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Call Of The Camino : Myths, Legends and Pilgrim Stories on the Way to Santiago de Compostela Paperback – 12 Aug 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Findhorn Press(Uk); 1st Edition edition (12 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184409510X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844095100
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Well-written (nothing is redundant), well-researched, and extremely readable, Robert Mullen has a rare gift for . . . conveying essential information about foreign terms and concepts without being either pedantic or condescending." --Alison Raju, author, The Way of St. James: Pyrenees-Santiago-Finistere

"Mullen brings a lovely blend of humour that always feels relevant and authentic . . . the Call of the Camino . . . might be the most important wake-up call of your life." --John Brierley, author, The Camino Guides

About the Author

Robert Mullen holds a B.Sc.( in computer science) and an M.Ed. (in computer-assisted instruction.) He has worked as a programmer/analyst, high school teacher and university lecturer. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals in North America, the United Kingdon, and Spain; a collection of his stories published in Canada was short-listed for a Commonwealth First Book award.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Way of St James or El Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in Northern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of Saint James are buried. Mullen is an American author living in Scotland, and his book is a modern day journey following the path into Spain from France that pilgrims have followed for over a thousand years.

Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried in the city of Santiago de Compostela. As Mullen's stories along the way reveal, there are many stories of St James rescuing believers and arriving as a mysterious horseman in the eleventh hour to turn the direction of critical battles.

Mullen's book is a conversation between past and present. He cleverly overlays a strong sense of all the pilgrims that tramped the many miles across Spain over the centuries against a lively diary of his own journey. We meet as broad and strange a mix as any Chaucerian tale, some following the path as an act of religious observance, but most, like Mullen, looking for something. Mullen reminds us on many occasions of the mystery associated with the Camino, which quickly feels more than a route, and more like a spiritual journey. The Camino mends you, one pilgrim writes. A saying has it that the true Camino begins when you reach the end.
Mullen takes a self-consciously objective perspective, stating from the outset that he is not a person of faith, but using his diary of conversations, encounters, shared foods and eccentric fellow travellers as a way of reflecting on some of the big themes - the importance of myth-making and story-telling, and what we mean today by a sense of the soul.
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Format: Paperback
I have walked the Camino de Santiago from Geneva, and have read most of the literature there is out there on the subject. Many of the books on the Camino are dreadful-to-average, but this book stands out from the rest. Bob manages to instill the book with a real sense of the camino - the experience, the people and the places - and skilfully puts onto the page a real 'feeling' for the camino.
Whether you are a past pilgrim, future pilgrim or simply an armchair pilgrim, this will make a good read. I got itchy feet when I picked it up, and can sense that the camino may be calling me again!
If you buy only one book on the camino this year, this has to be the one.
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Easy read, but a lot lighter on myths and legends and a lot heavier on his walk (and particularly interaction with half a dozen or so other pilgrims) than I'd expected. As such I was slightly disappointed with the book, as it was the myths and legends side of it that I really wanted.
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I found this book was neither one thing or the other. It didn't really cover that many myths or stories in depth, and was rather dry and without heart. The author went round in circles. One didn't get any feeling of his experience of the camino. I would prefer a completely personal and subjective account that was heartfelt and passionate, or a thoroughly researched reference book that was factual. This wafted between the two, but was never HEARTFELT.....He goes on alot about why humans need myths,but I didn't find this relevant to the subject. I am hoping to walk the Camino one day; this was one of the first books I read about it. Subsequently, I have found many more interesting, entertaining and inspiring books.....sorry Robert Mullen (I did buy your book, so you got the dosh, and this is just one opinion)
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Will he or won't he have some kind of transformation, life changing experience? That is the question that keeps you hanging on till the end of the book. Engrossed I read this flat out in a couple of days. The encounters he has with fellow pilgrims are reminiscent of those I had myself on my own Camino and these are interposed with multiple interpretations of myth, the myths and legends along the way and the nature of myth itself. The interactions with people held my attention much more. Well did he have a revelation? You'll have to read it to find out for yourself. In conclusion an enjoyable and realistic account of the characters, many eccentric and as is true, with their own issues he met along the way.
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An agreeable read for pilgrims experiencing camino nostalgia, though potentially inducing camino fatigue. The author travels the French route from SJPP and has a small number of familiar faces to look forward to at this and that stop along the way. He weaves in to his blog-like entries some of the miracle stories of the saint, but later on he loses his way and starts to bore on about myths and what they mean, never convincingly linking myth to the continuing pilgrimage and devotion to the Apostle which is the subject of the book.

A very readable camino diary which will have ex-walkers saying, "Oh yeah, I remember that stop-off." That said, with maybe a third of the book given over to waffle and no pictures except the front cover, you're better off with the interactivity of a genuine blog or online forum. The loose group of peregrinos aren't sufficently developed as characters, nor are their reflections upon arrival followed through.
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