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on 28 December 2009
Rather than reviewing Pilgrim's Progress, which is clearly a masterpiece and of immense spiritual value to Christian readers, I would simply like to commend this Oxford World's Classics edition.

Having read and worked with a few different editions, I favour this one for three reasons. First of all, unlike some other editions, this one doesn't miss bits out. Second, Bunyan's language is largely unaltered. While updating the spelling and vocabulary undoubtedly makes Pilgrim's Progress more accessible for a wider and younger audience, it also tends to cover over some of Bunyan's teaching points. If you can cope with having to re-read some sentences and check the odd endnote, there is simply more gold in this original text than in many of the touched-up modern alternatives. Finally, this edition has Bunyan's own marginal notes, helping the reader to recognize Biblical allusions. Lots of editions have someone else's notes, but what could be better than the original?

Please don't think, by the way, that this edition is hard to read. It may be slightly harder going than a more modernized text, but Bunyan's capacities as a storyteller must not be underestimated. He had a way with words and a spiritual insight that few have been able to match. When Bunyan preached in his own day great crowds of people from all walks of life flocked to hear him - from this edition one can see why.

Overall, John Bunyan is the one worth listening to (rather than any editor) and this Oxford World's Classics edition seems to put his text and his intentions front-and-centre. I think W. R. Owens has done a super job, making available the towering masterpiece of someone who was both a heroic Christian and one of history's great popular communicators.
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on 12 June 2001
This re-telling of Bunyan's classic makes this amazing story much more accessible. Gone is the old fashioned and hard to understand english and in its place is beautifully written yet readable prose. The story has lost none of its imagery or impact but gained much through being a much easier read. The scriptural references are there (as in the original) along with helpful suggestions on how to re-read the book. Christian's epic journey along the 'narrow path' is as riveting as before and all the lessons he learns along the way as clear as day. This is an excellent book for anyone setting out on the Christian journey and equally useful for more mature Christians who may need reminding about all the pitfalls that await unwary travellers ...
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on 12 September 2008
This is a delightful book from the 'parchment' cover to the list of unusual phrases at the back. The paper is thick, ivory coloured and tactile. The typeface is classic, with titles in fancy script, and story illustrated by those classic nineteenth century line drawings.
I haven't read Pilgrim's Progress before, and some of the sections are a little heavy, but the names and the locations are a hoot! They follow the Christian's story and trials he'll face on the way. As for the book, there are lots of extras - most sections have biblical references, and at the back is an explanation of the sections, timeline and places from John Bunyan's life as well as dictionery and phrases. Fascinating and good for uncertain Christians, and looks good on the coffee table.
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on 15 April 2010
Many people have turned their hand to writing in prison or other noble causes. No one has yet surpassed John Bunyan who was serving at his majesty's pleasure for preaching the Bible at His Majesty's pleasure. For the last 330 years this book has rung so many bells with Christians on their pilgrimages to heaven. The struggles, the characters and their flaws and God's steadfast love and faithfulness come across as if they were written about the reader's own experiences. A great help and encouragement.

The barrier of Shakespearian English has put many people off but now the way is open to the modern reader in a translation that is both modern and accurate.
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on 15 February 2014
If you like an up to date version of this classic tale, this is it! The author of this new version has really taken care that the text doesn't "sound" too modern. Lots of explanations when new words, differing from the original, are chosen, as our language as definitely changed in emphasis. One example of this, was feeble-minded, which is derogatory in our days, but in Bunyan's day, it only indicated a weak, vulnerable person.
In the chapters, biblical references are numbered and quoted at the end of each chapter. it is really lovely to be able to read this with your bible (usually when I read the quote in the bible, I would read further on too!) It is a truly uplifting presentation of Bunyan's tale of a Christian's journey.
It's also good that both part of the journey are there, 1. Christian's terrifying and comforting journey; the second part is devoted to Christian's wife and children's journey and is just not a repeat of Christian's story. Christiana's add different aspects of a Christian's characteristics from a woman's point of view. There is a little discussion about women in the bible which is quite validatory to women. Bunyan shows that there were many women who were followers and supporters of Christ. They provided food and lodging for the Lord. I like this added touch.
I read this when I woke up during the night and couldn't sleep. I found it therapeutic, and referred often to the bible to follow the texts fo the quotations. A good experience!
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on 25 August 2013
This is the most comprehensive format of this book I've come across to date. It is a bit heavy going, but the glossary does make it a little easier to understand. However, because there is so much to the glossary, it makes it a very long read (which I haven't, as yet, managed to plough through!) I'd recommend it for anyone wanting/needing a lot more information other than what the author wrote. It's always good to be able to look inside the book before making up one's mind to purchase.
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on 2 July 2011
I remember this being read in weekly bites during English Literature classes and, as my latter school years were a very impressional period, now in adulthood, I wish to return to this and revisit the fundamental truths it conveys about our life's journey through the eyes of someone in the Autumn of his years. Reflecting on the juxtaposition of the innocent boy I once was, with the experience accrued, the joys and pain, the hopes and loss over a significant lifetime, it has the power to re-connect both of my life's extremes. In that, I commend it to all with such life experience.
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on 23 January 2014
Pilgrims Progress is a spiritual classic, but it is also a classic of literature. The scholarrly introduction gives a very clear understanding of the book and its background, and of Bunyan himself. Even for anyone with no interest in things Christian, it would be a rattling good yarn, vividly written so that when Christian and Hopeful are imprisoned in Doubting Castle by Giant Dispair the reader himself begins to feel dispair, and the battle with Appolyion is truly terrifying. The characters, despite their obviously didactic names, (for this is an allegory) are credible as human beings. Even the landscape is lovely, and for those who are interested, the Delectable Mountains are the Chilterns.
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on 20 September 2010
There is little one can add to A. Buchan's excellent and helpful review above. An added feature in this edition is the inclusion of twenty one original illustrations, with what are believed to be Bunyan's own four line verses. Christian in puritan costume adds to the period feel of this edition, of what is a timeless spiritual classic. The Scripture references, left out of modern versions, are here included.
All in all, this nicely priced Oxford World's Classics edition makes this work a Progress worth taking!
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on 17 April 2012
Especially for those with a biblically background who catch and believe the references throughout. Romans 8:16-18 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.'
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