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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  2,681 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
Ageless. Sexless. Deathless. Timeless. Pilgrim is a man who cannot die, an astounding character in a novel of the cataclysmic contest between creation and destruction. Pilgrim is Timothy Findley’s latest masterwork, a finalist for the Giller Prize, and a national bestseller that has smashed the author’s own impressive sales records. Recently published in the US, Pilgrim is ...more
Paperback, 538 pages
Published by Harper Perennial (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer (aka EM)
Excellent! A great blend of fiction and history, re-imagined through the eyes of one of my very favourite story-tellers.

Reincarnation (?) meets Jung's collective unconscious. With Leonardo (da Vinci, not diCaprio - it's not THAT book), Oscar Wilde, William & Henry James. Art and religion clash and coalesce. Doves, pigeons, sheep, dogs <3 and angels; unwilling saints and saintly lunatics. The sacred nature of nature. The transcendent, innate spirituality of art. Dreams, myth, madness, myst
Jul 15, 2008 JSou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really enjoyed this book. Any story that can combine historical fiction, fantasy, and psychology successfully is thumbs up for me. I loved being able to read about DaVinci, Henry James, and then jump to Carl Jung working with an "immortal" in an asylum.

Awesome book.
Apr 20, 2016 E rated it it was amazing
I'd been wanting to reread this, one of my favourite pieces of fiction, after seeing a local production of Tom Stoppard's play Travesties last month. Both stories take place primarily in Zürich before and during World War I and involve figures who, while fictionalized for the present purposes, did exist (James Joyce, Lenin and Tristan Tzara in Travesties, and Carl Jung and various staff members at the Burghölzli psychiatric clinic, Oscar Wilde, Leonardo da Vinci and others in Pilgrim). There's s ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Sasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I knew canadian writer Timothy Findley from his excellent novel "Not wanted on voyage" so was naturally excited to lay my hands on "Pilgrim".
Than to my biggest surprise, I realized it all sounds familiar and I had probably read it years ago (wouldn't be surprised to actually find that I have another copy somewhere) but the writing style and the story was so beautiful that I truly enjoyed and upon finishing the last page I was so moved that I could just start reading it all over again. "Pilgrim"
Sep 22, 2012 Sergey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a lyrical, mystical journey. walking through a dream, a never ending path to eternity (or in this case to end eternity once and for all) oh, but such beauty in one's search for death! mr findley you are a find!
Jun 08, 2010 Ken rated it liked it
The book was unnecessarily long (published authors tend to be out of control when it comes to lengths of their subsequent works. or so it seems)

interesting passages:

- take on music from an apathetic person.

"music is the worst of them - roiling and boiling - overly emotionalized on the one hand, overly intellectuallized on the other. Bach and Mozart indeed! Bach inevitably makes me think of fish in a barrel! round and round and round they go and nothing ever happens. Nothing ! Tum -de-dum-dum. Tu
I don't know what to make of this book. Parts of it are excellent (a main character who can't die and who has lived for centuries, a look at early twentieth-century attitudes towards mental health, etc.) and parts of it are really self-indulgent. There are also a lot of loose ends that are never addressed. So I'm splitting the difference and giving it three stars.

Also, it's a pet peeve of mine that people in historical fiction books almost always happen to run into the most significant figures o
Mar 29, 2014 Shelley rated it did not like it
This book is one of the most bizarre, complex, and incredibly depressing books I have ever read. It is so complicated that there is no succinct way of describing the story so I will not try. While I can appreciate the skilled writing of Timothy Findley I cannot say that I would recommend this book. I read it since my son in Grade 11 was having to do a comparative essay using it and he was struggling incredibly. To assist him, I read the book and I could totally understand why he was struggling. ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 17, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-lit
Carl Jung, immortals, angels, and psycho-analysis...they don't sound like the ingredients of a sane novel. Thankfully, sane novels are boring...and Timothy Findley's ultimate masterpiece will make you question your OWN sanity. A stunning book that will leave your mouth hanging open in sheer astonishment on more than one occasion.
Oct 07, 2009 Kate rated it did not like it
I really did not like this. It went on way too long and didn't really deal enough with Pilgrim enough directly to keep me engaged. Reading about Jung was okay I guess but that wasn't what I came for.
Jul 19, 2011 Lowed rated it really liked it
Prose was superb! Pacing was kind of okay. And characterization?>- I could not believe he pulled this through with ease.

