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The Pilgrim's Progress (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Next to the Bible, the book I value most is John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. --Charles Spurgeon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 11th Edition edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141439718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141439716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 202 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.
Read more ›
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43 of 45 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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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By The Actor on January 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant work on the Christian life. Historically, it has been the second-best-selling book of ALL TIME, right after the Bible itself. I'd say its status is well-deserved; it is pretty much THE classic work on the Christian life.

As fiction, this work is thoroughly engrossing. While many books will not "age" well, this classic is timeless. It has truly stood the test of time. It is very fun to read, and the old English is not hard to get past.

This is great theology too. It belongs on the bookshelf of every Christian.
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