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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul
This book is based on a disarmingly simple idea: to write letters to those who have played an important part in the author's life, whilst exploring and reflecting on the spiritual nature of those relationships and what they have meant to him.
But do not be deceived. On one level certainly the book may be undemanding. But it is also on another level spiritually...
Published on 13 Feb 2010 by Eleanor Stoneham

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2 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insight
This book gives a fascinating insight to Peter Owen Jones and I can quite see why he needed to write it but I don't know that I needed to read it.
Published on 20 Sep 2010 by K. Taylor


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul, 13 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
This book is based on a disarmingly simple idea: to write letters to those who have played an important part in the author's life, whilst exploring and reflecting on the spiritual nature of those relationships and what they have meant to him.
But do not be deceived. On one level certainly the book may be undemanding. But it is also on another level spiritually challenging and in today's fractured world we need to accept that challenge and be receptive to the new era of spirituality and consciousness that we now enter. We need to rediscover our spirit and our soul, and the author will help us do this.
The author is honest, open and courageous as he bares his own uncertainties and vulnerabilities to reflect on love, beauty, the soul, and the nature of God. There is a certain poignancy to some of his letters, for example the story of the lost love of the Girl in the Field. Here he sensitively explores the different types of relationship between man and woman, the different experiences of enchantment, intimacy, desire, and he certainly helped me understand a little more about my own relationships. And by way of contrast he is not afraid to tackle religious fundamentalism head on with his letter to Osama, which must surely make us all examine our own position on love and faith and respect of our fellow beings.

I like The Times description of the author as "the bravest vicar in Britain...a man living with his soul." The book is unusual and refreshing for that. I can recommend this little volume - it will help us all make more sense of this world, help us understand a little more of who we are and I hope will help us reconnect with our own souls for a better world, something dear to my own heart as readers of my own book, Healing This Wounded Earth, will know.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating Honesty, 23 Mar 2010
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Simon Small (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
This is a devastatingly honest book.

To encounter raw honesty can be a disturbing yet liberating experience

It is disturbing because it holds a mirror before our own untruths. The illusions we hold so dear about our past and about who we want to believe we are.

It is liberating because it seems to give a strange permission to be equally honest. To lay down the great burden of self-deception that we have been carrying around for so long. And a part of this laying-down is to share the fruits of this new found honesty with others, especially those who have been intimately involved in our story.

"Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim" is an exercise in such honesty. In the course of making a television series for the BBC, Peter Owen Jones (an Anglican priest) spent time living alone in a small cave in the mountains above St Anthony's Monastery in the Sinai Desert in Egypt. The book is a collection of letters he wrote during this period to people who have, or who are shaping his life. The list of recipients includes family members, friends, God, Jesus, Satan, Osama Bin Laden, the Prime Minister and others. If he follows-up these letters in the festive season, it may potentially constitute the most eclectic Christmas card list in history.

The letters carry a deceptive power. At one level it is an easy book to read. The letters are written in a straightforward style and, inevitably, draw-in the reader with their very human content. Yet for days afterwards I found particular passages coming to mind as events or memories in my own life suddenly connected with something I had read. I discovered that elements of my story were being reflected back.

It is the desert and the isolation that produces such honesty and power. As the author writes, "Deserts test us in every way. There is something so utterly uncompromising about these landscapes that they are places where, in time, illusions have to wither. We can begin to see everything as it really is ..."

The book leaves the reader wondering whether all of us need some kind of desert experience from time to time, whether literal or metaphorical, if we are to make sense of the great mystery of our lives.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Lent book, 26 Feb 2010
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S. Paget - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
Following Peter Owen Jones' article in a Saturday Guardian/Family section, I was delighted to learn that this book was available. Every bit as thoughtful and stimmulating as his television programmes!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Peter Owen Jones, 22 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
This book is absolutely beautiful. It has raw emotions. He wears his heart on his sleeve. To write these letters to people, some of whom are still alive and then publish them for the world to see, whilst the author is alive also, is nothing other than extremely brave, especially for someone who is a public figure - a vicar, a writer and a TV presenter.