This is one book to feast on! You won't be disappointed!
Apr 27, 2008 Nicole rated it liked it
The book goes a bit long, but is an interesting concept and has some truly interesting glimpses into history.
Feb 09, 2013 PatriziaBi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nel giorno degli angeli caduti Pilgrim viene accompagnato da Lady Quartermaine alla clinica Burghölzli. Un lungo viaggio da Londra a Zurigo quello del misterioso uomo che vuole ma non può morire, ed un ancor più lungo percorso nella mente, nei sogni, nelle visioni, nell’essere, non solo di quest’uomo tenace ed elegante, ma di ogni personaggio che popola questo corposo romanzo di Timothy Findley, costruito sull’alternanza del vero, del verosimile e dell’invenzione, legati da un sottile filo, quas ...more
I like Timothy Findley, but he must be the most eclectic author I’ve ever read. I first came across him in highschool with The Wars, a novel that observes soldiers in the First World War and which, frankly, I don’t really remember because I was obligated to read it for a class. I later read Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage, which was a bizarre and irreligious take on the events surrounding the biblical Noah and his ark. I didn’t enjoy that one. I did love The Piano Man’s Daughter, a beautiful ...more
Dakota Bragdon
Feb 20, 2013 Dakota Bragdon rated it it was amazing
Pilgrim was a great book, and is one of my favorites. Set in 1912 Germany, it's about a man simply named Pilgrim, who can never die, and has tried several times to kill himself, each time he has failed. He is taken to Burgholzi Psychiatric Clinc in Zurich, and is treated by Carl G. Jung (the famous doctor who transformed the field of pyschology).
This book is very interesting because it is about the bonding relationship between a patient and a doctor back when you really didn't know your doctor,
Jul 07, 2011 Krystal rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabriela Roberts
Apr 19, 2015 Gabriela Roberts rated it it was ok
One of the most annoying books i have read to date. I agree that it is really interesting and blah blah blah, however the book is tedious with loong explanations or over done paragraphs. i enjoyed the idea of the book and such but all was lost once i began reading on past the first half or so. There is this huge build up of Pilgrim and the truth, but nothing is explained and nothing is given a real conclusion. [Spoilers]............. I liked the idea of Pilgrim going missing and its up to the re ...more
Philippe Escaffre
'La main sur la poignée, Jung se retourna vers la silhouette assise au soleil. "J'ai eu un rêve la nuit dernière, déclara-t-il. Ou plutôt un cauchemar. J'ai rêvé que le monde entier prenait feu et que personne n'était capable d'empêcher les flammes de se propager...". Pilgrim contemplait celle de ses mains qui serrait le mouchoir. Si vous compreniez le caractère prophétique de votre rêve, pensa-t-il, personne ne vous croirait vous non plus... "C'était plus terrifiant que tout. Un véritable enfer ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Blagovesta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Е, завърших я! Може би такава книга не бива да се подхваща, когато човек започва нова работа, изцеждаща силите му за дълго и сладко вечерно четене. Но пък и бавното вкусване на това, което книгата имаше да ми предложи, имаше своя чар. Историята ме грабна с факта, че голяма част от нея е базирана на реални личности и събития. Успя да издуха доста от малките блестяши частички на златния облак, с който бях обгърнала в студентските си години образа на Карл Густав Юнг. Не знаех много за личния му жив ...more
Michael Christopher
Jul 26, 2011 Michael Christopher rated it really liked it
The care and focus given by the author to crafting the settings of this book is impressive. Told from the point of view of a man who is either immortal or insane, the reader is shown the inner workings of the man's mind and dropped into his recollections of his life in other places and times. Those recollections are realised in sharp detail, and contrasted with the narrow field of view of the psychiatrists who ultimately fail to connect to the people whom they are attempting to help. Fed up with ...more
Oct 08, 2012 AliceinWonderland rated it really liked it
- Findley is an excellent writer, but this book deals with many, many hefty themes: mental illness, the nature of art, spirituality and the divine, homosexuality, the afterlife, mediums, psychology, etc...As always, this novel is riddled with Findley's creative, though sometimes macabre imagination.
- My main issue with the novel was from a narrative perspective...the story felt very disjointed at times; I suppose that was the author's choice to structure his narrative in that way...also, there w
May 08, 2012 Maggie rated it it was amazing
I had originally marked this a 4-star. I have now changed it to a 5-star rating because I can't stop thinking about it. All throughout today my thoughts kept drifting to various pages in the book which made me realize I liked it better then I thought:o)
Oct 26, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books on the planet. If you are a lover of psychology, specifically Carl Jung, this book is a must-read. Pilgrim travels through history, and winds up in a psychiatric ward over-seen by Jung. Findlay portrays Jung as complex a character as his patients. Absolutely fascinating.
Apr 11, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book a lot especially the pilgrim and sybil characters and scenes in the hospital, other parts were less compelling so I couldn't give it four stars. Jung and his married life and stream of consciousness took away from the core story as opposed to augmented.
Non credo nell'eternità. Credo nell'adesso.

