Customer Reviews for

The Accidental Tourist

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
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5 Star

(13)

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(9)

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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

2 out of 3 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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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