Customer Reviews for

The Accidental Tourist

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
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5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful Novel

I read this book for my English class this year, and it has stuck with me ever since. Anne Tyler's characters are well-developed and quirky, and the plot is very moving. This book definitely made me stop and thing about my own life and how I'm choosing to live it.

posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Once it seemed brilliant, but now contrived

I read this about 20 years ago and recall it as a powerful, insightful book. Just over a year ago I lost a son, and so this year I decided to plunge back in, expecting comfort, connection via fiction, a new way of coming to understanding. Instead I found myself saying o...
I read this about 20 years ago and recall it as a powerful, insightful book. Just over a year ago I lost a son, and so this year I decided to plunge back in, expecting comfort, connection via fiction, a new way of coming to understanding. Instead I found myself saying over and over again to myself, "Sorry Ms. Tyler, you missed that too." The plot seems forced, the love affair between the mourning father and his new girlfriend cliche, and the ending too easy and predictable. More than that, sorry, but as an act of imagination, it simply doesn't get close to the confusion and pain of this kind of grief, at least for me. As ever with Tyler's writing, though, it is well-crafted. But the humaneness and wisdom I once thought this book contained turns out, now that I've experienced something like what she tries to convey, as shallow and failed empathy. The characters and emotions became to me, in the end, contrivances, not real, and given the subject matter she was attempting too confront, not true enough by half.

posted by MacPoster on July 13, 2010

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    Once it seemed brilliant, but now contrived

    I read this about 20 years ago and recall it as a powerful, insightful book. Just over a year ago I lost a son, and so this year I decided to plunge back in, expecting comfort, connection via fiction, a new way of coming to understanding. Instead I found myself saying over and over again to myself, "Sorry Ms. Tyler, you missed that too." The plot seems forced, the love affair between the mourning father and his new girlfriend cliche, and the ending too easy and predictable. More than that, sorry, but as an act of imagination, it simply doesn't get close to the confusion and pain of this kind of grief, at least for me. As ever with Tyler's writing, though, it is well-crafted. But the humaneness and wisdom I once thought this book contained turns out, now that I've experienced something like what she tries to convey, as shallow and failed empathy. The characters and emotions became to me, in the end, contrivances, not real, and given the subject matter she was attempting too confront, not true enough by half.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointed

    I had high hopes for this book, but it did not meet them.

    As I read, I kept thinking it would get better; that something would earn my interest -- it never did.

    To me it felt like Tyler couldn't decide whether to write her characters as caricatures or purely boring beings. So in the end, it felt like an awful mixture of people who made no sense whatsoever. The worst was that the characters would suddenly have wonderful insights into life (i.e., when Macon felt Muriel's cesarian scar), which made no sense since no one in the book seemed to be functioning on any rationally thinking level at any other moment in the book.

    Ultimately, the characters were so poorly written that I couldn't even gain interest in the story, which had a lot of potential in my opinion.

    It felt like a poor-man's version of Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, which is remarkably better on all fronts. Perhaps I shouldn't compare because they are slightly different, but that was all I could think about the entire time I read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2006

    I read this book because I had to

    Macon is someone that I could never like in real life. He is boring, stodgy, and does not engage in the world around him. He better stick with Muriel since she is his only chance of leaving his grey sweats behind. It was hard to get through this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    Wonderful Novel

    I read this book for my English class this year, and it has stuck with me ever since. Anne Tyler's characters are well-developed and quirky, and the plot is very moving. This book definitely made me stop and thing about my own life and how I'm choosing to live it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2013

    Kept my interest

    Although I did enjoy the book, I most likely would not have read it if I had known it was a "sit around and discuss the implications/impact it had" kind of book. I mostly like to read for entertainment and this is more of a sit and think about it kind of book. Great if you like that kind of read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2006

    Excellent

    You'd never guess by the writing style that this is by Anne Tyler. I tried reading her ladder of years and it was utterly horrible. The accidental tourist is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    Beautiful character study by Tyler

    Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist is one of the most beautiful novels I've ever read. Her characters are lovable misfits, not one of whom are unlikeable. Highly recommended for all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2005

    Wonderful surprise for an oddly titled novel!

    This book is one of the best I have ever read--and I have read a lot of them! The character development is outstanding and the plot is wonderful too. This book is a pleasure to read and share with a friend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    An inspired student tourist

    I enjoyed The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. I read it for an AP English Outside Reading Assignment and I found it really interesting. The only part I did not find interesting was the ending. Then again, it fits the theme of change being unevitable. I myself, traveled to Germany last summer and I could relate to some of Macon's feelings about planes. Although, I am not as anti-social and routine addicted as Macon. I easily talked with the German gentleman sitting next to me, and I quickly made a new friend. We keep correspondence, and while my school group was in Germany he had offered to give us a tour of Bremen. I enjoyed The Accidental Tourist and I would recommend it to anyone!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    Best Character Award Goes To. . .

    The main character, Macon, is eccentric and completely addicting. I was drawn to him immediately due to his neurotic personality and quirky outlook on life. I felt that Macon's personality was the best thing about this book. I enjoyed the first half of the book much more, because of the way Macon's character unfolded; I was almost disappointed when the plot deepened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Good, but not Great

    This is my first visit with Tyler and I found this book interesting, but not wonderful. The characters were believable enough to be very annoying (which is a good thing). Even the characters I tried to like were still a bit unlikable ¿ perhaps that¿s what the author was trying to accomplish; I¿m not sure. A quick, easy read and the story includes a wonderful dog named Edward who plays a minor part, yet a major role in the main character¿s life and the qualities that, I felt, redeemed him in the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    FABULOUS!

    Incredibly compelling reading, impossible to put down. The first book in a LONG time I've read cover to cover, twice.

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    Posted June 21, 2009

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    Posted October 19, 2010

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