The Pilgrim's Progress
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The Pilgrim's Progress

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  46,433 ratings  ·  1,410 reviews
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 Cit...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published February 10th 2003 by Dover Publications (first published February 18th 1678)
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In the dawn of the day Reader began his quest for the Great Denoument with a glad heart, his countenance suffused by the Joy of Literature Yet Unread and unburthened by Mercantile Drear. He knew he should soon pass threw Goodreads City which was said to be very Malevolent yet still he feared not and sang out hymns and epithalamions addressed to the Archangels Proust, Joyce and Bolano which should look over him as he ventured. Eftsoons, he met with Mr Worldly Wise, who thrust at him pretty volume...more
I read this book during my second deployment to Iraq as well and it took me quite a while to finish it. I had seen this book referenced often and I wanted to read it on my own. The overall consensus is that it is a very compelling book and will pull at your soul's emotional strings with its simplicity and candor. But also there were three major hurdles to finishing this book--for me, at least:

It was first published in 1678 so it is not an easy read. The diction is alien to me, but also one does...more
So you know when you hear that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever because of how revolutionary it was during its time period, and then you watch it and you realize that the key phrase is "during its time period"? Well, reading Pilgrim's Progress is likely to leave many with the same feeling. No doubt one of the greatest modern religious texts in terms of what it provided for early Puritans (an easy and concrete representation of their theology and daily living practices), it leaves a little to...more
Ian Paganus
A Response to Paul Bryant's Review:

Mr. Honest

Then it came to pass a while after, that there was a post in the town that inquired for Mr. Honest Paul Bryant.

So he came to the house where he was, and delivered to his hand these lines: “Thou art commanded to be ready against this day seven-night, to present thyself before thy Lord at his Father’s house.

“And for a token that my message is true, all the daughters of music, even the mothers of invention, shall...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I have a few versions of this on my shelves from the nicely bound hard back to paper backs I can hand out (you know "loan").

This is (as I'm sure most already know) an allegorical journey depicting the struggles of living the Christian life. John Bunyan was a Baptist imprisoned when it was against the law to be a be Baptist. He was imprisoned for (aprox.) twelve years for refusing to convert to Anglicanism (Church of England)...this sort of thing by the way is the reason for the first amendment,...more
The Pilgrim's Progress is a wonderful work written by a 17th-century Puritan, John Bunyan, from his prison cell in a time of persecution.

J.C. Ryle wrote of this book, “I do not doubt that the one volume known as The Pilgrim’s Progress, written by a man who knew hardly any book but his Bible, and was ignorant of Greek and Latin, will prove in the last day to have done more for the benefit of the world, than all the works of the schoolmen put together.”

The main character is a pilgrim named Chris...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 31, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Fascinating allegory about man’s search for salvation. The fact that this was first published in 1678 by John Bunyan (1628-1688) and its message still rings true up to now makes this an appropriate read for those who believe in life after death. The only problem is that if you hate classics, then you will find this a struggle to read. Methinks however, that if you like novels with pilgrimage as theme (Paolo Coelho’s Pilgrimage is a good example) or those even crusade adventures like Lord of the...more

I'd wanted to write this review a while ago. However since I can't write it then I'll have to write it now.

The Pilgrim's Progress is one of the most famous examples of allegory and also one of the most popular books ever published. I've heard that at one time it was as common to find this book in a home as a copy of The Bible.

This was one of those books I was introduced to as a child. You probably think I was an odd kid, reading books like this at 8 or 9 years old. And you'd probably be right....more
simply amazing. There is a reason why many literary critics consider this the best Christian book/read next to the Bible. This book although not a difficult read compared to other literary classics will definitely challenge you with its many allegories and metaphors of the Christian life. For anyone who thinks the Christian life is a soft cushy way needs to read this book.
I must say that I struggled rather with this book; I continually procrastinated from picking it up, and even when I actually got around to reading it, it was frankly pretty boring. Nonetheless, I'm sure it's a much better book than I give it credit for; context is all, so don't come back to me with essay-length descriptions of the circumstances under which it was written (I already know. I can and do read. Also I possess a brain) I did not like this book and this review explains why. That is all...more
This isn't easy for me to do, but I admit it. I give up. I can't make myself slog through this anymore.

