Every now and again you just run across something very useful on the web. Many of you are aware of John Bunyan's classic, the Pilgrim's Progress. Many find it a bit unwieldy to read and stay away. Others find abridged versions which gut much of the content...might there be a better way?
I have recently found a few resources that are very helpful in jumping on the Pilgrim Road with Christian out through yonder wicket gate.
First, every now and then you run across fantastic entries on Wikipedia. Some of course, you have to be careful with, others are just dandy. In reading about about Pilgrim's Progress, I found this delightful Wiki about Bunyan's bountiful book.
The page is complete with a concise plot summary and a thorough listing of all the characters. It is amazing to see all the characters in the work; mind you that these flew from the mind of a Bible soaked man languishing in Bedford Jail (pictured to the right). Also, the wonderful (and not so wonderful) places visited by Christian are listed out and described for the curious reader. This page can serve as a great appendix for the reader who wants to follow the narrow road through Pilgrim's Progress while learning the message found therein.
Second, I had wanted to read this story to Kayla (almost 5 now) for some time but knew she might need to get a few years past 4 to understand it all. However I found a great solution. There is an excellent unabridged audio book version available from Blackstone Audio presented by audible.com. The narrator is Robert Whitfield and he does a crazy good job. He uses different voices and accents for different characters making the listening task a joy. Kayla and I have been listening when we ride together in my car. We stop it to discuss the imagery the characters, why the are presented a certain way, etc. Too much fun for Daddy and Daughter. It is availble for $31.95, I bought mine from the iTunes Music Store and find it well worth every penny.
Finally, LibriVox (a web site that provides free audiobooks from the public domain.) has an excellent Pilgrim's Progress Page featuring another audio version of the book (free) and several links to the full text of the book online. I recommend the Whitfield reading (see right above), but if the budget is too tight for the 32 bucks, this is a good free option. Downloads in MP3 and OGG.
There is a reason this work is the 2nd most translated in history behind the Bible - it is strong sauce for the soul who is on his way to the heavenly city.
Get it, read it, listen to it. Strong medicine for our spazzed out, media jumpy age.