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What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim Audiobook

What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago de Compostela

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Publisher's Summary

To celebrate her 50th birthday and face the challenges of midlife, Jane Christmas joins 14 women to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Despite a psychic's warning of catfights, death, and a sexy, fair-haired man, Christmas soldiers on. After a week of squabbles, the group splinters, and the real adventure begins. In vivid, witty style, she recounts her battles with loneliness, hallucinations of being joined by Steve Martin, as well as picturesque villages and even the fair-haired man. What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim is one trip neither the author nor the listener will forget.

©2007 Jane Christmas (P)2015 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (14 )
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4.5 (13 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 17/03/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    Story
    "Enjoy this book"

    This book is full of story and well recorded. It gives me cue of the Camino that I would like to do one day by myself. Recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    caya Newton Abbot, United Kingdom 16/09/2016
    caya Newton Abbot, United Kingdom 16/09/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    13
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    "A must if you are thinking of walking the Camino"

    One of my ambitions is to walk the Camino and I think this book has prepared me for the reality of it. It is interesting to listen to the ups and downs of the authors walk. She seems to cope with the actual walking remarkably well, and I'm sure that this would not be the case for everyone. But for me the interesting part was the descriptions of the scenery and fellow travellers, crowded pilgrim hostels and their owners! I think it prepares you for what to expect on the route she chose and to perhaps adapt your plans accordingly!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cazza Carrickfergus, United Kingdom 05/09/2016
    cazza Carrickfergus, United Kingdom 05/09/2016 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    23
    5
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    "brilliant"

    loved the honesty and quirky way your story was told thank you as I start planning my own camino adventure

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Honey bee
    Santa Cruz, CA USA
    20/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't listen to this book"

    Sadly I found this very disturbing, so much that I may change my plans to walk the Camino. The author is self absorbed, vicious and angry the entire journey. I kept thinking she would find redemption. I was wrong.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Lisa Becht
    01/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much negativity"

    I had to stop listening about 2/3 of the way through because the author is way too negative. Up to that point she had complained about everything and everyone along the Camino and I was tired of listening to her call everyone names and complain about wanting to quit every day.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Listens-a-lot
    Canada
    29/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LISTEN TO THIS BOOK if you like irreverent humor!"

    If you're looking for a travel guide, or a new-agey uber positive account of the Camino de Santiago, this is probably not the book for you. If, on the other hand, you can appreciate a sharp, irreverent sense of humor and don't mind the occasional swear word, then you will enjoy this brutally honest description of the trials and tribulations Jane Christmas encountered when she took a very long walk on a whim.

    To celebrate her 50th birthday, Jane Christmas announced (on CBC radio) that she was going to walk the Camino de Santiago. Admittedly, she didn't have a firm idea of what this might entail at the time. Nor did she foresee the reaction her announcement would engender. Soon, a group of women had contacted her wanting to join in the fun.

    

Things sort of snowballed from there, and Jane found herself leading a group of middle-aged women along this pilgrimage. Given that Jane is intolerant of stupidity and shallowness, she soon found the dynamics of the group difficult to bear and eventually she broke off from the group to go it alone. That solved some problems, but also confronted Jane with new issues to overcome, including loneliness and the sheer discomfort of such a long walk. 



    Her observations are sharp and sometimes less than kind, but Jane is also aware of her own shortcomings, too. The author narrated it herself. Her other memoirs ("The Pelee Project," "Incontinent on the Continent" and "And Then There Were Nuns") were narrated by actors. Some might prefer the professional narration, but I liked both - it is fun to hear her voice her own work.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ellysa Evans
    24/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hyper-Critical, Name-Calling Narcissist"
    What disappointed you about What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim?

    I can't believe I wasted 11+ hours of my life (and the significant portion of a beautiful road trip) waiting for this book to get better and to redeem itself. It did not. First of all, I NEVER want to hear the word "pilgrim" ever again. How many times do you need to use it?!

    The author is a judgemental goon who spends more time ragging on the people around her than recognizing and admitting flaws within herself. It's no wonder she can't stand walking 22 km a day alone, she can hardly stand herself when she has no one else to criticize. She calls someone an "orca-sized, fat, snoring Spanish man", calls someone else Hitler's sister and a fat lazy cow. She criticizes Spaniards for pronouncing their c's as th's, saying that it sounds like a speech impediment. She constantly comments on people's weight and inadequacy. She makes such a huge deal about always having to take the hard road in life, and how she's constantly surrounded by difficult people, but she doesn't even give them a chance; she can't look past someone's weight, race or language to appreciate the human being underneath. She's even ungrateful when she receives three free meals from a kitchen, and explicitly says she is.

    This is a wildly superficial story about how much better cafe con leche is out of porcelain rather than paper cups, and being snobby about expensive meals and fancy hotels. Even the psychic offers no shift in perspective. It's laid out in the beginning, and it's all so literal, it's not even suspenseful or interesting. She leaves on her pilgrimage absolutely obsessed with herself, and she comes home obsessed with a man. Even her children suffer from her vanity. She makes a four week trip and one week of companionship sound like a year-long trek and long-term, committed relationship. It's dramatic and desperate. And in the end, all it makes her question are her nail and hair appointments, and the use of her car. Big deal.

    This book is not insightful at all. I don't always review books, but I went out of my way to take notes about the things that irked me about this book, so I could warn people who are looking for a deep exploration of self while on a physical journey, which is what I was really hoping for - you won't find it in this book.


    What was most disappointing about Jane Christmas’s story?

    I was hoping for something insightful. I was expecting to be foretold a fascinating experience by a psychic, how a woman's perspective shifted while on a literal trail to find herself on the journey of life. I expected struggle but I did NOT expect to be spoon fed some garbage narrative of a hyper-critical narcissist who spends half the book ragging on other people instead of looking inwards.


    Did Jane Christmas do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Not at all. She hardly feeds you any personal information about the other characters. They're identified by her inane, petty judgements of them: the one that talks to much, the one that's fat and snores, etc. And when it comes to describing herself, of course the only character flaw she has is that she had to have her passport photo taken four times.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The only thing it taught me is that if people like her are traveling the Camino, I don't want to do it. Not if all it's about is racing for the best beds, or where to get the next cafe con leche that's served in porcelain.


    Any additional comments?

    Save your money. I wish I could have my time and book credit back for this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stacy
    Boise,Idaho
    26/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really negative story telling....it's a downer"
    What would have made What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim better?

    The author is such a negative judgmental person....I believe she was just being honest about her experience, and I am sorry to say but she just is not a likable person.....I believe she thinks she is funny, but she really is just mean. I don't want to upset the author...I do not know her and am probably wrong about her, but in this book, she is a mean judgmental wanna be princess. I'm sure her other books are great, I mean getting published sounds tough...but this book is a complete negative experience. All she does is complain about everything and everyone...literally. That's all this book is.


    What could Jane Christmas have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not have written it


    How could the performance have been better?

    I'm not sure there was anything that could have improved it unless it was rewritten.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger and disappointment. I have read about 4 other Camino books, or diaries and most of them are quite entertaining, but this one was a really negative experience. I found myself mostly thinking that this woman needed to be put in her place, she seems to think she is some special someone who is misunderstood....however, she is just mean, judgmental and it sounds like she was spoiled.


    Any additional comments?

    I am sorry for writing such a nasty review, it goes against my usual " live and let live" philosophy, but I was hoping for a personal growth or at least a nice travel diary from this pilgrimage journal, but wow was she mean, maybe her humor just doesn't come across well in the writing, but jeez, what a downer she was.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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