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Paris to the Pyrenees

A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James
Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Driven by curiosity, wanderlust, and health crises, David Downie and his wife set out from Paris to walk across France to the Pyrenees. Starting on the Rue Saint-Jacques then trekking 750 miles south to Roncesvalles, Spain, their eccentric route takes 72 days on Roman roads and pilgrimage paths - a 1,100-year-old network of trails leading to the sanctuary of Saint James the Greater. It is best known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela - "The Way" for short. The object of any pilgrimage is an inward journey manifested in a long, reflective walk. For Downie, the inward journey met the outer one: a combination of self-discovery and physical regeneration. More than 200,000 pilgrims take the highly commercialized Spanish route annually, but few cross France. Downie had a goal: to go from Paris to the Pyrenees on age-old trails, making the pilgrimage in his own maverick way.

©2013 David Downie (P)2013 AudioGO

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Misleading title

Would you try another book written by David Downie or narrated by P. J. Ochlan?

This is not a book about a walk from Paris to the Pyrenees. This is a book about walking in Burgundy, being sure to avoid Taizé. Really disappointed with this book

Would you ever listen to anything by David Downie again?

unlikely

What didn’t you like about P. J. Ochlan’s performance?

the material wasn't great to work with

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

disappointment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating.

Really interesting. A very different perspective the usual for these sort of stories. Great to get the non-religious side.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Audiobook format needs access to pertinent maps

and a fuller explanation of why the second part of the walk isn't fully covered.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for KJM
  • KJM
  • 03-02-17

Keep Walking,,,There's nothing to hear here...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Content: Well researched and knowledgeable on French history and politics, but this material overwhelms much of the other reasons that people might want to read the book. Kept hanging on for some form of personal breakthrough/ epiphany that I could take away with me, but alas, there was none.

Enthusiasm: The audiobook (through no fault of the narrator) conveys the passion of an automobile operating manual.

Optimism: Lighten up on the portrayal of everyone/everything (residents, politics, religion). You need to keep on walking if you're still this detached and cynical. Life lessons are still in front of you.

Would you ever listen to anything by David Downie again?

Sincerely doubt so.

What three words best describe P. J. Ochlan’s performance?

Best delivery possible (given the material).

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

Disappointment, Irritation

Any additional comments?

Remove from the Camino section. VERY MISLEADING.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful