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am 21. Oktober 1998
I have read Brida, the Alchemist, The Valkyries and The Pilgramage which is the most outstanding (all of them are great).I thank Paulo Coelho very much for his messages. Just say, it is worth it to read it, but if you dare to believe, as I do, you can go further, if not, don't worry, it's in no way a boring book. I suggest you to take the Road to Santiago after reading it. This book has made me to change a lot, and I promise, it's being a great change. I strongly recommend this book for those who don't know what to do with their lives or are full of doubts about their future. This book is helping me to find my way and to look at the Road and pay more attention to myself and my inner soul. But it's not just to read it, it needs practice, faith, will and time. I think it pays off, because what really matters in life? what we have in the material world or what we can achieve in the spiritual and psycological world? This book deals with the latter.It's your choice. Good luck!.
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am 9. Januar 1998
The setting is the famous ''Camino de Santiago'' across Northern Spain -- a journey which has inspired legions of pilgrims over a period of many centuries. The fantastic setting is only the beginning, however, as many a life-changing event have happened to those brave enough to make this lengthy pilgrimage and complete it. Paulo Coelho leaves the reader almost breathless at times with details of his own experiences along this historic path, from tentative beginning through to the surprising finish. Even for those hailing from other spiritual paths (i.e. non judeo-christian) this book will provide a thrill as the message of ''Fighting the Good Fight'' in search of what's important in life is one that speaks to all of us. Magnificently written!
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am 30. September 1998
See my previous review below. Reading the Pilgrimage inspired me to follow the same route, known as the Camino de Santiago this summer. (In fact I finished the 850kms yesterday and I am typing these words from an internet cafe in Santiago de Compostela)
I was the 18th South African to have done the pilgrimage in the last decade or so - for the introduction to the camino I will always be grateful to Paulo Coehlo. I have had the time of my life and in a sense it was the first step of the greater pilgrimage of my life.
I met many many Brazilians on my pilgrimage (after Spaniards it seems Brazilians are the most common pilgrims to encounter) and most of them said that Paulo did not really walk the camino - he did parts but mostly he drove in a landrover. This was "confirmed" by some of the Spanish hospitaleros who run the pilgrims refuges along the way.
Not that I have a problem with that in itself - its just a book after all - I gues I just dont understand why, if in fact he did not walk all the way, he wrote the book in such an autobiographical manner?
So if you are reading this Paulo, did you slog the 850kms or was it all bogus?
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am 16. Oktober 1999
"The Pilgrimage" is disappointing fiction of tall tales, self-help tips, non-sequiturs, and mumbo-jumbo, a "Twinkie" for spiritual seekers. Coelho makes uses the camino de Santiago as a backdrop for "Dungeons and Dragons" episodes that have only a spurious relation to this wonderful pilgrim road. The "Tradition," mysterious links to orders of knights, encounters with devils and a devilish dog, excercises giving mysterious powers, and other fancies mark the narrator's journey on to find his magic sword. Coelho's quirks are legion and distracting. For example, the the road to Santiago becomes the "Strange Road to Santiago," and Santiago becomes San Tiago. "The Pilgrimage" merits the criticisms that I heard along the camino last year from Brazilians and French pilgrims. There's plenty of wonder and mystery in walking the road, as there is in everyday life, without having to resort to the literary posturing that characterizes this book. Read it and see if you can figure out why it sells so well.
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am 14. September 1999
I enjoyed how Coelho was very sensitive to the fact that making such a journey is an individual one, and that for each of us, the road is unique. Of course, we are all inspired to make an attempt at such a quest with similar results, but must continue at our own pace, in our own time; and what me must do with our own sword if we ever were to find our way to it.
Publishing a book reaches many souls for centuries to come. Conjouring and facing our devil can be a dangerous thing, and for the reader who might drop this book half way through, will leave with a power that gives strength to darkness. Coelho must be responsible for releasing this knowledge to those not ready to hear it. I hope his soul can carry such a battle, and his sword able to fight a force very dark for ages to come.
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am 27. Oktober 1999
I also walked El Camino, and was surprised to know that some (few) Brazilian pilgrims criticize Paulo Coelho's "The Pilgrimage". Every time that I asked if they read the book, they said that they did not. It seems that El Camino was becoming the property of a few choosen ones, and "The Pilgrimage" made it popular all over the world. For me, this is an absolutelly fascinating book, but I understand why some reviews say about whether this is an accurate description of the journey. It is not. It is Paulo Coelho's experience, whether you like it or not. If you don't like, better buy a travel guide or write a book by yourself. And by the way, I believe that Coelho deserved the Golden Medal of Galicia that he received this year.
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am 26. Juni 1999
I discovered this book during my first journey on the road to Compostela in 1991. All the young Spaniards had a copy in their back pack. The author created a New Age delirium giving the path to Compostela an image of witchcraft and the occult. During my three journeys on the road to Compostela ( 91 95 96) I happened to have met some of the key characters the author mentions in this book, and they were very unhappy with the author's version of the Compostela experience as well as with the use of their life. I disliked how the pilgrim gives up the road for a bus ride at the end of the book, which is a "sacrilage" once you enter such an experience.
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am 28. Januar 2000
I absolutely loved this book. I agree that it is very mystical and that it might turn off some readers, however if people get past that, I think they will enjoy it. As for the criticism, that some reviewers have expressed over Paulo Coelho not finishing the Pilgrimage, I don't think that has any bearing on the book. He is talking of his own spiritual journey. The walk changed his life and I believe that is what he is trying to express in the book. If he inspires people to do the walk, then that is enough praise. I read this book over 5 years ago and am planning to do the walk this year, September of 2000.
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am 12. Juni 1999
I have mixed emotions about Paulo publishing this book. As a mystic I regonize it as authentic. But as a mystic I rocognize the constant struggle between that which creates (commonly referred to as white magic) and that which destroys (commonly referred to as black magic). In the book many times Paulo was tempted to use black magic by taking a shortcut instead of traveling the route to enlightment. I fear the novice may use some of the exercises to their detriment. But to the spirit on the journey it is a very important work. This book is not for everybody.
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am 30. Juli 2000
Since I read this book I got the idea of doing the same CAMINO. Trough this book occidentals (as me) can understand that going only one way is not necesarily the only way to go. In the search of who you are and why you are here, there are many CAMINOS awaiting and teaching a lesson of life. Learning is one step after other. Learning how to defeat fear, and inner gosts is a CAMINO everybody got to do. Great book, and lessons behind a very well written story. Besides, is the story of Coelho during his pilgrimage to Compostela. I do recomend it!
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