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The Pilgrim's Progress (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – February 10, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Often rated as important as the Bible as a Christian document, this famous story of man's progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim's trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.
Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.
An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim's Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.

About the Author

John Bunyan (1628 – 1688) was an English writer and preacher best remembered as the author of the religious allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. In addition to The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons. Bunyan came from the village of Elstow, near Bedford. He had little schooling and at the age of sixteen joined the Parliamentary army during the first stage of the English Civil War. After three years in the army he returned to Elstow and took up the trade of tinker, which he had learnt from his father. He became interested in religion after his marriage, attending first the parish church and then joining the Bedford Meeting, a nonconformist group in Bedford, and becoming a preacher. After the restoration of the monarch, when the freedom of nonconformists was curtailed, Bunyan was arrested and spent the next twelve years in gaol as he refused to undertake to give up preaching. During this time he wrote a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and began work on his most famous book, The Pilgrim's Progress, which was not published until some years after his release. Bunyan's later years, in spite of another shorter term of imprisonment, were spent in relative comfort as a popular author and preacher, and pastor of the Bedford Meeting. He died aged 59 or 60 after falling ill on a journey to London and is buried in Bunhill Fields. The Pilgrim's Progress became one of the most published books in the English language; 1,300 editions having been printed by 1938, 250 years after the author's death. He is remembered in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on 30 August, and on the liturgical calendar of the United States Episcopal Church on 29 August. Some other churches of the Anglican Communion, such as the Anglican Church of Australia, honour him on the day of his death (31 August). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486426750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486426754
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

200 of 204 people found the following review helpful By Christian Buckley on November 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I came across this book years ago when I was accepted to University. The book was on the preferred reading list for new students, and so I picked up a copy without knowing anything about it. For those who may have read a "modern English" version of this classic, I'd say go back and read it again in its original form. I've read both, and I prefer the book the way it was written and published in 1678. It reads somewhat like a script, with sections beginning with the name of the person talking, and a constant barrage of characters coming and going.

The book begins with an apology from the author in the form of prose - John Bunyan was a very humble man who spent years in prison for his religious beliefs. My copy also includes a fascimile of the orginal title page from the first edition. The story follows the life of a man named Christian and his travels through the world, trying to find the Celestial city and have the burden on his back removed. As with everything in this story, there is no hiding the truth about who the characters are and what they want with the protagonist - all of the names are quite literal in their descriptions of the characters. For example, he encounters people named Piety, Simple, Sloth, and Presumption. And throughout the story, his burden is literally a heavy weight on his back.

The book has two section, both written in the similitude of a dream. The language is rich and beautiful (which is why I recommend the un-modified version), and sends a message of faith and optimism. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
I was originally going to title this review, "I Can't Believe I Liked This Book!" I started reading The Pilgrim's Progress as part of a quest to read history's great novels. After making my way through Cervantes's Don Quixote (which took me 82 days), I began reading The Pilgrim's Progress in small chunks, and got through the first 100 pages or so in about two weeks... And then I stopped.

Four months later, I resumed my quest. This time, I committed myself to reading in longer blocks of time. After all, The Pilgrim's Progress consists of two ~130-page Parts, neither of which is broken down into smaller chapter units, so stopping and starting seriously disrupts the flow. Still, I was having difficulty. The language is so archaic and the allegories are particularly hard to follow for someone (such as myself) with virtually no background in Biblical studies. But then a funny thing happened: in attempting to demonstrate the difficulty of the language to my wife, I began reading aloud... And then everything started to sink in, for me! I offer this as a tip to anyone else who at first has trouble getting into the book.

Prior to my experiment with reading aloud, I would often find myself needing to go back and re-read a paragraph or even a half-page. This is not a book that you can read casually -- you must be in deep concentration while reading. The payoff, however, is definitely worth it. This is a tale, after all, that has stood the test of time: the most influential English-language book in all of Christendom.

The story of the more-famous First Part centers around Christian, who was formerly known as Graceless.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By M. M. on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book many years ago and what had struck me about it was how easy it was to follow and understand. I decided to get another copy since the one I read before had disintegrated.

This is indeed the true script of the Pigrim's Progress with it's unabridged length and archaic language. It's fine to read if you have read other versions that are easier to understand but if this is your first time reading the Pilgrim's Progress, you will be spending half your time deciphering what you just read.

Overall, still a good book but beware the prose of the book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Llanera del Oriente on December 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the only edition I have ever seen with the Scripture references printed out in the text causing the message to resonate as never before. I understand that Pilgim's Progress has, over time, been second in overall sales and circulation only to the Scriptures.

This message is, indeed, timeless. It is as pertinent and usefully today as it was centuries ago when it was first published.

Hats off to the editors who made this wonderful edition possible. The precise editing coupled with the Scripture texts from the renowned Jubilee Bible translation, which features the classic simple precise English of William Tyndale makes for an absolute perfect match.

Suitable for everyone in our modern world yet authoritative in its commitment to the roots of The Reformation. This classic work has impacted the lives of countless millions. The English speaking world would be different if not for this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tom, The Squirrel Whisperer TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pilgrims Progress is an exceptional work of literature by John Bunyan and published in 1678. But because our language has changed so much since 1678, the modern reader may have have difficulty reading the story in the original script. Although I understand the arguments of those who oppose changing the author's original words, if leaving it alone means that it will alienate hundreds of thousands of potential readers who would receive benefit of the story, then I would rather have good updated modern English renditions. Here are some examples of how phrases were changed by the editors in the first chapter:

"Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children"; was changed "He could no longer stay silent. He told his wife and children"

"because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head;" was changed to "but looked at him as if he'd lost his mind."

By bringing the story into the popular English. none of the Author's message, thought or purpose is lost.
Something NOT done in the original text is that Bible references are printed out for you so you can actually read them! If you have ever read Pilgrim's Progress before, you know there are many biblical references, and it would take hours to look them all up. This feature alone is what makes this the best print that you can read.

I hope this helps you make an informed decision!
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