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A Pilgrim's Digress: My Perilous, Fumbling Quest for the Celestial City
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A Pilgrim's Digress: My Perilous, Fumbling Quest for the Celestial City

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  13 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
It’s a long, strange journey to paradise, and often hilarious one, if you bravely follow the road less traveled—wherever it leads. John D. Spalding certainly has. In this smart and insightful collection, Spalding,’s popular offbeat humorist, wanders America as a modern-day “pilgrim” seeking the Celestial City.

Loosely organizing his comic misadventures accord
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 4th 2003 by Harmony
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Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Mostly not enough, sometimes too much. These short articles, I guess generally meant to be humorous, involve Spaulding in religious adventures but all dwell entirely on the surface. The author is careful to never reveal too much of himself (beyond he is a lapsed evangelical) and he never digs too deeply into the stories he is telling. It feels like fairly elementary journalism. Some of the stories are potentially fascinating (how can you make make walking the five hundred miles of the Pilgrimage ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A random collection of short stories about where the author saw a story about faith. Some are good. The subtitle implies a quest, but no thread continues throughout the book.
Sarah Romero
Though I found some of the anecdotes that make up the chapters of the book humorous, the book didn't seem to have a smooth flow. It was more of a collection of essays by Spalding than it was a book. This would be fine, if that had been explained in the title. Also, some chapters, especially at the end, were without heart. They seemed to be more cynical, superficial gripes about religion than anything else.
Frank Roberts
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Light, somewhat amusing anecdotes--some more interesting than others. A handful of chapters were very good and left me wanting more.
Andrea Engle
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Jun 11, 2014
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Virginia Pulver
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
In 2009 I solo-walked the 500-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, so I am inclined to read most anything I discover that related to the Camino, the Way of St James. I bought this quirky book because the last chapter outlines the author's walk across northern Spain. The rest of the book was light and addressed some unusual approaches to find God in daily life. The book is light reading. The author is an experienced columnist who has a degree in divinity from Harvard so I imagine it wold b ...more
Ellen Elkins
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Sep 05, 2013
Katherine Pershey
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Grace Wing-Yuan  Toy
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JOHN D. SPALDING is the author of A Pilgrim's Digress: My Perilous, Fumbling Quest for the Celestial City (Harmony Books; 2003), which Elle magazine calls "a quirky, comic postmillennial trek through some of America's more exotic embodiments of faith." Spalding writes “The Sick Soul” column for, and he has written for The Los Angeles Times, Maxim, The Week, The Christian Century, Boo ...more
More about John D. Spalding...

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