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on May 28, 2016
These reviews are not for this book. The Way of a Pilgrim and its sequel, The Pilgrim Continues His Way, are Eastern Orthodox classics about a religious pilgrim who wanders around 19th century Russia hoping eventually to reach Jerusalem. But the meat of the books are the pilgrim's teachings about the Jesus Prayer and its relationship to apophatic spirituality, which lies at the core of Orthodox spirituality.
Amazon has made a big mistake in putting the other reviews here.
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on May 26, 2011
This is one of the most profound orthodox chistian books ever conceived.
Written by one or more monks (author(s) unknown) in the very accessible way of one's life adventures.

It is a great read for people who reached the age of questions and above and definitely for those willing to try more than hockey/footbal, mortgage and cars/cooking as a topic.

The teaching is simple, one single prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!"

The effect of this continuous prayer, observed not only on the story teller himself, but mostly on other people whom he interacts with along his journey, is amazing and varied.
If this book resonates with you, so help you God, then you will re-read it a good number of times.
If it doesn't, you didn't loose anything, you just found out what the continuous prayer is and what miracles prayer and Christ can make.

Sectarians won't like it, but for this exact reason it is a very good read for people looking for the roots of christianity, for the orthodox christianity.

Enjoy!
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on January 9, 2004
Previously I read "Wolf in Iron" by Gordon Dickson, and it is one of the best post-holocaust novels I have ever read. A truly wonderful book, and brilliantly written. I was expecting the same qualities in this book.
But here is something altoghether different. Perhaps it is because Dickson is trying to tell the story from the viewpoint of the protagonist, Shane Everett. Little Shane Beast is a translator working for the nine foot tall alien occupiers of earth. Cold dispassionate and unemotional beings, Shane must behave like them to survive. And not only does he survive, but he excells. Is this why the whole story is told in such a cold, logical and dispassionate prose?
The plot is simple and bare, as clean as the cities in the Aalaag occupied world. There are no plot turns, no multiple plots, no side character, no maturing of the hero. Nothing. The tale is simple to the point of starkness. Something that I found to be unsatisfying in the extreme.
The premise of language as a route to understanding has been done far better in "Fine Prey" by Scott Westerfield. There are many more interesting and uplifting novels about alien invasion of earth.
What this book does deliver on is the horror of earth being occupied by a race who are so far above us that we cannot reach an understanding of their technology. A race that does demote us to the status of beasts. As top dog on our planet we have a dreadful superiority complex. We imagine that eventually we would get the better of any alien species we encounter. But what if we couldn't. Dickson's Aalaag are so superior to us that a single fully armored warrior would not be in danger should the whole planet rise against him. Humans become as powerless as a hive of bees to him. As long as we produce output we achive the status of being useful. Otherwise we are little more than pests. Perhaps it is this very vision that makes this book so unsettling?
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on June 14, 2003
As it is well known, this book is a great spiritual classic. However, it should never be used by people outside the Orthodox Church. By "used" I mean applied to real life. Many good things become harmful when taken out of true tradition and placed in atmosphere of man-created religions. So please beware, because the danger of misusing this book is beyond the wildest possible conception.
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on November 4, 2002
This is one of the best science fiction novels written since the 1950s. The premise is brutally simple, and utterly plausible. The time is the near future. Earth has been conquered by an alien race that immediately relegates human beings to the status of owned "cattle." At first all hope is lost. Humans have no rights, no aspirations, and the superiority of the alien "Aalaag" invaders is overwhelming.
Eventually a human underground takes root. But it happens in a way that will surprise the reader because it completely avoids the ordinary banality of the usual "underground resistance" type of novel. The ending will startle and surprise.
Dickson's prose is excellent, at times he is poetic and moving. This novel probably features some of Dickson's best writing.
I suppose the thing I liked best about this novel is that it imparts to the reader a sense of both plausibility and wonder to which all good SF aspires, but that only the best attains. This book reads like something that could happen. There is nothing about this story that involves the need for any suspension of the reader's critical facilities. The aliens in this novel seem real. They don't do anything to humans that humans don't do to other, apparently inferior (by human standards) species. It makes you think.
This novel is a "must read" for anyone who enjoys good science fiction, or would like to.
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on January 23, 2002
I've been waiting for years to somehow find a way to be so ever close to God, even through all my faults. If you are torn between your busy life of family obligations and work, this book will grant you inner peace. It tells you that the simple Jesus prayer which can be recited anywhere, will give you the comfort of His prescence and that you are OK. Spread the word!
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on November 8, 2001
If you wish to start a journey within.
If you wish to stop the constant chatter of an out of control
mind.
If you wish peace.
If you seek the stillness, calmness and strength that you
know lives in your heart that seems to be just outside your
grasp.
If you seek to become that which you truly are, which happens
not to be who you think you are.
If you want the only thing that is worthwhile.
Then read this book.
If you want your life to change forever, then "live this book".
This is a book from the heart to the heart.
That is all that matters.
No matter what you believe or what you think you believe
read this book.
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on February 24, 2001
I liked this book for its honesty and simplicity. For me, it wasn't about Chrisitianity, or looking for God, or finding greater meaning in life, or all that bs.Seeing it in this light would have probably ruined it for me as just another "spiritual quest for more"/self help/ motivational narrative to be read again and again in grips of euphoria. But if you approach this as an account of a man who lived hundreds of years ago and didn't plan on having many readers, but just lived his life and recorded it, it makes it not only readable, but enjoyable as well.
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on August 16, 2000
This a pretty decent book about a Russian pilgrim on a journey to search for the proper means of continuous prayer. The determination and faithfullness of this pilgrim are fascinating to say the least. This individual can humble even the most stubborn reader.
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on September 21, 1999
A great Christian masterpiece! Reading this book gives one appreciation and thanks for the Lord's grace and mercy. A wonderful guide to life - especially in this hectic modern society. Very mystical but also very practical following in the tradition of most Orthodox spiritual essays. Highly recommended to all Christians seeking a deeper understanding of taking up one's Cross.
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