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The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

The Pilgrim's Progress (original 1678; edition 1964)

by John Bunyan, F.R. Leavis (Afterword)

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11,663105228 (3.73)267
Title:The Pilgrim's Progress
Authors:John Bunyan
Other authors:F.R. Leavis (Afterword)
Info:Signet Classics (1964), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, @Church
Tags:Non-Fiction, Spiritual Formation, Religion

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The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1678)


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I was looking forward to reading this version of the Christian classic retold in modern English. I vaguely remember being read the original as a child or maybe it was the junior version. Ford's version did not disappoint...well at least the first half.

The book should really be divided into two with Christian's journey separate from his wife Christiana's. The second book repeats a lot of the first and is really just going over Christian's journey from the perspective of his wife. There didn't seem to be a lot of unique material or new characters. I found myself getting a bit bored and a bit lost in some of the allegory by the end. If this version is faithful to the original then I guess it was Bunyan who wrote Christiana's journey in this way...I would still have given the second part three stars and maybe it would work better if a reader was to read the second part after a considerable break from the first.

That said, I loved The Pilgrim's Progress and I loved the first half of this version. I would definitely give it five stars or more if that was possible. The author has included all of the Scripture references for the narrative in the margins so the reader can see its origin. She has also added various italicised comments to help the reader understand the spiritual lessons and to draw the truth out. These were great additions.

So, five stars for part 1 and three for part 2 or try reading the two parts with a significant time gap in the middle. Regardless, every Christian should read a version of this classic book and Ford's is a good option. Recommended.

( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
Didn't read all of it just parts ( the Nicholas / Smike parts mostly ) ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
A book to be read forever more. ( )
  PBugriyev | Dec 24, 2016 |
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan was written in 1678 and can be counted among the most significant works of English literature. It is an allegory, presented as a narration of a dream, and it is divided into two parts. The first part follows protagonist Christian from the City of Destruction, i.e. this world, to the Celestial City, i.e. heaven. Christian sets out on this journey, leaving behind his wife, his children and his home, because he is weighed down by a burden. On his way, he goes through several stages and meets various persons, some of whom accompany him on his journey and some of whom try to convince him of leaving the path he is on. The characters he encounters have, as he himself, very straightforward names that show their main character trait. They can be regarded as flat characters whose name already gives away what their character is like and what their role in the story will be. Examples of such names are Legality, Goodwill, Faithful, Ignorance, Giant Despair, and Mistrust, to name but a few. The same thing can be said for the stages Christian passes through. There is the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Vanity Fair, the Hill of Difficulty, or the Delectable Mountains. The second part of The Pilgrim's Progress relates the story of Christiana, Christian's wife, who sets out with her children and Mercy, another woman from the City of Destruction, to follow her husband's path to Mount Zion and the Celestial City.

Although the book was written in 1678, the text is very easy to follow as the language is quite simple with no complex sentence structures. Bunyan's writing style is very direct, which is probably due to the fact that the book was intended for a popular and not for a higher-educated academic readership. Being a Christian allegory it was aimed at a broad audience depicting Christian life as the only true way of life. The names of characters and places ensure that there is no trouble in deciphering the allegoric meaning of the novel. Yet, I have read that Bunyan, who is said to have traveled from Bedford to London, was influenced by his personal surroundings in the description of the places in the story. Generally, the book can be approached without much background knowledge, but you probably might get more out of it with a religious background.

On the whole, 3.5 stars as the second part was somewhat repetitive after having read the first one. Plus, I felt I was getting a moralizing lecture. ( )
1 vote OscarWilde87 | Aug 26, 2016 |
  CPI | Jul 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (166 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bunyan, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnard, FrederickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, G. K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Froude, James AnthonyContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, G.B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawkes, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazelbaker, L. Edwardsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linton, J.D.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maguire, RobertNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, PatForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sharrock, RogerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Small, W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Southey, Robertsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witherspoon, Alexander M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wumkes, G. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have used similitudes. Hosea xii.10
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Introduction (Penguin edition by Roger Sharrock)
The Pilgrim's Progress is a book which in the three hundred years of its existence has crossed most of the barriers of race and culture that usually serve to limit the communicative power of a classic.
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream.
And all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
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The front cover of my paperback edition shows what appears to be the right leg and boot of a man walking through long, tough grass. If you are able to look a little more closely, you will see that the stalks of grass are in fact weapons used in Bunyan's time - halberds, pikes, swords, and even hands - all striking up at him to prevent him from reaching Mount Zion. Those weapons are shown very well in the earlier, illustrated editions. Perhaps they represent all that would prevent a person from entering the Kingdom of God?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486426750, Paperback)

One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man's religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled road to the Celestial City. An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:19 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

A religious allegory which follows the trials and tribulations of Christian as he journeys to the Celestial City.

(summary from another edition)

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