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The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit Paperback – Apr 1 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (April 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743400739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743400732
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Known as the Camino, the Santiago de Compostela Camino is a famous pilgrimage that has been undertaken by people for centuries across northern Spain. It is said that this 500-mile path lies directly under the Milky Way and that it reflects the energy of the star systems above it. Facing her sixth decade of life on earth, writer and actor Shirley MacLaine decided to go on this trek. She wasn't sure why, she only knew that the Camino had been traveled for thousands of years by "saints, sinners, generals, misfits, kings and queens. It is done by the intent to find one's deepest spiritual meaning and resolutions regarding conflicts in Self."

Typical of MacLaine, this is a personal story with enormous adventure, a smattering of flashbacks, and a hefty serving of cosmic revelations. Like a true pilgrim, MacLaine travels solo, willing to strip herself down to the backpacking essentials and find deeper meaning in all the bizarre, frightening, and coincidental events she encounters along the way. It is no small feat that this sixtysomething woman walked the grueling path in 30 days. Readers can expect vivid stories of stalking paparazzi, icy showers, bouts of hunger, lost paths, a worshipping young man, a deranged woman screaming in a roadside shelter, saintly truck drivers, a fellow pilgrim in a wheelchair, bouts of constipation and diarrhea, and a cosmic crescendo that will knock the socks of MacLaine's fans. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Following a centuries-old tradition, entertainer MacLaine walked nearly 500 miles across northern Spain's Camino Santiago de Compostela. This memoir of her formidable journey, like her other books, is a likely candidate for bestsellerdom as well as for ridicule in some quarters. An effort to "feel human again," her physical feat was daunting: she hiked for 10 hours a day on her own, often in intense heat, and slept in refugios--crowded, dirty shelters. Though she observes the small villages, historic cathedrals and other trekkers along the way, MacLaine is most interested in her interior journey. The actress, who has written before about her numerous past lives in such books as Out on a Limb and Dancing in the Light, senses that she's walked the Camino before as a coffee-colored, dark-haired woman of Charlemagne's time. Visited in dreams by a spiritual guide, she connects her various lives and soul mates, revealing that her former lover (in this life) was Olaf Palme, the assassinated Swedish Prime Minister. As the journey progresses, she revisits the origins of the human race in the edenic Lemuria, then the dawn of Atlantis and on to ADAMic civilization. On the earthly plane, MacLaine seems to enjoy evading the press, which she compares to fearsome dogs, and whose pursuit escalates as she gets closer to the end of the journey. Though she completed the Camino in 30 days instead of the planned 40, her arrival in Santiago lacks a Hollywood finale. Instead, she slips into the famous cathedral and leaves immediately for Madrid. Major ad/promo; author tour; 20-city TV satellite tour; 20-city radio satellite tour. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are like me and wanting to hear about the Camino de Santiago and all it has to offer you will not enjoy this book or at least will not find it helpful. I found this book to be more about Shirley's past lives then it was about the Camino. This book is, I would say, roughly 80 percent Shirley's past lives and 20 percent Camino de Santiago. I found when she did focus on the Camino and the people she met along the way it was enjoyable, however when she got into her past lives it was at times unbelievable. I think she should have titled this Shirley: A Journey of her spirits
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Format: Paperback
The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route attracts some 60,000 walkers and cyclists annually, retracing the path taken by medieval Christians across Northern Spain as they travelled to venerate the bones of the apostle St. James in Santiago de Compostella. The journey ranked in importance with going to Rome or Jerusalem and it attracted not only the Great Unwashed, but also many famous people including St. Francis of Assisi and Dante. And Shirley MacLaine. Her book, "the Camino," describes her pilgrimage on the Way of St. James. Sort of.
Walking over the Pyrenees, traversing the altiplano-the high plateau of Northern Spain-, and crossing the green hills of Galicia is not a trip to be undertaken lightly. It is to Ms. MacLaine's credit that she, in her mid-60s, accomplished this in 30 days. But anyone reading this book to learn about the Camino-its beauty, its peoples, its history, its meaning-will learn nothing here. Ms. MacLaine could have saved some effort and just wandered around her home in New Mexico for a month to come up with this silly book.
The book is really concerned with the author's "dream walk" in which she fantasizes about an obscure cleric in the court of Charlemagne who reveals all kinds of secrets about Atlantis and Lemuria and sexuality. Shirley's parents and even poor Olaf Palme pop into the dream. And the "highlight" of the book is when the author finds a gold cross in Leon that seems to have come from another dimension.
When in the real world, Ms. MacLaine describes the wretched hostels, her blisters and her even more painful fellow-pilgrims. She recounts all the autograph requests and never misses an opportunity to remind readers of her sexual attractiveness.
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Format: Paperback
A great book! In it, Shirley MacLaine describes her memories of Atlantis during the time when she was androgynous--had both sexes in one body. The extra-terrestrials who visited Atlantis helped her to separate into an individual male and female.

I wanted to call Shirley MacLaine up and tell her about my own memories of Atlantis, when I had been an extra-terrestrial from Arcturus who got caught here on earth. I wrote about my experiences in When We Were Gods.

Her story entranced me: her description of her experiences on El Camino, the path through the Pyrenees in the North of Spain starting at the Mediterranean and ending at the Atlantic Ocean, possibly where Atlantis once was located. Tradition has it that traveling this footpath can bring one in touch with her or her deepest spiritual roots and also help a person to resolve deep personal conflicts. She freely shares with us her own discoveries about herself and about humanity's beginnings on earth.

In addition, her descriptions of the way-stations along the route, the people she met along the way, and her own challenges because of her celebrity where she isn't even allowed the privacy to hide behind a rock to go to the bathroom are very entertaining.

Carole Chapman is the author of "When We Were Gods," which is the revised updated version of "The Golden Ones: From Atlantis to a New World," and "Blessed: A Quest for Atlantis in Egypt Leads to Apparitions of the Virgin Mary."
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Format: Hardcover
We walked the Camino in 1997 and again in 2002. Ms. MacLaine's self-absorbed hallucinatory spiritual mumbo jumbo only goes to cover up a badly written and even more poorly edited book. It serves little, if any, value to those seeking to understand the Camino to Santiago or any of several other topics she would fein to understand (Einstein's theroies, history of Spain, etc). Her experience, if this really was her experience, will not be your experience. But if you like extraterrestrial time travel pseudo-spiritual sci-fi...
If you walk the Camino, (unlike Shirley) you will not find yourself entering Burgos three different times (bad writing or bad editing?), you will encounter the places she describes in their proper locations, you are unlikely to have to evade the media or be offered free rooms, food and rides. And you will likely encounter Spanish dogs as we did, sleeping in the square in the mid-day sun, not lunging at your throat from around every corner.
But do consider the Camino as the opportunity for an incredible life experience, just seek other sources of information.
Can I have my money back please?
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Format: Paperback
I have to say, I felt very lucky to find that Amazon.com carried Shirley Maclaines books, I had looked all over my area and could not find them. So Far I have read all but 2 of them and I loved every one of them. She has always been one of my favorite female stars. After reading what I have so far, I like her even more. Seems like some of her favorite Movie stars (Dean Martin, and Barbra) are mine too. I had to smile when she said she had a crush on Dean, I always loved his style and voice, the same for Barbra, they are to me the best singers ever. I feel that Shirley Maclaine is not only very talented, but her writing flows so easily that I can get lost for hours and really enjoy it. She is a remarkable and brave lady who has had a very facinating life. Sure can't say shes boring. She is honest and open and caring, someone whos company I would really enjoy, and her books are a good way to do that. God bless her, I wish her all the joy in the world and luck in her search.
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