The Accidental Tourist

Anne Tyler


I had heard the name from the movie starring William Hurt and Geena Davis and that is about all. So when it turned up for $1.99, I decided to give it a chance. Boy, did I get my money’s worth.

When Macon Leary’s son is killed in a burger joint robbery, his life comes to an end. Frozen within himself he mechanically goes through the motions of living, but he is dead inside. Unable to give or take comfort from his wife, his marriage falls apart. He is left to live alone with his rituals and a vicious and uncontrolled dog, Edward. He pulls further and further into himself. When the dog hospital refuses to board Edward so Macon can travel to England to write another of his dreary guidebooks for business travelers who want to feel they never left home, he is forced to find an alternative. On impulse, he chooses the Meow-Bow Animal Hospital, and his life is never the same.

He meets Muriel, the dog trainer, and she turns his life upside-down. She is everything he isn’t: spontaneous, free, happy-go-lucky.

How their relationship develops and how he finds himself breaking out of his dreary routine against himself, supplies with bulk of the novel. Rich in observation and free of the usual romance tropes, this delightful novel delights and entertains at every turn. Highly recommended.


2 thoughts on “The Accidental Tourist

  1. I read this novel when it was new and like you I was delighted. I later thought a little more about it and realized it had something to teach as well but primarily I remember this sad guy and his hilarious laundry arrangements.

    Liked by 1 person

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