The Pilgrimage

OK, I had to read this book because I had read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. I liked The Alchemist, even though, I’m not a big fan of Allegory as a literary medium. Actually, I should really say that I don’t like very obvious Allegory, because I know that all books in their own unique way are parables of life. The Alchemist is listed as one of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime and for many, it is a great story, well-written and certainly worth the time spent. The Pilgrimage is not.

For those who like the Fantasy genre, it is interesting. Personally, I never read Fantasy. I had hoped that the author might have actually walked the Camino himself. Unfortunately, no, it was his persona as a member of a cult, who walked the path in order to earn a sword which he needed as part of his membership in this sect.

My sister-in-law kindly mailed me the book from Scotland, when I had trouble finding it here. I’m sure she read it, because it was written by Paulo Coelho. For me the ritual overtones were just too much. I kept thinking of organizations such as Landmark and EST (It is, in fact, Opus Dei). I know that many of the early groups on the Camino, The Knights Templar and the Order of Santiago, for example, were borderline cults, but that was then and this is now.

I would recommend reading The Pilgrimage simply because you will be asked. Personally, I would read The Alchemist, if you haven’t and your answer could then be, “No, but I have read The Alchemist.”

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