Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Pilgrim's Progress as You've Never Imagined It Before ... Exciting and Interesting!

Frankly The Pilgrim's Progress is not a book I ever imagined that I'd be reading, much less excited to tell anyone about. My imagination showed John Bunyan's classic to be about as interesting as this original title page.

However, that was before I'd heard Spirit Blade's version which reimagines The Pilgrim's Progress as a dynamic audio drama complete with dragons, elves, and a mystical book of truth.

This is now.

Spirit Blade Productions has pulled off a masterpiece here. The original allegorical story has been refashioned featuring a full-cast, orchestral score, and complete sound effects to urge our imaginations on a quest with Christopher Pilgrim for truth. Waking after a nightmare of death and destruction, Christopher determines to find his way to the legendary Mystic City, looking for a cure that will avert disaster. Along the way he encounters others who have all sorts of advice for his journey, some helpful and some disastrous. Christopher must discern which actions will lead to success.

This audiodrama captured my attention so thoroughly that I found myself wondering exactly how much was modern imagination and how much was originally in the book. This is exactly what the audio drama producers intended so they made it easy to check by including the corresponding part of the original book, also recorded with sound effects and a musical score. I was completely surprised to find how the original text captured my imagination and had me considering the paths of faith as we journey through life, even as I enjoyed the story.

Spirit Blade's reason for existence is "to present the uncompromised truths of Biblical scripture in unique formats that will provoke thought and appeal to fans of creative music and imaginative fiction." I can attest that with this presentation of part one of Pilgrim's Progress they have done just that. I found myself immediately recommending the audio drama to a friend whose 6th grade brother has outpaced the reading resources available. Designed for 12 years and up, this production will capture the attention of readers of all ages who may never have heard of The Pilgrim's Progress but will be interested in Christopher Pilgrim's adventure. Just don't tell them it's a "Christian" book and see how fast they lap it up.

At $4.99 to download the first one-hour episode as well as the half-hour audiobook reading, this seems like a great deal to me. Right now you can also buy one and "gift" one free which makes it an even better deal.

It is always a pleasure to "discover" a classic book that one wishes to share and I must thank Spirit Blade Productions for giving me the review opportunity. I am going to be looking forward to future episodes in the series that shows us what sort of progress Christopher Pilgrim makes.

Highly recommended.


Elinor Dashwood said...

It doesn't bother you, then, that it's one of the signature early works of vicious Protestant anti-Catholic slander. Well, you have an odd taste, that's all I can say.

Julie D. said...

Well Elinor, I don't know. Does that tendency show up in the first few chapters, which was what I heard? I didn't catch any so, gee, maybe I hadn't gotten that far. As I said in my review the work is not complete.

Also, I can manage to appreciate a classic work for its own values, putting aside other problems with it ... such as the fact that much of it may be incorrect from a Catholic point of view, but that as one of the oldest novels ever it may just have an intrinsic value. I'm kinda funny that way ...