What would Pilgrim's Progress be like if it were written today?

John Bunyan took readers on a literary pilgrimage from the City of Destruction past the Slough of Despond to the Celestial City when he wrote Pilgrim's Progress in 1678.

His book remains one of the best examples of English religious literature and the seventh bestselling book of all time.

Much of what Bunyan wrote will still resonate with many Christians today but former Spitting Image script writer and priest Simon Parke has written an updated version of the faith journey, with some new characters that will have a particular resonance with modern readers.

Pippa's Progress is the story of Pippa and her journey to Heaven as told through her diary.

As Pippa observes at the start of this book, "even in these secular times many people do wonder about heaven without doing a great deal about it."

It is this way for her until one morning she receives a visit from a mysterious stranger who challenges her to set out on a journey to Heaven with these words of advice: "You just have to trust the path and keep on walking."

Pippa decides to act on the stranger's words and sets off on her journey, meeting a host of colourful characters along the way, including Con Sultant, (Glossy) Mags, Chill Out and Move On, Shaw Thynge, Ivor Grudge, Eustace Hindsight and Millicent Atheist.

Her epic travels take her to many memorable locations, such as Headspin’s Hallucinatory Mental Circus, the Rock of Hidden Self and the village of Lower Bile.

She experiences the over-multi-tasking pace of the City of Socialmeja in which Dee Straction tells her that, "we’re all, like, connected with everyone and everything", and she meets Lee Shallow, host of The Fame Game, and his companions Gullible and Blond.

Says Parke: "Pippa’s Progress is an adventure story. All human emotion is here, awfulness and beauty and the consequences played out. But it is also a satire because there’s much nonsense in the world dressed up as truth, so sometimes on the path we make a virtue of ridicule."


Pippa's Progress is out on 19 October

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