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Redhead by the Side of the Road

A Novel
Written by: Anne Tyler
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times Best Seller

“If ever there was a perfect time for a new Anne Tyler novel, it’s now.” (People

“Tyler's novels are always worth scooping up - but especially this gently amusing soother, right now.” (NPR) 

From the beloved and best-selling Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection.

Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day, his routines are blown apart when his woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late 30s a "girlfriend") tells him she's facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah's meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever. 

An intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who finds those around him just out of reach, and a funny, joyful, deeply compassionate story about seeing the world through new eyes, Redhead by the Side of the Road is a triumph, filled with Anne Tyler's signature wit and gimlet-eyed observation.

©2020 Anne Tyler (P)2020 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Tyler’s warmly comedic, quickly read tale, a perfect stress antidote, will delight her fans and provides an excellent ‘first’ for readers new to this master of subtle and sublime brilliance.... If Tyler’s large-cast, many-faceted novels are symphonies, this portrait of a man imprisoned by his routines is a concerto.... Radiantly polished and emotionally intricate...Tyler’s perfectly modulated, instantly enmeshing, heartrending, funny, and redemptive tale sweetly dramatizes the absurdities of flawed perception and the risks of rigidity." (Donna Seaman, Booklist)

"Characteristically tender... Suffused with feeling and very moving." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne Spano
  • 2020-04-13

Disappointed Diehard Tyler Fan

I have read all of Anne Tyler’s books and re-read many of them.
So I don’t easily share a negative comment that could reflect on her body of work.
This book reads like an overview of a book.
Interesting premise, interesting characters, no depth to reach, no evolution of understanding or wondering.
Tyler sets a high bar for fiction, for making the ordinary mesmerizing and her imperfect characters beloved for their humanity and common heroics.
This story did not reach the depth of characters or go beyond the obvious sequence and conclusion to draw me into caring about the characters outcome.

7 people found this helpful

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  • SRM
  • 2020-04-14

Perfection!

There is a saying, "Life is in the details" and no one illustrates that better than Anne Tyler. Admittedly, I am a huge fan of this author but this novel is especially quiet and profound. There is much life story and emotion in this short, non-action packed book. I learned new things about myself and others. Bravo!!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • R. Basey
  • 2020-04-21

A surprise Experience

This was perfect for quarantine listening. eExcellent narration makes this book a reslly good listen.

4 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 2020-05-04

Real people

Tired of stories that seem to think that readers have a low IQ, and are only entertained by increasing unbelievable plot twists ? Try this book. It's a simple, concisely written character study of real-life characters with realistic issues. No over-the-top histrionics, just relatable people facing the verisimilitude of life. The narrators voice was well suited to the main character, Micah.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 2020-04-21

Believable characters, slow in parts

Anne Tyler characters are always believable and interesting, and this novel was no exception. Micah, the protagonist, is a finicky middle aged man, leading a comfortable boring life, and he is happy enough running his independent tech repair business. His relationship of two years is on the rocks when he fails to read cues in the midst of a small conflict. A college girlfriend's college son appears, thinking Micah is his father. Not a lot happens in the slow moving novel, but the writing is very good, and I did care about the characters. The voice of the reader almost put me to sleep, but it fit Micah, a man that could put you to sleep. I would have preferred a little stronger reader, with a less dreary voice, for this third person narrative. The story was on the cusp of a 3 and 4 to me, but the reader made it too easy for my attention to wander. This novel did have some very touching parts and smile-worthy details, and I am glad I listened.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara or Jerold Gendler
  • 2020-04-16

Delightful

My first of many experiences with Ann Tyler , where have I been , this was a MasterClass on novel writing , you’re never sure where it will go but it does & u must read this book to find out . Never figured out the title 😎

3 people found this helpful

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  • sharon
  • 2020-04-10

Wonerful Book Ended too Soon!

I love Ann Tyler! This was another great book with quirky characters and a seemingly simple plot.
As Usual The author delves deep into peoples human failings and their misinterpreted feelings
and how they affect their lives. This one has a happy ending.
The narrator was perfect. My only complaint? It ended too soon.
Cant wait for her next novel!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Markowitz
  • 2020-05-02

Anne Tyler is back to her old form

The story is not overly ambitious, and doesn’t sparkle with the brilliance of “The Accidental Tourist” but It feels much more like vintage Tyler than the recent stuff I’ve read. The story is fully satisfying with all of the familiar and artful Anne Tyler touches. Well performed too.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ronda Steenburgen
  • 2020-04-24

Classic

This is classic Anne Tyler. Authentic characters that celebrate the simplicity and gentleness of real life. I’ve been so warmed by her everyday characters. A gentle reminder of the human spirit. Thank you

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 2020-04-16

Quick, sweet listen.

I was a bit surprised when it was over. But it was a good, heartfelt book. Some was predictable but overall enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful