much of Tyler s story to be an absolute delight This is a novel by and for mature adults that finds a wonderful balance between the melancholy of losing a child and long term spouse in the same year and the excitement of meeting someone new, with its awkwardness, miscommunication and urges to flee to the familiar.The story focuses on Macon Leary, a methodical and steady man of 42 who s introduced driving himself and his mercurial wife Sarah home from a beach vacation that wrapped up early when neither found the heart for it His wife sports a suntan Macon does not His determination to keep driving through a heavy rainstorm despite Sarah s apprehension escalates into her declaration that she can t live with him any and wants to move out Their house in an older part of Balti is left to Macon to occupy alone with Edward, a Welsh corgi which belonged to the couple s only child Ethan, murdered at the age of 12 along with the other diners in a fast food restaurant.Macon is a reluctant travel writer, author of a series of guidebooks called The Accidental Tourist catering to businessmen and others forced into foreign locales when they d prefer the comforts of home Twelve years ago, Macon was sort of helping run a bottle cap factory inherited with his brothers Charles and Porter from their grandfather Macon s interest in writing and working for a newspaper led to an article in a local weekly on a crafts fair The article was all about Macon s fussiness at the fair but caught the attention of Julian Edge, publisher of Businessman s Press, who identified a niche and offered Macon a job It was one of Macon s bad habits to start itching to go home too early No matter how short a stay he d planned, partway through he would decide that he ought to leave, that he d allowed himself far too much time, that everything truly necessary had already been accomplished or almost everything, almost accomplished Then the rest of the visit was spent in phone calls to travel agents and fruitless trips to airline offices and standby waits that came to nothing, so that he was forced to return to the hotel he d just checked out of He always promised himself this wouldn t happen again, but somehow it always did In England, it happened on his fourth afternoon Whatwas there to do he started wondering Hadn t he got the gist of the place Neither Macon or his dog Edward take it well when Sarah moves out and their sorry state contributes to Macon slipping down the basement stairs and breaking his leg To recuperate, Macon moves back home to be taken care of by his sister Rose, a fixer who also cares for his gifted but socially challenged brothers Charles and Porter, as well as the neighborhood s elderly Edward terrorizes the household to the point where the siblings read Macon the riot act For help, he turns to Muriel Pritchett, an animal caretaker he left Edward with at the Meow Bow Animal Hospital before his trip to England Nothing about Muriel from her frizzy hair to her eclectic fashion sense to her youth appeals to Macon, who has never dated anyone except his stately wife Sarah and has little interest in starting He ignores Muriel s overtures to meet for a drink or to let her cook him dinner, despite observing a cockiness that impresses him Muriel works wonders with Edward, but when Macon learns from a co worker that she has a seven year old son, he attempts to cancel their dinner date, terrified of emotional involvement Muriel gets Macon to open up about his late son and in comforting him, the relationship blossoms Macon begins spending time at Muriel s home in an impoverished section of Balti, sleeping over, cleaning up and even writing there He takes an interest in her frail boy Alexander, whose allergies Macon believes have been exaggerated by the boy s mother Muriel exposes him to her crazy quilt of relationships Dominick is a teenager who handles her car repairs in exchange for the keys three nights a week Her 17 year old sister Claire has ongoing drama with their disapproving mother and sleeps over regularly Macon struggles to find consistency in Muriel s behavior, while admiring her courage as well Had he ever known such a fighter He went grocery shopping with her unusually late one evening, and just as they were crossing a shadowed area a boy stepped forth from a doorway Give over all what you have in your purse, he told Muriel Macon was caught off guard the boy was hardlythan a child He froze, hugging the sack of groceries But Muriel said, The hell I will and swung her purse around by its strap and clipped the boy in the jaw He lifted a hand to his face You get on home this instant or you ll be sorry you were ever born, Muriel told him He slunk away, looking back at her with a puzzled expression.When Macon had caught his breath again, he told Muriel she was a fool He might have had a gun, for all you knew, he said Anything might have happened Kids show less mercy than grown ups you can see that any day in the papers Well, it turned out fine, didn t it Muriel asked What are you so mad at He wasn t sure He supposed he might be mad at himself He had done nothing to protect her, nothing strong or chivalrous He hadn t thought as fast as she had or thought at all, in fact While Muriel why, Muriel hadn t even seemed surprised She might have strolled down that street expecting a neighbor here, a stray dog there, a holdup just beyond all equally part of life He felt awed by her, and diminished Muriel just walked on, humming Great Speckled Bird as if nothing particular had happened.Macon reluctantly invites Muriel to his sister Rose s wedding to his publisher Julian, who believes he s found in the Learys the old fashioned domestic comfort that he s always craved Macon will not so much as commit to bringing Muriel to visit Paris with him or give in to her desire for a June wedding His family continue to her refer to his girlfriend as that Muriel person The final push Macon needs to flee a new commitment comes when his wife Sarah concedes she s ready to come home, that at a certain age, people just don t have much of a choice and that it s too late for her to change her life For much of The Accidental Tourist, I wanted to shrink Anne Tyler and put her in my pocket I was struck by how effortlessly she mixed tragedy and comedy into a narrative that I found mirrored certain aspects of my own life so accurately The horror of losing a child in the violent and senseless manner which Macon and Sarah do is something I hope I never experience but Tyler slips into the story in a way that is both powerful and restrained I could relate to Macon s social anxiety and that of his family s to dip their toes into the unfamiliar and how a woman who never seems to think further ahead than a minute challenges him to do just that.Muriel s behavior did overstep boundaries that today would evoke a restraining order, but I was okay with experiencing it in a novel from a far less sensitive time Tyler s prose is adroit, her dialogue a delight and story absent of caricature, with the stiffness of a WASP male relaxed by the vitality of a woman who s had to fight for everything in her life The simple joys of the book made for strange bedfellows with a big movie, which was well reviewed and nominated for four Academy Awards in 1988 but barely memorable today Adapted by Frank Galati and Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Kasdan, it featured William Hurt as Macon, Geena Davis as Muriel, Kathleen Turner as Sarah and Bill Pullman as Julian Accidental tourists are pretty annoying These are those pesky travelers who refuse to give up all their customs, their comforts refuse to get lost a little in the foreignness, to LIVE And this book isn t A success then considering the subject matter Yeah, the protagonist is a huge bore 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 the novel feels capital D Date Accidental tourists are pretty annoying These are those pesky travelers who refuse to give up all their customs, their comforts refuse to get lost a little in the foreignness, to LIVE And this book isn t A success then considering the subject matter Yeah, the protagonist is a huge bore 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 the novel feels capital D Dated indeed But Tyler does a great job in making all characters believable and all situations credible you feel very bad for the guy you basically would hate to have around you His intellectual edge is minuscule, and you feel bad for all other dumber characters too It s slightly symbolic, but also rather, um, small.It is wise to note that other books by this particular publishing company such as The Patron Saint of Liars by Anne Patchett or The World According to Garp by John Irvin also seem to fit within this category of above average reads which you may or may not be inspired to recommend, depending on the mood, the weather or the person Julie and Joe talk about Anne Tyler and Larry McMurtry as a writer who accurately communicates my desire to read and write about the two things that mean the most to me in this life heart and groin Which, Julie, lol, groin, that s right there with moist on the list of Words That Could Technically Be About Sex But Will Kill The Mood Right Dead oh yes babyis your groin moist right nowwhat were we talking about Right, this person whom I ve never read but now she s going on the list.Adde Julie and Joe talk about Anne Tyler and Larry McMurtry as a writer who accurately communicates my desire to read and write about the two things that mean the most to me in this life heart and groin Which, Julie, lol, groin, that s right there with moist on the list of Words That Could Technically Be About Sex But Will Kill The Mood Right Dead oh yes babyis your groin moist right nowwhat were we talking about Right, this person whom I ve never read but now she s going on the list.Addendum Julie Joe agree that this isn t even the right book, I should start with Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. I ve been meaning to read Anne Tyler for years, and when podcast guest Rebecca Smith Jane Austen s 5x great niece said she thought Tyler should be recommended reading for Jane Austen fans, I finally took the plunge This was an enjoyable read that wasn t anything like I expected, and was relatable in surprising ways Now I want to readAnne Tyler, of course The question is which one Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog obedience trainer who up ends Macon s insular world and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life I absolutely adored this book It was the perfect read for right now When I wasn t reading it, I was thinking about the people in this book.Anne Tyler writes people people you can recognize They are middle class people who live their lives as best as they can You can almost sense that she spends her time studying and processing people to get to their inner selves.The Leary siblings in this book are as straight laced as they come Outsiders have trouble relating to them They are unique and i I absolutely adored this book It was the perfect read for right now When I wasn t reading it, I was thinking about the people in this book.Anne Tyler writes people people you can recognize They are middle class people who live their lives as best as they can You can almost sense that she spends her time studying and processing people to get to their inner selves.The Leary siblings in this book are as straight laced as they come Outsiders have trouble relating to them They are unique and idiosyncratic.Macon Leary is a man who has gone through the worst devastation and he is tottering on the edge He is a man who keeps his thoughts and feeling inside, so he is a hard man to read Others see him as a cold man, but is he It occurred to him not for the first time that the world was divided sharply down the middle Some lived careful lives and some lived careless lives, and everything that happened could be explained by the differences between them There were many laugh out loud moments, especially when Edward, the dog, was involved There were also many tender moments in this book This book made me laugh and it made me tear up This is the second Anne Tyler book I have read I m a late bloomer when it comes to Anne Tyler , and I am so excited to know there are manyfor me to savour 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 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 characters are also wonderful creations There s Muriel vulnerable and needy, but alive and connected to others There s Macon s fabulously eccentric siblings, his boss Julian, his wife Sarah and even his dog Edward each of them real and memorable Some fifteen years after last reading what is without doubt my favourite of Anne Tyler s novels, it was a joy to return to it as a buddy read with my friend Jemidar If anything, I loved the novel eventhan I did when I read and loved it all those years ago I m quite sure that I ll read it again Yet another simple, but beautiful story from Anne Tyler about Macon whose son died a couple of years ago, and whose wife suddenly decides to leave him Macon is a middle aged man, and he has no idea how to continue living on his own It s remarkable to see what changes he goes through during the 400 pages of this novel, and it s an inspiration to read about him as well as the people he surrounds himself with Throughout most of this book, I was thinking to myself What exactly is it that makes m Yet another simple, but beautiful story from Anne Tyler about Macon whose son died a couple of years ago, and whose wife suddenly decides to leave him Macon is a middle aged man, and he has no idea how to continue living on his own It s remarkable to see what changes he goes through during the 400 pages of this novel, and it s an inspiration to read about him as well as the people he surrounds himself with Throughout most of this book, I was thinking to myself What exactly is it that makes me like this book so much It s almost too simple to deserve a 4 star rating, but after having finished it I believe that it s the underlying messages and themes of life that makes it deserve 4 stars from me I was comforted when reading this novel because I quickly fell in love with the characters as well as the less than lovely dog Edward It made me feel good to read about them, and I felt for Macon and all of the changes he went through Anne Tyler is a remarkable author because she writes simplistic stories that manages to hit you spot on The Accidental Tourist is just another cast of characters from her that I know will follow me for many days to come


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