'Macon sat next to her with a magazine he'd found rolled up in one of her pockets. He saw that The Police were experiencing personality conflicts. That David Bowie worried about mental illness, that Billy Idol's black shirt appeared to have been ripped halfway off his body. Evidently these people led very difficult lives. He had no idea who they were.' The Accidental Tourist,
Some regard Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant as Anne Tyler's greatest novel. It's a little sombre for me. The Accidental Tourist is my favourite of the eight or nine Tyler novels I've read. It's the story of a blossoming love affair between middle-class pedant Macon and streetwise, extrovert Muriel. Macon writes tourist guides for people who don't like to travel and Muriel has half a dozen low paid jobs. They meet when she trains his psychotic (but lovable) dog, Edward.
Edward has a nasty habit of lunging at people on bikes, cornering family members in the laundry room and 'treeing' people ie chasing them up trees. Although the novel has tragic elements - Macon is grieving the loss of his son and the subsequent break-up of his marriage and Muriel is a single mother who has had to fight for everything - it is a wonderfully comic novel.
Geena Davis played Muriel in the 1988 film. I've never seen the film but I suspect Geena Davis is rather too pretty for Muriel as described in the book. She is a wonderful creation, over-dressed, too much make-up and hair, smart, tough and transparent.
Virginia Woolf said of Jane Austen that she is a writer of whom 'it is hardest to catch in the act of greatness.' This could also apply to Anne Tyler. A great writer but you just can't see how she does it.