I picked this up as part of my ongoing project to read classics I've somehow missed out on in the first 31 years of my life. Also, an old friend listed it as one of her 20 Most Memorable Books on facebook, so I was expecting to be moved. Or instructed. Or touched. Maybe that was part of the problem. But I've had it out from the library for 6 weeks, renewed it once already, the due date is loomi...more
I just read this for the second time. It is really an amazing story. Through various characters that the pilgrim, Christian, and later his wife, Christiana, meet in their journies, we are introduced to various aspects of our own character and how those traits can help or hinder us in life's journey. The journey/story can get tedious at times, and while the story doesn't have the drama or excitement of a C.S. Lewis book, I find that John Bunyan's understanding of the scriptures in the 17th centur...more
We used to sing He who would true valour see at my secondary modern school. In fact it was the only song we'd ever sing in school assemblies. We'd sing it in dire, dirge like manner, deep in the Slough of Despond of that Vanity Fair of adolescent school days and not like the hero who was ready to march through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to take on hobgoblins, hypocrites and the demands of life after the dreaded Eleven Plus.

Bunyan was active in the period of the Republic and the Restorati...more
The Pilgrim's Progress, or Christianity for Dummies by John Bunyan.

So... John Bunyan was a crazy and apparently exceedingly stupid man who wrote one of the most popular books ever in the Western literary tradition. I write of this book, obviously. The book's popularity and even its status as a Historically Important Classic is a harsh reminder of how immensely stupid and crazy humans, generally, are and always were. Because this book's status is such a harsh reminder of that fact, it's basically...more
I first read Bunyan's masterpiece in college. It was lost on my youth. Being groomed by some thoughtful literature professors who had an allergic reaction to allegory I found the book dull on every level. I thought it was trite, preachy, simplistic, and didn't connect with it on an emotional level.

I picked up the book again because of a nagging suspicion that it was me, not Bunyan that failed in our first meeting. I'm so glad I did.

As much as any book, Bunyan's story impacts the way one should...more
Victor Nyachieo
The book Pilgrims progress was a very difficult book for me to read and understand. The book begins with a man who is convicted and realizes that there is more to life than the ordinary. He is told that there is a city named celestial city that will fill him spiritually. He set on a journey from the city of destruction to the celestial city. In the beginning of his journey his family tries to tell him to stay but his conviction is too strong for him to let all that was to come go to waste.
He b...more
Megan Larson
I wish I had received all the nuggets this book has to offer in my first reading, but I'm positive I didn't. However, I am firmly committed to reading it again, because the nuggets I did get were a blessing: even on the most basic level, imagining the Christian walk as a physical journey with actual hills and valleys and byways from the narrow road is helpful (and biblical!). I imagine that once I have delved deeper, I'll be giving this book five stars--I just struggled to follow along some of t...more
Joe Cassada
I read it again, for the first time. I wish all Christians would read this book - and read it regularly. And don't settle for those abridged versions or those versions that leave out the second part. Bunyan wrote two parts to the book: one about Christian, and the other about Christiana (Christian's wife). The second part is very helpful in adding some detail and explanation to the first. So be sure to to get a version with parts 1 and 2. Lamentably, many publishers today seem to leave out part...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Rest easy. Christian makes it to the Celestial City. He struggles to get out of the Slough of Despond and he risks death as he passes through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but he does not succumb to the blandishments of the various characters he meets along the way (Obstinate, Pliable, Hypocrisy, Talkative, Ignorance).

He is accompanied early in the story by his friend, Faithful, who uses the Get Out of Hell Free card and heads straight to Heaven from Vanity Fair. But Christian continues to...more
This is a wonderful allegory full of Christian truths - everyone who calls themselves a Christian should read it. But it's an important literary classic as well and any student of English literature should be familiar with it. For example, I recall in a college English Lit. class when we were reading Vanity Fair, the teacher didn't even mention where the title came from (PP) and how the meaning of the title is relevant to the story.

