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Is the Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho Worth Reading?

Updated on June 10, 2018
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Aryan is a student of class x and loves to write and is a reading enthusiast and wants to become a full time author after graduation.


About the Book

The Pilgrimage is a fictional novel by the world renowned author Paulo Coelho. It is based on his memories when he was journeying across Spain. It is a great read for someone seeking their true self as Paulo Coelho is one of the greatest minds in the philosophical area. This book was first published in 1987. Since this Coelho has gained massive popularity due to his masterpiece The Alchemist.

The Pilgrimage when first published garnered huge profits for Paulo and was a commercial hit. It also made one of the top authors of Brazil.

The Pilgrimage recounts the spectacular trials of Paulo Coelho and his mysterious mentor, Petrus, as they journey across Spain in search of a miraculous sword.

The Pilgrimage paved the way to Paulo Coelho's international bestselling novel The Alchemist. In many ways, these two volumes are companions—to truly comprehend one, you must read the other.
It became such a big hit that the 2014 film on Paulo's life was titled ''The Pilgrim''

It's original title was ''‎O Diário de Um Mago'' and it was originally published in Portuguese.

About the Author

Paulo Coelho de Souza is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist and the recipient of numerous international awards. He is best known for his widely translated novel The Alchemist. He was born on 24 august 1947 and is 70 years old. He is married to Christina Oiticica. He is also the inventor of many famous quotes like -:

''When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.''

''Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.''

and many more.

His latest book is ''The Essential Paulo Coelho''

He is also a keen user of electronic media and in 2014 he uploaded his personal papers online to create a virtual Paulo Coelho foundation.

His book The Pilgrimage is autobiographical .


Coelho married artist Christina Oiticica in 1980. Together they had previously spent half the year in Rio de Janeiro and the other half in a country house in the Pyrenees Mountains of France. Coelho and Oiticica now permanently reside in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 1996, Coelho founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides support to children and the elderly.


In 1982, Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make a substantial impact. In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves since he considered it "of bad quality." After making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986, Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage that was published in the year 1987. The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist and published it through a small Brazilian publishing house who made an initial print run of 900 copies and decided not to reprint. He subsequently found a bigger publishing house, and with the publication of his next book Brida, The Alchemist took off.

While trying to overcome his procrastination of launching his writing career, Coelho said, "If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book." Coelho found a white feather in the window of a shop, and began writing that day. Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written at least one novel every two years. Three of them – The Pilgrimage,The Valkyries and Aleph – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are broadly fictional. Other books, like Maktub, The Manual of the Warrior of Light and Like the Flowing River are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. His work has been published in more than 170 countries and translated into eighty languages. Together, his books have already sold more than 250 million copies. On 22 December 2016, Coelho was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 2 in the list of 200 most influential contemporary authors

Summary of The Novel

The story begins with our protagonist taking part in a ritual which will give him acceptance of a order called R.A.M(regnus, agnus, mundi) and a magical sword he could use to fight ''the good fight''.

He fails the ritual because of his pride in himself due to which he is given the task of going across Spain to a place called San Tiago to understand love through the simplicity of life.

He is also given a guide named Petrus(Italian) to teach and guide him in his journey. Petrus teaches him many exercises (like ''The Blue Sphere Exercise'') and about the forms of love(Agape,Philia, Eros).

Book Review

The story starts with the protagonist going to Spain for his pilgrimage as he wanted his sword back(he can get his sword by completing the pilgrimage)

Then the story remains slow paced and drags and drags with a few good chapters.

The style of writing is amazing and he has also dedicated some pages to make us understand the exercises the protagonist does on the road to Santiago.

The story becomes fast in the last few chapters with good storytelling.

In my personal opinion it is an average book and everyone should give it a try at least once especially the people who are searching for their role in life and want to revive long lost passions as Paulo Coelho is the king of these philosophical things!!

Rating of The Pilgrimage

3 stars for The Pilgrimage

Route taken by Paulo to reach Santiago de Compostela

The Final Destination of Paulo's Pilgrimage (Santiago de Compostela)

Santiago de Compostela

get directions

One of the oldest pilgrimage destination

© 2018 Aryan


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    • Sandeep Budhera profile image

      Sandeep Budhera 

      5 months ago

      A very good review!!!

      Due to this I want to read the pilgrimage again!

      Commendable writing style by Aryan.

      I am looking forward to his next article!

      May he write soon!!


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