The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom

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Overview

The Pilgrimage paved the way to Paulo Coehlo's international bestselling novel The Alchemist. In many ways, these two volumes are companions—to truly comprehend one, you must read the other.

Step inside this captivating account of Paulo Coehlo's pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. This fascinating parable explores the need to find one's own path. In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. Part adventure ...

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The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom

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Overview

The Pilgrimage paved the way to Paulo Coehlo's international bestselling novel The Alchemist. In many ways, these two volumes are companions—to truly comprehend one, you must read the other.

Step inside this captivating account of Paulo Coehlo's pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. This fascinating parable explores the need to find one's own path. In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. Part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery, this compelling tale delivers the perfect combination of enchantment and insight.

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Editorial Reviews

Dan Millman
“A universal quest toward an expanded view of life.”
Body Mind Spirit
“The keys to self-mastery...wrapped in suspense and adventure.”
The Economist
“Among Latin American writers only Columbia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez is more widely read than Brazil’s Paulo Coelho.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062512796
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph, and Manuscript Found in Accra, among others, have sold 150 million copies worldwide.

Paulo Coelho nació en Brasil en 1947 y es uno de los autores con más influencia de hoy día. Conocido mundialmente por el bestseller internacional El Alquimista, Coelho ha vendido más de 100 millones de libros en todo el mundo, los cuales han sido traducidos a 68 idiomas y publicados en 150 países. Paulo Coelho escribe una columna semanal que se publica en los periódicos más importantes del mundo.

Biography

His books have been translated into 56 languages, topped bestseller lists throughout the world, and scored him such celebrity fans as Julia Roberts, Bill Clinton, and Madonna; yet for Brazilian publishing phenom Paulo Colho, the road to success has been strewn with a number of obstacles, many of them rooted in his troubled past.

As a youth, Coelho was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a professional engineer. When he rebelled, expressing his intentions to become a writer, his parents had him committed to a psychiatric hospital where he was subjected to electro-shock therapy. He left home to join the 1970s countercultural revolution, experimenting with drugs, dabbling in black magic, and getting involved in Brazil's bohemian art and music scene. He teamed with rock musician Raul Seixas for an extremely successful songwriting partnership that changed the face of Brazilian pop -- and put a lot of money in Coelho's pockets. He also joined an anti-capitalist organization called the Alternative Society which attracted the attention of Brazil's military dictatorship. Marked down as a subversive, he was imprisoned and tortured.

Amazingly, Coelho survived these horrific experiences. He left the hippie lifestyle behind, went to work in the record industry, and began to write, but without much success. Then, in the mid-1980s, during a trip to Europe, he met a man, an unnamed mentor he refers to only as "J," who inducted him into Regnum Agnus Mundi, a secret society that blends Catholicism with a sort of New Age mysticism. At J's urging, Coelho journeyed across el Camino de Santiago, the legendary Spanish road traversed by pilgrims since the Middle Ages. He chronicled this life-changing, 500-mile journey -- the culmination of decades of soul-searching -- in The Pilgrimage, published in 1987.

The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist, the inspirational fable for which he is best known. The first edition sold so poorly the publisher decided not to reprint it. Undaunted, Coelho moved to a larger publishing house that seemed more interested in his work. When his third novel (1990's Brida) proved successful, the resulting media buzz carried The Alchemist all the way to the top of the charts. Released in the U.S. by HarperCollins in 1993, The Alchemist became a word-of-mouth sensation, turning Coelho into a cult hero.

Since then, he has gone on to create his own distinct literary brand -- an amalgam of allegory and self-help filled with spiritual themes and symbols. In his novels, memoirs, and aphoristic nonfiction, he returns time and again to the concepts of quest and transformation and has often said that writing has helped connect him to his soul. While his books have not always been reviewed favorably and have often become the subject of strong cultural and philosophical debate, there is no doubt that this self-described "pilgrim writer" has struck a chord in readers everywhere. In the 2009 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records, Coelho was named the most translated living author -- with William Shakespeare the most translated of all time!

Good To Know

Few writers are able to accomplish what Coelho can in just two to four weeks -- which is how long it takes for him to write an entire novel.

Before become a bestselling novelist, Coelho was a writer of a different sort. He co-wrote more than 60 songs with Brazilian musician Raul Seixas.

Coelho is the founder of the Paulo Coelho Institute, a non-profit organization funded by his royalties that raises money for underprivileged children and the elderly in his homeland of Brazil.

In our interview with Coelho, he shared some fascinating facts about himself:

"I have been practicing archery for a long time; a bow and arrow helps me to unwind."

"In writing, I apply my feminine side and respect the mystery involved in creation."

"I love almost everything about my work, except conferences. I am too shy in front of an audience. But I love signings and having eye contact with a reader who already knows my soul."