Even if you had never seen Pete on the 'telly', you could fall in love with him from the writing in this book! Forget the film, "What Women Want" or the book, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus". Pete Owen Jones is a man who has what it takes and yet he doesn't even realise it! At last an open heart and mind, a guy who isn't afraid to show his feelings, who understands that love is the key to everything and isn't afraid to state this and is passionate about his beliefs and yet fame has not gone to his head.

Thank you Pete, for restoring my faith in men! I love you so much, I would even marry you myself, if you asked.... (from, "The girl who slipped through the net....")
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the Wilderness takes this brave man on a journey into himself, 16 Jun 2010
By 
Maddy T (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
The thing I like about Peter Owen-Jones is that he doesn't preach at people, he doesn't ram a certain point of view down your throat. Peter simply lays open his own spiritual journey and through this I find myself questioning and examining my own life, my beliefs and actions. By showing his own inward journey he sort of shows the rest of us how to make our personal one. He is a gentle light-bearer.

The letters in this book are addressed to people that have moved Peter on a very profound level, and they touch a whole range of emotions. Some of these people he has been very close to, some he has had only fleeting encounters with and some he has had no physical contact with at all.

I took away many thoughts from this book, but particularly how we are shaped by and how we shape others through our relationships, directly and indirectly, up close or from afar. There are many more things that can be taken from this book, and I'm sure everyone that reads it will take away something different.

An extremely personal and very moving book and one I wanted to read again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 31 Oct 2010
This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. It consists of a series of letters that Rev Owen Jones wrote while in his retreat. Some are personal, to his wife and natural mother and very revealing of the man and I think very brave. Some are to public figures eg the Prime Minister and Osama Bin Laden. In his letter to the Prime Minister he questions the culture which has allowed such problems as Britains city centres on a Saturday night. To Osama Bin Laden he questions religion and how it can bring about such conflict.

I really wish there were more Vicars like Rev Owen Jones and I am sure Church attendances would increase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 18 Jun 2010
By 
Ms. Lesley Robinson (Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
Always found POJ a charismatic and very watchable television reporter and after reading his letters I wasn't disappointed they were honest and heartfelt - so refreshing to find a man who is all these things and seems to have no ego. He refers in his letters to Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now which I dip into regularly whenever things get a bit too much. Wonderful to find someone who thinks along the same lines- cant wait to read his other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep probing of the Soul., 19 May 2010
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
This letter to Peter Owen Jones is my review.

Dear Peter:
Thanks for giving us a wonderful afternoon at Worth Abbey.
Yesterday was the birthday of my son-in-law, a Coptic Christian, born in Egypt. He now lives in Maryland with our daughter. As birthday present I sent him a copy of your book, LETTERS FROM AN EXTREME PILGRIM.

I wrote him that you had written the book, a letter a day while in a cave outside the monastery of St. Anthony in Eastern Egypt.. He replied that St. Anthony is his patron saint, and that he had visited the cave.

I also gave a copy to his Uncle and Aunt who happen to live in Horsham. His aunt is a retired Psychiatrist. She wrote me,

"About the book of Peter Owen Jones ... I found it interesting and profound. Those letters to God and to the devil, to Obama and to Osama, One gets to know the man s life story though his letters to various people in his life: An orphan whose kind adopted father dies when he is so young, that's two fathers lost. He later seeks God, perhaps he is looking for a father that does not die, may be may be something else. I think I will read some chapters again. God's peace be with you always."

The book is not published in America as yet. I hope it will be soon. It cost me as much as the book to send it to the USA.

I included a little of it in my Father's Day Sermon.
Perhaps you can enjoy the sermon, when you put up your feet and have a glass of cold white wine.

Love and blessings, Richard
Richard Boeke
Horsham, West Sussex, UK
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to pick up and read one or two of his letters., 24 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
because it is letters to different people, it is a book which I found i could just pick up if i had a few minutes. Through the letters he tells us of his life in an unusual way and how people effected him.
I would like to meet this man he seems wise , kind, intelligent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Pilgrim, 15 Feb 2010
By 
Brian E. Downes (Shropshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim: Reflections on Life, Love and the Soul (Hardcover)
Rev Owen Jones lays bare his soul in his latest book. The contents of his letters are both a challenge and an inspiration. I think those who have read and were moved by 'Bed of Nails' and 'Small Boat Big Sea' will, probably not be able to put it down until they have finished it; and when they have finished it, not be able to stop reflecting on it. God Bless you Rev.
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