The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 9th 2002 by Ballantine Books
(first published August 11th 1985)'
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.
My Review: 4 Stars
Macon and his brothers and sister are such a peculiar family--very rooted in their traditions and habits, yet Macon's life begins to change when his wife decides to leave him.
Macon is a character who is very precise and a creature of habit. He seems to be a homebody and craves control, especially when he feels he has none. For a man who hates to travel, his job demands it. He writes small guidebooks for businessmen to use on trips--where to get the best meal, the best hotel, the best little comforts at home, while in a new city. His loneliness and out-of-control dog almost force him to strike up a friendship with eccentric Muriel, who claims she can teach his dog new tricks. Her unconventional personality is so opposite of Macon and before he knows it, he's living life in a completely new way. I love the message that it's never too late to start living life and doing so in the here-and-now.
When his life takes an unexpected twist, Macon is forced to evaluate who he really is, who he has become, and who he wants to be...what does he really want out of life and how is he going to live it? The self-introspection is almost as entertaining as the process of growth that Macon endures. The characters and situations had me engaged and laughing, as I tried to picture what could possibly happen next. The characters are so quirky and unique--in actions, personality, and in words. This is an enjoyable read with a quaint writing style.
Content: I am traditional in my values and wasn't too happy that Macon was so "quick" to strike up a "friendship" with Muriel, while technically still married to Sarah (implied intimacy; innuendo--technically clean). There's also a smattering of some mild-moderate language.
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