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    1. Hometown:
      Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    1. Education:
      Left law school in second year
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 66 )
Rating Distribution

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(30)

4 Star

(17)

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(13)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    It was decent /

    it had its up's and downs i was kinda bored reading it at first but after about three chapters it starts to draw you in and the climax and plot are both vary interesting and even nail biting at times just wandering whats going to happen! :) but than again i got bored again towards the end but i finished it and the most i can say i enjoyed about this book i would have to say is the morals and values the book teaches you. and i do recommend this! :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Finding Santiago's Shell

    Coelho's Alchemist whetted my appetite for more of his mystery and meaning. This journey takes us on the Strange Road to Santiago. Several of my friends have done legs of this walk through Spain-and came home changed by the simplicity of giving up and walking, walking. I'll read this one again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2008

    Santiago de Compostela

    I am wondering why almost all people hunting a dream, seems to have a guardian angel, who is loving , figting, following without breaks and still caring the person in question. I look forward for the 800 kilometers, now when I pass the 60.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    PC does it again!

    Obviously I am a fan of PC. PC has a special way of enveloping the reader into the novel. And after each book of his you will read, you grow as an individual. He is in the same league as Deepak Chopra. And I have much respect for both of these writers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    The Search for Authenticity

    Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite writers, and once again his work did not dissapoint me. While in one sense it's almost a travelog rather than a story or fable, still, it rings true in terms of character development, shifting perspectives, tension, drama, and pure entertainment. There are certain passages and/or ideas where readers no doubt choose their own interpretation. Is this the writer's imagination, dream time, alternative consciousness, or rock solid, conscensus reality, "truth"? What a treat! The author has the unique ability of portraying experiences in ways that can be perceived from several perspectives. For me, that's a huge bonus -- reading about real time experiences that include both one's inner and outer perceptions. This edition also has a forward that the author wrote twenty years later. Great fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A literary trek through a road of self discovery

    This book was great. After reading The Alchemist, and loving the way that Paulo writes I picked this one up. The book immerses you into the world that he has written and makes you feel that you are right beside him on the road to Santiago. I got this book because I liked the inspirational message that the book provides but does not force upon the reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2005

    A Captivating Pilgrimage

    I really enjoyed The Pilgrimage, especially as someone highly interested in Spain and the Way of St. James. It was a bit less historical than I expected, but I enjoyed the mixture of mysticism, history, narrative, philosophy, and religion. Unlike 'The Alchemist', this nonfiction account is not fantastical, but it's nowhere near mundane either. I think it teaches a lot about life, as does The Alchemist, though at a more mature and complex level. The only drawback I found was that it was a bit too repetitive, which seems to be an issue for Coelho. Other than that, I loved it. I could heardly put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2002

    A Must Read Book for those looking for the real meaning of life

    This book must be read immediately after the Alchemist. Once again, Coelho's lifetime experiences, knowledge of Secret Society Initiation rites, Theosophical background,and actual travels have faithfully narrated a true pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (the 2nd most important pilgrimage for Catholics)within the last 500 years. For those who have had some training or initiation into Secret Societies it will be a checklist, a confirmation of what you already know. For others, the book will incite a search for the root of faith, the True Essence of God, and find out that sometimes we search in vain for power, love, wealth with the wrong set of principles. You can feel the pilgrimage, and gain an insight on how to refocus your life

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2001

    Fascinating journey to oneself on the Camino

    This book 'Pilgrimage' is quite fascinating for me because of my own journey im taking. Im also walking across northern Spain's 'Camino' so when I came across this book I was so excited to read its contents. The 'Pilgimage' gave me a whole other perspective and made me feel some sort of strange familiarity with Mr. Paulo's quest I will take his courage and his/my Agape (enthusiasm)with me. I deeply enjoyed this Mystical read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Different but thought provoking

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    ok read

    Makes me want to go to spain

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    I enjoyred it to a point

    There was to much negative with attacks and enemies and fear i was looking for more spiritual elements built around love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Love Paulo!

    I have loved and shared his books with many, but this book only goes to those who are ready. This is one of his more advanced books in terms of a persons journey. Enjoy and savor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2012

    I stopped reading on page 37. I found the author's experience do

    I stopped reading on page 37. I found the author's experience doing "The Seed" exercises just too out there. I tried to give this book a chance by reading this far, but the "whiny" quality of the author's voice was such a turn off. I will read his other books (since I already purchased them) and hope that they are at least as good as The Alchemist. The synopsis of each book so far seemed to bode well for whatever story lies therein. After I read these other books, I will see if I could give "The Pilgrimage" another try.

    The author's other book, "The Alchemist" was slightly better than this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Looking for another Alchemist, sorry not here

    Had a hard time getting through this book. The main character is self exorbed on a quest for a mystical sword in modern times to gain power. Its a ridiculous, pointless crusade.

    I read the Alchemist 3 years ago and loved it, so this is my 4th book by this author i was looking to recapture the magic, and frankly to me he is a one hit wonder. Every other book i have read from Paulo other that the Alchemist has been a waste of time. The main character in this book, like his others, is hard to root for i find myself not interested in whether he succeeds or not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    Spiritual adventure

    Top 5 favorite books of all time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    The Pilgrimage is a must read for Coehlo fans!

    The story of this wonderful journey is loaded with wisdom and insight. I will certainly read this book again. I felt as if I too was walking the journey!

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Great metaphor for life

    I read this while in Spain in the region described. It was a great story to both help understand the region and many thoughts on things going on in my life. I recommend this to anyone considering changes in their life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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