"Non siamo davvero qui. Questo luogo è il nulla. Io mi sono perduta. E Carl Gustav? E' da qualche parte in mezza alla nebbia, e ci trascina avanti."
Hilary G
I finished Pilgrim this morning, and this afternoon planned to tell you all what I thought of it. Problem is, I don't know what I think. Immediately before reading Pilgrim, I read Not Wanted on the Voyage, another of Timothy Findley's, and I did see some similarities: angels, significant animals, faith v science, ideas, questions (lots of questions) and less answers (I think the reader is supposed to supply his or her own). One thing I can definitely say is that Findley is an interesting writer. ...more
Gabriela Kozhuharova
Dec 28, 2016 Gabriela Kozhuharova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Вечният човек Пилгрим:

„Пилгрим” е роман, който ми се иска да бъде прочетен от колкото се може повече хора. За него трябва да се говори. Не мисля, че имам компетентността да давам подобни оценки, но за мен книгата е шедьовър в своята многопластовост и в сложността на измеренията, които тълкува. Колкото и абстрактни да са някои от темите ѝ, историята е пълна с живот и лекота, в нея тече кръвта на героите ѝ, чиято топлина не ѝ позволява да се отдалечава прек
Oct 25, 2016 Marissa rated it it was ok
Confession: I haven't finished the book. Don't think I ever will.
There are moments of lovely writing, but lordy, the pacing! Oh, the pacing.
Gail Gray
Mar 11, 2012 Gail Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jungian
Pilgrim by Timothy Findley. What a beguiling tale. Findley has a lot more confidence than I'll ever have. He actually features Jung as one of the main characters! What fun it is, even as it's a lesson in personal hopes, failures, regressions, and ultimate growth. I would love to be in therapy with y Jung even more now, as Findley presents the young psychiatrist as a complex character, at times earthy and peasant like, at others full of compassion and then also as the abstract mystical thinker co ...more
Mary E. Martin
May 16, 2014 Mary E. Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Canadian literature, Carl Jung and the psyche.
What does it mean when you are compelled to read a novel for the fourth time? I don’t mean one time after another, but over a space of a number of years?

I’m thinking of Pilgrim by Timothy Findley. I read somewhere that great art repays the revisiting. I think this means that you are compelled to return to a story many times because you somehow know that you will find something new and different each time you reread it. That’s exactly the way I feel about this novel—that I will find something I h
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some minor faults 1 26 Sep 18, 2009 12:58PM  
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Timothy Irving Frederick Findley was a Canadian novelist and playwright. He was also informally known by the nickname Tiff or Tiffy, an acronym of his initials.

One of three sons, Findley was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Allan Gilmour Findley, a stockbroker, and his wife, the former Margaret Maude Bull. His paternal grandfather was president of Massey-Harris, the farm-machinery company. He was rais
More about Timothy Findley...

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“I have dreamt of a life you will never know; the life of a loving and caring companion. I simply thought you should know. I see that you are in trouble. I watch and listen to you. I want to help, but you won't let me. So be it. I love you still. Do what you will, I shall watch over you.” 5 likes
“Има хора, чието преживяване на живота е толкова различно от нашето собствено, че ги наричаме луди. За чисто удобство. Наричаме ги така, за да се освободим от поемането на отговорност за тяхното място в човешката общност. И затова ги изпращаме в приюти, затваряме ги, за да не се виждат и чуват, зад заключени врати. Но за тях няма разлика между това, което ние смятаме за сънища и кошмари, и света, в който протича всекидневният им живот... Според тях може да има святост в дървета и жаби, живи богове в огъня и водата и глас във вихрушката, към който, ако само се вслушаме, те ще насочат вниманието ни... Те не живеят в “други светове”, а в едно измерение на този свят, което ние от страх отказваме да приемем.” 2 likes
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