There are various versions out there - the best ones include Bun...more

Secondary to only the Bible, this is the book that I've read (and love) the most! My mother read it to me when I was a child, I read it to my children, my children have the video set and a game based on the book. I believe Bunyan was an inspired writer. Although the story can be enjoyed by anyone (once you either acclimate to the old English style or buy a children's version), I personally think that the reader needs to have a strong grasp on the Bible to fully appreciate it. Many times in life...more
Mar 01, 2009 Jonathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new Christians seeking guidance and encouragement
Recommended to Jonathan by: Mom
Shelves: theology
Though this book might be more appropriately filed under “Classics”, I’m placing it on the “Theology” shelf, for reasons I will outline below. A staple of Christian literature for hundreds of years, Bunyan’s tale has been read and referenced by children and ministers alike. Grounded as it is in the theology of the Reformation (theology which, running counter to the teachings of the Church of England, landed the author in prison), the book certainly contains a wealth of solid doctrinal teaching....more
Okay, considering it was written in 1678, it's not bad. After all, there's a handful of giant slayings and battles against monsters. But all in all, this allegory is too long, too repetitive, and not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. (I can just imagine John Bunyan sharpening his quill and chuckling to himself over his own metaphors.)

The biggest problem is its complete and total lack of irony. People with good names are good; people with bad names are bad. People who are Christian and who fol...more
Jan 01, 2010 Mandy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the uber religious Christians who want to reaffirm their faith.
As someone who, at least during this part of my life, is simply "spiritual" at best, I knew from the beginning that this wouldn't be my kind of book. I tried reading it anyway since it is such a famous piece of literature, but my feelings about it are what I expected they would be.

An allegory for Christianity, it reminded me of everything I didn't like about church growing up: mainly, the self-righteousness of the faith, and the promise of hell for those who are non-believers. In addition, the o...more
Read this decades ago. It's still considered by many a classic, but to me it's more a curiosity. Thinking back on the experience through the intervening haze, I have the impression that it could be likened to buying indulgences in medieval times; and the one about as worthwhile as the other.
An allegory on how to live a Christian life. This book is available in both the original version and in modern English. I prefer the original, but if you have trouble with the original, try the modern. It is not a book to be missed.
Valerie Kyriosity
The cold hard truth is that the Puritans, much as I love them for their faithfulness as my spiritual forebears, are just not my cup of tea in the writing department. Actually, considering that I don't care for tea and pretty much drink it only for medicinal purposes, perhaps my cup of tea is exactly what they are.

I did love the accuracy with which Bunyan portrayed various sins and temptations and challenges of the Christian life -- there were quite a few points with which I identified, and I don...more
I read this as a kid and loved it. Then I read it as an adult.
What a freaky load of old schizoid tosh.
John Yelverton
The greatest Christian allegory ever written. A think that sums it up pretty well.
John Bunyan acknowledged in his own day that his friends were mixed on whether he should publish this book. I encountered similar mixed feelings about this work when I mentioned that our reading group was reading this. Even though The Guardian rated this Number One on its list of 100 best novels in the English language, this admiration is not shared by all. For some, it is simply that they don't like the writing style (Bunyan was not highly educated), the use of allegory, or the Puritan theology...more
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  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
  • Holiness
  • The Religious Affections
  • The Holiness of God
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • Foxe's Book of Martyrs
  • The Godly Man's Picture
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  • Tortured for Christ
  • Lectures to My Students
  • ESV Study Bible
  • The Imitation of Christ
  • A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
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  • The Bondage of the Will
John Bunyan, a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim's Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In the Church of England he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August.
More about John Bunyan...
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners The Holy War Pilgrim's Progress, Part 2: Christiana Prayer The Acceptable Sacrifice (Puritan Paperbacks)

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“What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it.” 78 likes
“This hill though high I covent ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way of life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear. ”
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