Monday, September 1, 2014

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined (Henry David Thoreau)

Rachel Joyce, who wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, really understands my September 2004 quote.

Harold Fry goes (increasingly) confidently in the direction of his dreams and by so doing repairs his marriage, recaptures his life's purpose and brings a satisfactory closure to his friend's life via (spoiler alert) an amazing death bed scene that I found profoundly moving.

Phew - yes - a long sentence! It's all true though.

Given to me by a colleague, ...Harold Fry is a lovely story that I can cheerfully recommend to the blogosphere.

The basic concept is that Harold Fry gets a simple idea in his head - to not post a letter but keep on walking past the postbox to see an old colleague who is dying of cancer. Think Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart (I took a wrong turn and I just kept going).

The walk becomes a pilgrimage of sorts because it's pretty much the length of England (map is down below).

Living the life you've imagined sounds easy. It should be easy. It's not though, it takes work and dedication and perseverance. And compromise.

Harold comes to appreciate this during his long walk. He's become trapped in a still life -the opposite of a moving image. He can't bust out of his reality because he has failed to cope with the death of his son and a marriage which has drifted into nothingness.

Deep stuff? Well not really. Rachel does a great job keeping the story on track by writing in a simple style, which is almost childlike at times.

Anyway that's not quite what I wanted to focus on. I kind of wanted to talk about those covers.

I don't really like any of them much. 

The copy I read had the first cover - pair of shoes and the bird. The shoes are relevant but not the bird. I do like the sepia browns (is that even what sepia is? Maybe not but you get my drift).

I've arranged them down the page in the order of preference. The first covers typography does appeal - homely and idiosyncratic-the opposite of the last heavily stylised cover.

Interesting how enigmatic they are as a bunch. In two of them Harold is seen only as a distant figure who's the opposite of dynamic (yes - that's appropriate to an extent), but I don't think I would have picked up these books in a bookstore, which is surely the point.

I'm not sure what the green stylised hills on cover three are about either.

Nevermind. If you're looking for a quick, pleasant book to read - there it is.

Love and peace - Wozza

P.S. Danny Wellbeck? Really?

No comments: