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The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom Paperback – March 17, 1995

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Paperback, March 17, 1995
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Editorial Reviews


"A universal quest toward an expanded view of life." -- Dan Millman, author of THE WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR

"Among Latin American writers only Columbia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez is more widely read than Brazil’s Paulo Coelho." -- The Economist

"An exciting tale." -- Library Journal

"The keys to self-mastery...wrapped in suspense and adventure." -- Body Mind Spirit

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Portugese

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006251279X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062512796
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide, have been released in 170 countries and been translated into 80 languages.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, he soon discovered his vocation for writing. He worked as a director, theater actor, songwriter and journalist. His collaboration with Brazilian composer and singer Raúl Seixas gave some of the greatest classic rock songs in Brazil. In 1986, a special meeting led him to make the pilgrimage to Saint James Compostela (in Spain). The Road to Santiago was not only a common pilgrimage but a turning point in his existence. A year later, he wrote 'The Pilgrimage', an autobiographical novel that is considered the beginning of his career.

In the following year, COELHO published 'The Alchemist'. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time.

Other titles include 'Brida' (1990), 'The Valkyries' (1992), 'By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept' (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo entitle 'Maktub' (1994), the compilation of texts 'Phrases' (1995), 'The Fifth Mountain' (1996), 'Manual of a Warrior of Light' (1997), 'Veronika decides to die' (1998), 'The Devil and Miss Prym' (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in 'Stories for parents, children and grandchildren' (2001), 'Eleven Minutes' (2003), 'The Zahir' (2005), 'Like the Flowing River' (2006), 'The Witch of Portobello' (2006), 'The Winner Stands Alone' (2008), 'Aleph' (2010), 'Manuscript found in Accra' (2012) and 'Adultery' (2014).

He has received numerous prestigious international awards. He is member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil since 2002 and Messenger of Peace by the United Nations since 2007. In 2009 he received the Guinness World Record for the most translated author for the same book (The Alchemist).

The man behind the author likes to write and practices Kyudo - a meditative archery. He loves reading, walking, football and computers. In that sense, he has always maintained a close contact with his readers but now, and thanks to the new media, he has established an incredible feedback with them. Paulo was the second most influential celebrity on Twitter in 2010 according to Forbes and he is the writer with the highest number of followers in the social media.

In the past years Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress (, Facebook (, Twitter ( & Instagram (, among others. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube ( and Flickr ( , offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Sara Saab on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for another Alchemist this is not the right book for you... it is about Mr. Coelho's personal experiences, it is written in the first-person, and it is more spiritual. But its events are so mind-boggling that you can see where the author's inspiration comes from for his literary masterpieces. It gives you a profound respect for Mr. Coelho and his achievements. It is NOT FICTION. It contains "Meditation" exercises at the end of nearly every chapter. The main aim in my opinion of this book is to remind us of the mystery of the world and that not everything is clear to us as humans, but that despite this, it remains our duty to fight for what we believe is right. Most importantly, this is not a self-help book nor does it spoon-feed you theories about life... DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS about its deeper meanings...but read it.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on March 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was Coelho's first popular book, and as such denotes his evolving magical style. It is about his trip in the Santiago de COmpostela trek that goes from east to west across Spain. I found the travel perspective of the book to be fascinating, and since I read it I have thought many times about doing the trek myself.
As for the personal revelation the author encounters in the trek, I foudn them interesting, not overwhelming. The lessons learned are presented in many different books aside form this one; what makes this book a little special, I believe, is that the story involves the reader in such a way that the lessons are driven effortlessly.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read Brida, the Alchemist, The Valkyries and The Pilgramage which is the most outstanding (all of them are great).I thank Paulo Coelho very much for his messages. Just say, it is worth it to read it, but if you dare to believe, as I do, you can go further, if not, don't worry, it's in no way a boring book. I suggest you to take the Road to Santiago after reading it. This book has made me to change a lot, and I promise, it's being a great change. I strongly recommend this book for those who don't know what to do with their lives or are full of doubts about their future. This book is helping me to find my way and to look at the Road and pay more attention to myself and my inner soul. But it's not just to read it, it needs practice, faith, will and time. I think it pays off, because what really matters in life? what we have in the material world or what we can achieve in the spiritual and psycological world? This book deals with the latter.It's your choice. Good luck!.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on November 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Pilgrimage" is the third book I have read by Paulo Coelho, although it was his first. It was first published as "O Diário de um Mago" in 1987, and the first English translation was titled: "The Diary of a Magus" and was published in 1992. This is the tale of Paulo's own personal pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. After failing to earn his sword in his ordination as a Master of the Order of RAM, he is directed to take a pilgrimage to seek his sword there, as well as the wisdom he would need to use it.

Despite being a more personal story, I didn't find it to be nearly as engaging of a narrative as "The Alchemist". Since I read the translations by Alan R. Clarke of both books, I tend to think that perhaps this is due to Coelho's improvement as a writer. That is not to say that this is not an interesting book. "The Pilgrimage" is still a good story, and for those who like Paulo Coelho, it is certainly worth reading.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho soon after completing my own 800 km pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in the north-west of Spain.

Readers who are looking for a factual, chronological, "travel book" of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela will be disappointed. There is only the vaguest chronology in the book. A few towns and important pilgrimage sites are mentioned. There is only a sketchy picture drawn of the terrain and countryside.

But that is quite irrelevant. The Pilgrimage is a much more sophisticated account of the psychological and spiritual aspects of pilgrimage. In fact, the physical vagueness in the book complements the inner struggles of the pilgrim.

The pilgrim in Coelho's book is on a quest for his sword so that he can complete his apprenticeship in the Tradition and be able to perform the deeds of his Master. The quest takes place on the road to Santiago and the pilgrim (with his spiritual guide) encounters magical tests that expand his psychological horizons.

This resonated with me in the sense that the Camino finds the weak points in our bodies and characters and tests them. Reflective pilgrims gain personal insights, and, for many, their lives change in significant ways after completing the Camino. Coelho makes the same points by his use of magic to illustrate the inner transformation of his pilgrim.

The book also includes meditative exercises that the pilgrim performed at critical times on his journey. While some of the exercises are a little unrealistic, such as the Cruelty Exercise of self-mortification, most of them can be performed by anyone, with resulting benefit. I wish I had read the book before my own pilgrimage so I could have done more in this respect.
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