• The Pilgrim's Regress

  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,558 ratings)

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The Pilgrim's Regress

By: C. S. Lewis
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

The first book written by C.S. Lewis after his conversion, The Pilgrim's Regress is, in a sense, a record of Lewis's own search for meaning and spiritual satisfaction that eventually led him to Christianity.

It is the story of John and his odyssey to an enchanting island that has created in him an intense longing, a mysterious, sweet desire. John's pursuit of this desire takes him through adventures with such people as Mr. Enlightenment, Media Halfways, Mr. Mammon, Mother Kirk, Mr. Sensible, and Mr. Humanist, and through such cities as Thrill and Eschropolis, as well as the Valley of Humiliation.

Though the dragons and giants here are different from those in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Lewis's allegory performs the same function of enabling the author to say with fantasy and simplicity what would otherwise have demanded a full-length philosophy of religion. In Lewis's skillful hands this fable becomes as effective a Christian apologia as Bunyan's.

©1933 Clive Staples Lewis (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Pilgrim's Regress

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Profound and Life Changing

I listen to this three time in a row.
It has so much depth and so many layers that reveal so much profound truths about being human, the spiritual part of being human and the nature of God. It is amazing how CS Lewis accurately captures the nature of different social beliefs and then reveals their fallacies in comparison to the spiritual truth of God’s Kingdom. It is a treasure map that takes the reader on a search of gold nuggets of truths and insights. They are hidden everywhere throughout the book and many of them can only be found by re-reading (or listening) to it again and again.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book...Hang in there

This book alows the listener to refect on his or her own path to salvation. The longer you listen to the book the more you enjoy it so stay tuned. The reader did a wonderful job with narration and the different character roles.

22 people found this helpful

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Lewis At His Most Cutting. Great SBJ Companion.

Any additional comments?

Lewis's first Christian allegory, and he comes out with six-guns blazing. It's a no-holds-barred attack on the foolishness he has just left behind to become a Christian. Lewis readers know that he is normally very measured and even gentle in his arguments against opposing world views. But this is a young, just-converted, seeker still in his pre-conversion sharp tongued habits of expression. To me, it is refreshing, but I'm also glad he became less acerbic as he went.If you read Surprised By Joy first, you will practically have a key to the allegory. Pilgrim's Regress is largely a poetic expression of the reactions against certain world views that he recounted decades later in SBJ. If you've also read Screwtape Letters, all the better. I'd never recommend The Pilgrim's Regress to anyone who isn't already a few books into CSL. But for the initiated, it's a helluva ride. Perhaps it fails as an allegory by Lewis's own high standards, but I was "picking up what he was putting down" at almost every turn. Again, largely because I was already familiar with the ideas from his other books. There's a lot - a LOT - of treasure in this work. If the book fails, it's because the reader has to work too hard to dig out the treasure. But still ... the treasure is there and it's unique. So get to digging!

19 people found this helpful

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Why havent I read this sooner

What did you love best about The Pilgrim's Regress?

I went through the book two and half times in one week.... If you like CS Lewis... try it out

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

This is my favorite book by C.S. Lewis. I thought Simon Vance does a great job of narrating as well!

7 people found this helpful

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Great book!!

The narrator is incredibly good! C.S. Lewis begins very well his fiction but the book ends with rather misterious questions unanswered. The reading is incredibly rewarding and his work here is unparalleled. Totally distinct from John Bunyan's classic, but equally relevant. I believe that, in a sense, one completes the other. Buy it and listen!

6 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 02-25-13

Not what I expected

I'm not sure what I expected out of this book. I guess I was hoping it would be something like Mere Christianity but it could not be further from it. The characters were interesting and I kept listening because I thought that sooner or later I would get the point and understand the meaning to his dream. I never did...

5 people found this helpful

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Great short story

What did you like best about this story?

It is a much more modern way of looking at our walk with God than the pilgrims progress and you don't need to know old English to understand the conversation

4 people found this helpful

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Not an Easy Book

It is an interesting story, but not always easy to understand. Sometimes I felt I needed a translator.

3 people found this helpful

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My girls had the abridged version of this book a required reading in fifth grade

The accents and inflections sounded like I was listening to a play. Well done. I've listened to this book yearly for several years now.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-07

Fascinating.... but not an easy listen

I don't think this has aged as well as most of Lewis' books. The reader does a great job and it's never less then fascinating, but at several times the many alagories feel a little to obscure to modern ears. We are no doubt worse educated in classics now then the average reader in the 1930's, leaving a modern listener at a massive disadvantage when it comes to disciphering what the many meaning ladden classical names and images represent. Or maybe the Oxford don in Lewis got a little carried away here, I found it hard to tell. This is a very interesting book but I can't really recommend it to anyone but Lewis fans and greek geeks.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 05-25-06

Excellent choice.

Brilliant and captivating reading of this essential book. I didn't want to stop listening. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jacques
  • 08-31-19

Typical Lewis

I thoroughly enjoyed the listen. Great narration and story telling. Thought provoking too. I found listening at a speed of x75 was helpful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Johnomarch
  • 12-24-21

Enjoyable

Enjoyable story, truly in the style of Lewis. Narration is particularly good by Simon Vance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • miss kasora h veii
  • 05-24-21

just wow

I honestly struggled to finish this sexualising of black people. he added to the black girl fetish definitely on this one. I don't blame him as it was the normin his time, but I do think this could have been left in the archives.

1 person found this helpful

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  • P. Parish
  • 12-06-19

The Pilgrims Regress

I disliked the fact that You needed to be familiar with Pilgrims Progress to appreciate the allegory and I was not. Also the disasters hero fell into were too gross to bear. The reader was too bland.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marsy
  • 10-05-22

Thought provoking and insightful

Although written in the 30's, this book stands the test of time. It is cleverly penned in the fashion of The Pilgrim's Progress, partly autobiographical in that it describes Lewis' journey to faith through various empty philosophies.
I was impressed at how many convincing voices the narrator was able to produce. Very easy to listen to and follow.

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  • Anthon Thise
  • 07-12-22

Not that fitting for todays society.

Has C. S. Lewis write in the ending. The story follow the path, which he took and thought others would follow, to christianity, but few walks that path.
Good book, but not on spot with pur time

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  • Thomas.B.Dytor
  • 09-15-21

amazing book

This book was an unexpected jewel. I had not really heard of it before, but was very pleasantly surprised and would rate it as one of my top 20 all time favorites.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stair
  • 08-29-21

Worth listening to, the "afterward" is necessary

I found this generally uncomfortable and disturbing - I think that is a good thing. Beyond that I found that the "afterward" by CSL was helpful in interpretation.

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  • Ashley Veldstra
  • 03-03-20

Hugely philosophical and intellectual.

This book is a worthwhile but potentially challenging listen. Strong Biblical and historical knowledge helps.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • calvin clark
  • 06-18-22

Excellent Allegory

I read "The Pilgrims Progress" and struggled with it. I found this much easier to follow and personally, much more beneficial.

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  • Kester Hamilton
  • 02-21-22

Genuinely thought-provoking and beautiful

Lewis has managed to sneak into this epic some of the most obvious arguments against atheism. The story is very interesting and the quotes placed at the start of each chapter give a strong idea of what is going on. Would recommend you also look up the map, as the southern regions and the philosophies they are based off are not detailed in the text, save for a mention in the afterword.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-22

Excellent !

Simon Vance reading and C S Lewis writing — wonderful combination!
Symbolic and somewhat dated in culture, and so it can be helpful if (like me) you check it up on wikipedia first to get a better idea of what Lewis is writing about.