Take a hike, Mike ... and other tales of men going wandering
It's in the ether. Or it's coincidence, Or it's synchronicity. Whatever it is, it seems to be the current trend for men to walk out of their homes and take long walks with unexpected results. That's if three recent novels can be presumed to reflect the zeitgeist.
It started with The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, written by Rachel Joyce and published in March 2012. Her protagonist, Harold Fry, newly retired, walks down the road to post a letter to an old friend, and just keeps going.
Then, in July 2012, Jonas Jonasson's acclaimed The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared, was published in English. As the title explains, Allan Karlsson, slips out of the window to escape his 100th birthday party in the old-age home lounge, and takes himself and his us on a journey through his life and 20th century history, in the literary equivalent of Forrest Gump.
And earlier this year, Maggie O'Farrell released Instructions for a Heatwave, which sees an Irish family in turmoil when the father of the family, Robert Riordan, sets out to buy a newspaper and doesn't come back.
Each of these books is a joy to read. They're funny, insightful and unusual, and will lead their readers to reconsider their own lives and how they're being lived. They're proving so popular, we're expect to see all sorts of lone men ambling down country roads soon.Read more...