Lise Petrauskas's Reviews > The Pilgrim's Progress

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
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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 came after and in the Christian mind set that has long been almost incomprehensible to me. Not to say that I get it now, but the word "evangelist" has long had a negative connotation, so much so that I was actually surprised that one of the "good guys" was called "evangelist." Some of my favorite books were written about and from eras in which Christianity was the dominant religion, so it is helpful for me to read a text that would have been so common and ubiquitous among authors I admire.

Quotes from The Novel: A Biography by Michael E.C. Schmidt about A Pilgrim's Progress:

"Bunyan at his best is not only telling a story but building a marvelous structure in which all the parts relate to one another."

"Bunyan is at once more medieval (allegorical) and more modern (synthetic) than most."

"Bunyan is less homespun than DeFoe, his imagery more complex and resonant than Richardson's."

"These and other formal features create a rich impurity and variety of effect."

" plays constantly between The Bible, allegory, and the living world, it is more complex in conception and consistent in execution than any English prose work that precedes it. It is original without meaning to be; it entertains even the pagan and atheist heart."
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Reading Progress

June 8, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read (Other Paperback Edition)
June 8, 2013 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)
June 8, 2013 – Shelved as: illustration (Other Paperback Edition)
November 15, 2014 – Shelved
November 15, 2014 – Shelved as: the-novel-a-biography
December 1, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 30, 2015 – Started Reading
February 1, 2015 –
February 2, 2015 –
50.0% "The structure of the story reminds me of The Lord of The Rings, TLOTR is much less simplistic, though..."
February 5, 2015 – Finished Reading
April 13, 2015 – Shelved as: bloom-western-canon
April 13, 2015 – Shelved as: philosophy-religion-psychology

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Ted (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ted Love that first sentence, Lise. I tried reading it once, decades ago, but honestly don't know if I finished it. I would guess not.

message 2: by Aylin (new)

Aylin I was almost tempted to read it simply because of Little Women, but then I remembered Jo did a pretty. Good job of summing it up so I didn't have to. :-)

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