Ian "Marvin" Graye's Reviews > The Pilgrim's Progress

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
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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 be brought low.” Eccles. 12:4.

Then Mr. Honest Paul Bryant called for his friends, and said unto them, “I die, but shall make no will. You can have all of my books, even the fat ones that stop the doors.

“As for my honesty, it shall go with me; let him that comes after be told of this, that I have lived a long life and read a lot of books, but I have still not read William Gaddis or David Foster Wallace.”

When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed himself to go over the river.

Now the river at that time over-flowed its banks in some places; but Mr. Honest Paul Bryant, in his lifetime, had spoken to one Good-Conscience Manny Rayner to meet him there, the which he also did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him get his leg over, as he had been wont to do.

The last words of Mr. Honest Paul Bryant were, “Grace reigns!” So he left the world, and Manny was happy, because he would continue to reign number one on God’s own Earth, most especially in England.

Mr. Valiant-for-Truth

After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant-for-Truth Ian Graye was taken with a summons by the same post as the other, and had this for a token that the summons was true, “That his pitcher was broken at the fountain.” Eccles. 12:6 (or was it Bluebottle?).

He did analyse this message greatly and at length (exceeding 20,000 characters) and when he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it.

Then said he, “I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, by reading William Gaddis and David Foster Wallace and, yea, even Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.

“My sword I give to him or her (but preferably her) that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him or her that can get it. And it shall most likely be a youth called Steve or Stephen, or a damsel called (Jenn)ifer or Jenn(ifer) or some such.

“My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder. “

When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, “Death, where is thy sting?”

And as he went down deeper, he said, “Grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Cor. 15:55.


So Mr. Valiant-for-Truth Ian Graye passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side. As did the strumpets who had ended their travails in Heaven.

And when he did arrive there and wander around, he did say, “My Lord, there are people here in Heaven who did not read William Gaddis and David Foster Wallace and Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon. Nor have I been able to locate any one of these fine Authors in this Heavenly precinct.”

And the Lord did say of Gaddis, “He shall gather no Recognitions in Heaven. For it is said, God is great, not Gaddis.”

And of DeLillo, He did say, “He is safely in an Underworld of his own manufacture.”

So too did He remark of Pynchon, "I am told he has been distracted by some beings from the planetoid Katspiel."

And of Wallace, the Lord did say with considerable gravity, “Alas poor Wallace, I knew him, Lothario, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. But nineteen score and eight end-notes? Ya gotta be kiddin' me, right?”

And Mr. Valiant-for-Truth Ian Graye did wonder about the Lord’s Lower East Side accent.
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Reading Progress

April 23, 2012 – Shelved
July 10, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M Epic.

message 2: by Ian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Stephen M wrote: "Epic."

Thanks, Stephen, you can have my sword when I've finished with it.

message 3: by Stephen M (last edited Apr 23, 2012 11:14PM) (new)

Stephen M I anxiously await Mr. Honest Paul Bryant's rebuttal.

message 4: by Ian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye He got in first with a pre-emptive rebuttal.

message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda Robinson I am deeply in favor of pre-emptive rebuttals. This Tuesday just got better fast!

message 6: by Ian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Linda wrote: "I am deeply in favor of pre-emptive rebuttals. This Tuesday just got better fast!"

The pre-emptive rebuttal is winning 24-12.

message 7: by Allie (new) - added it

Allie Riley Brilliant! No slough of despondency here, then...

message 8: by Allie (new) - added it

Allie Riley Despond, I mean.

message 9: by Ian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Thanks, Allie. I must have written this in a dream.

Lit Bug ABSOLUTELY SMASHING! And you were saying I was good - hell, it was nowhere near this!

For the first time in seven years I feel like re-reading this book. I'm sure Bunyan (and Christian too) would have died of a heart-attack if they read this. :D

Aww... it is outstanding!

message 11: by Ian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Thanks, Lit Bug. This review owes everything to innovators of the GoodReads form like Paul and Manny. I was a late starter, but was still inspired by their polymathematical talents. Neither is as bitter and twisted as me.

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