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on July 17, 2016
I started reading this last week, a month or so after I read the Alchemist. This story held the same mystical magic in it as the Alchemist, but the religious undertones were much more pronounced because of the actual journey. Just like in the Alchemist, I felt like Coelho was pausing the story from time to time to say something directly to me, the reader. He had such wonderful messages about how to experience agape love, let go of the things that tether us, and free ourselves from the things that are distracting us from our true destiny. I'm convinced that I must now try to read everything Coelho has written (which is a lot!). He's truly a wonderful writer and offers God given words.
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on February 28, 2016
I've read a lot of Paulo Coelho over the years, but I had never read "The Pilgrimage" in its entirety. Last week, after watching a special about the Portuguese road to Santiago, I decided to read this book and was both pleasantly surprised and slightly disappointed (if that's even possible).

I was surprised by how much this book made me want to travel the road and learn about myself and the history of those who have traveled it. (I'm going to look into the Portuguese road and all that it has to offer. I have been to Santiago de Compostela, but walking the road is really what I find most intriguing.) I was disappointed in the "supernatural" aspect of the book, all the things I consider impossible to the majority of the population. We cannot all have these magical powers that Coelho claims to have. We do not all have the sage knight Petrus to guide us on the road. This is perhaps why I find the story of "The Alchemist" so much more appealing to the population at large. The shepherd Santiago can be anyone, while the pilgrim Paulo Coelho is always Paulo Coelho.

This being said, I loved the way this experience clearly inspired Coelho's many books. The shepherd Santiago is obviously named after the Saint, of course, but he is also inspired by the shepherd who appears here to Coelho during his pilgrimage. The ruined castle is a scene that comes up again and again in Coelho's stories--not just in "The Alchemist" but also in "Veronika Decides to Die" and other books.

Reading Paulo Coelho is always rewarding in some way because by reading his books you learn about yourself. This, Coelho's first book, is no exception. Reading Paulo Coelho is more rewarding, of course, the more you read Paulo Coelho. I am glad I did not read "The Pilgrimage" before "The Alchemist" or before "Veronika" because I do not know that I would have kept reading and seeking. I had been in a Coelho slump recently, but this has motivated me to pull another of his novels off the shelf.
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on March 10, 2017
I had read The Prophet many years ago and then read it again a few years after that and also saw the author on an interview with Oprah and decided to read his first book The Pilgrimage to see what he had learned on the road to St James. I felt the story was too magical for me but then that is his style. So, it was okay. I read it because I had bought it but was not too impressed by any of it because it seemed quite elementary as far as spiritual development goes, but then it was his first book. The one thing that he did say that I can concur with is "agape" is a very special kind of love, it is about unconditional acceptance of others and yourself. Furthermore, that indeed knowing what we want facilitates its acquisition of it. So he learned somethings beneficial to any one on any path in life: Know what you want! Learn to name your aspirations and dreams so that you can attain them.
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on November 23, 2014
I read the whole book. If you can get over the childish obsession of obtaining "my sword", then there are some insightful passages to this book. I won't spoil it by being too detailed, but. As a travelogue, it is worthless. As an account of walking "The Strange Road to San Tiago", it is worthless, as it provides very little detail and does not end up in Santiago de Compostela. The end is more predictable than even I would have predicted. The references to magic and evoking spiritual guides are kind of stupid, as are the mentions of the abilities to perform miracles and magic as one progresses down a spiritual path. But putting the dramatic fluff aside, it does hold some sand as being a heartfelt account of someone getting in touch with their spirituality. The spiritual exercises look easy enough and I plan to try them. It is readable and there are some spot-on insightful, wise passages, so gets two stars. I do plan to read The Alchemist, as it is reportedly better.
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on October 13, 2015
Timmy Guarascio
The pilgrimage

In the beginning of the Pilgrimage it starts off with Paulo at a ceremony where he is going to get his sword. This sword means a lot to Paulo because he thinks it will help him later In life and answer all his questions. He fails his test during the ceremony and has to go walk the road to Santiago and at some point in the journey he will find it. Before Paulo starts his journey he meets his master Petrus, and Petrus shows him the deeper meaning of everything that happens to Paulo on the trip. Such as meeting his devil and being attacked by the dog and meeting the women and he started talking in different tongues. But at the end he gets his sword but doesn't have any interest in him and Petrus tells him he will be asked to be a master one day and lead someone on this important trip.

There are a lot of strengths to this books that can help you in life and I would no because I have tried these exercises. The strength in this book is showing how Paulo thinks and over comes his issues and his fears and gets through everything. The writing style of this books is plane, it doesn't really catch people's attention because there is nothing really funny or exciting about it. The one exciting part about this books is when Paulo has to fight the dog and he ends up nearing the dog and winning the fight. The author wants the readers to think about everything that has ever happened to them and just forget it. Such as what Paulo said about how he forgot about all the worries back home and his job and paying the bills and just focusing on what matter to him in life.

I can recommend and not recommend this book to people because of the positive and negatives in this book. I would recommend this book because it makes you think about life and what Paulo went through can be relative to what everyone els goes through today. The other good thing about this book is seeing everything Paulo has to go through to get to his sword, what task he has to face and what he has to go through to make it to the end. The reason I wouldn't recommend it is because a lot of things that happen in the book don't seem to be real at all. Such as him being attacked by a dog or him having to climb a big waterfall, it doesn't seem like someone can go through all that and still walk all that distance.
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on March 11, 2017
I read The Pilgrimage more than once. The first time I read it was when I was traveling in Spain and Morocco. This is the type of books that feeds our souls. Though Paulo has other books perhaps more popular The Pilgrimage remains my favorite. It is more for mature readers in my opinion. I recommend it to everyone who wants to add a bit food to our spiritual journey and pursue our life with passion, wisdom and courage. Love it!
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on October 13, 2015
This was book was mainly about a man named Paulo who was becoming a master and receiving a sword in an ancient religion but was too eager to move forward. As a result of not understanding this lesson, Paulo must undertake one final journey. If he does not succeed, he will not receive his sword and the title of Master. Paulo is told by his Master to take a pilgrimage of seven hundred kilometers from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago in Spain. He is then guided by a man named Petrus. He encounters many challenges and learns many lessons throughout his journey.
This book is a very teaching book. It gives the reader many lessons that can relate to many situations. The author wrote this book like a flashback, giving readers conversations he had and explaining experiences. I liked that about the book, because ultimately you can how much Paulo matured and changed from the beginning to the end of the book. The book was pretty easy to understand, especially if you payed attention and actually read. There were many messages you could leave this book with. It was a pretty good, teaching book.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels as though they need to go on a spiritual journey. To anyone that feels they are okay with where he or she is, it really is no point in reading this. Honestly it was a great book and taught me a lot but it isnt a must read for everyone. This book did teach many life lessons that could help, but I would't say everyone would enjoy reading it or get anything out of it. All in all, I felt this was a great book and taught me a lot.
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on March 16, 2017
I loved this book and will re-read it many times. This "diary" and the mystical exercises seem to have an effect just from reading them. I look forward to my own pilgrimage, which of course will be different.
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on March 13, 2015
Like all of Paulo's books, this one inspires, rivets, and uplifts. It also made me want to go walk the same path he did!
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on June 13, 2014
A bit redundant. A strange fantasy all ending with a silly sword. I'm sure the sword is a metaphor for cutting through the barriers to compassion and self aggrandizement, but this book didn't get my spiritual energy illuminated.
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