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The Pilgrim's Progress

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  71,999 Ratings  ·  2,018 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 January 1st 1678)
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Melody It really depends on what style you're used to. 90% of the book is dialogue, so that in itself might be exhausting for some, easy for others. You have…moreIt really depends on what style you're used to. 90% of the book is dialogue, so that in itself might be exhausting for some, easy for others. You have to read the Penguin version. That way you read the original English, but there's plenty of footnotes at the back for when you come across those odd (now extinct) 17th century colloquialisms. Bunyan's English is somewhere between Shakespeare and Austen. Im a huge fan of Hannah More so her essays really well prepared me for that style of language.(less)
Cela Day Although I've not read it, there's a book on GR titled Quest for Celestia: A Reimagining of the Pilgrim's Progress by Steven James - it has good…moreAlthough I've not read it, there's a book on GR titled Quest for Celestia: A Reimagining of the Pilgrim's Progress by Steven James - it has good reviews. Also, although I'm not in a position to claim that it's worthy (!), I've published a contemporary retelling of TPP (my version is a portal fantasy with allegorical overtones and a teenage protagonist who is reluctant to make the journey). It's also listed on GR, and the title is Dragon Slave.(less)

Community Reviews

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Paul Bryant
Apr 23, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels, godreads
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
Paul
Aug 27, 2007 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ryan
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
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Apr 23, 2012 Ian "Marvin" Graye rated it liked it
A Response to Paul Bryant's Review:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


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
Jessica
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 of 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 Pilgrim's Progress is a wonderful allegory of th
...more
Alex
Jan 09, 2015 Alex rated it it was ok
Pilgrim's Progress is basically a takeoff of Don Quixote, with two delusional assholes wandering around being dicks to people, but it plays its jokes closer to the vest. The dreaming narrator seems unconscious of the fact that the pilgrims are both jerks. I suppose it's possible that they're not supposed to be jerks at all, but...no, that can't be right.

It starts with a guy named Christian abandoning his family to wander off in search of a magical city. "His wife and children...began to cry aft
...more
Stephen
Sep 01, 2007 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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.
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 16, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  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
Roy Lotz
Jul 18, 2013 Roy Lotz rated it it was ok
Midway upon the journey between my home and work did I open the case of my kindle, and in that case I did there find a kindle. Then, I turned this kindle on and lo! what there did I find? The Pilgrim’s Progress. And so mine eyes began to read the screen. Thus, I did set upon another journey at that time, traveling from the beginning of the book to the end. And there I did find many new acquaintances.

My first companion I came upon was Mr. Amusement. But he quickly left me, and then did Mr. Boredo
...more
Jonathan

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
Emily
Aug 31, 2009 Emily rated it did not like it
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
Brian
I first heard of this book in Bible college. Today Christianity offers many opposing viewpoints and brings confusion and arguments to many. To those who hunger for and seek truth I understand the difficulty. I had my own journey and had to fail and become desperate before I found the real thing. This book gives clear and concise guidance on the Christian faith and makes it fun and exciting, as we follow a man's dangerous journey to escape the destruction of his own city and journey to the celest ...more
C.
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
Adam
Sep 05, 2012 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1500-s-1700-s, prose
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
Lise Petrauskas
Oh, Pilgrim's Progress, how glad I am that I have finally read you and that I'll never have to read you again. Thank you for being shorter and easier to read than I was expecting. Little Women (obvious references) and The Lord of the Rings (not so obvious), both books I've loved since childhood, came to mind as having been heavily influenced by you in different ways.

The value in this book lies, for me, in the fact that it gives me some insight into the culture and history of the literature that
...more
David Sarkies
Apr 11, 2015 David Sarkies rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who haven't read it
Recommended to David by: A book club
Shelves: christian
7 things you probably knew about Pilgrim's Progress
22 April 2015

Well, I will have to thank the Classics of the Western Canon discussion group for selecting Pilgrim's Progess for this month's read because otherwise it would have continued to sit on my shelf until such a time as I got around to reading it. Okay, I probably don't follow the readings of many of these groups as closely as some do, but they can be good to spur me on to reading a book that I probably wasn't thinking of reading at the
...more
Shantelle
This great classic, The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, was actually different than I expected. After reading the "children's version" for school when I was younger, I was picturing something decidedly more lighthearted and adventurous. But nonetheless, this was a good read!

In this book, John Bunyan describes his dream, where he sees a man named Christian living in the City of Destruction, with a great burden on his back. The poor man must figure out how to escape doom and find the way to the
...more
Jan-Maat
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
Mary Kate
Sep 26, 2012 Mary Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books!!!
John
Feb 05, 2014 John rated it really liked it
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
Tara
Jul 06, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
El
(I read this book as part of a reading project I have undertaken with some other nerdy friends in which we read The Novel: A Biography and some of the other texts referenced by Schmidt.)

It took me from Aug 6 to today to read the first half of the book. And then I read the second half of the book in one sitting.

Here's the thing - this is not a good bedside table book. Aside from its soporific quality (because it's boring), it really needs to be read in big gulps at a time instead of small sips ov
...more
Schuyler
Jan 01, 2015 Schuyler rated it it was amazing
One editor at a writing conference admonished her students to be careful not to attempt to copy the Bible exactly in their writing. The Bible is complete and perfect, and it is foolish to try to copy it too closely; you'll only make a less powerful knock-off.

Perhaps Pilgrim's Progress could be the one excusable exception. :)

The story is rich and true; it never dragged for me but once, and even that didn't take long to get through. Bunyan writes like a father to his children, or a shepherd to hi
...more
Joe Cassada
Jun 11, 2014 Joe Cassada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lena Morrison
I do my reviews in the form of a letter, which is why they are written like this.

Dear John Bunyan,

I'll admit, this was better than I expected. It might have helped a little that the one that I had was translated into a more modern English.
For an allegory, this works really well. Christian is a good character. He's like an actual Christian. He's zealous for Jesus, he loves others, but he also messes up and fails every once in a while. His journey is really cool to decipher. Each character and
...more
Ted
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.
Arpana
Apr 29, 2008 Arpana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a kid and loved it. Then I read it as an adult.
What a freaky load of old schizoid tosh.
Steven
Feb 24, 2015 Steven rated it it was amazing
Grand and visionary Christian allegory that is more like Lord of the Rings than the Bible.
Álex Oliva
Jan 23, 2017 Álex Oliva rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Álex by: #CoaliciónLee
Si no hubiese sido por la segunda parte, no tendría muchas cosas positivas que decir de este libro que, según @biteproject es el libro cristiano más traducido y vendido del mundo (después de la Biblia).

La segunda parte "suaviza" de alguna manera el radicalismo ¿calvinista? ¿puritano? de la primera parte, aunque no deja muy bien a Cristiana respecto de su rol y valía. (view spoiler)
...more
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Is the christian life equal to what this book depicts? 25 124 Jan 09, 2017 06:10AM  
Around the Year i...: The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan 1 13 May 07, 2016 09:21AM  
flight paths: * Pilgrimage 31 27 Dec 12, 2013 01:30AM  
  • All Things for Good
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols
  • A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth
  • The Holiness of God
  • Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version
  • A Quest for Godliness
  • Foxe's Book of Martyrs
  • Hinds' Feet on High Places
  • The Reformed Pastor
  • Thoughts for Young Men
  • Westminster Confession Of Faith w/ Catechisms (1646-7) (and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Directories for Public and Private Worship, Form of Presbyterial Church Government, the Sum of Saving Knowledge)
  • Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
  • The Mystery of Providence
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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...

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“What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it.” 124 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. ”
62 likes
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