For three hundred years The Pilgrim's Progress has remained perhaps the best-loved and most read of devotional fictions. In plain yet powerful and moving language, Bunyan tells the story of Christian's struggle to attain salvation and the Gates of Heaven. He must pass through the Slough of Despond, ward off the temptations of Vanity Fair and fight the monstrous Apollyon...
In Part 2, his wife and children follow the same path, helped and protected by Great-heart, until for them too "the trumpets sound on the other side."
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Bunyan's classic allegory of the battle of good and evil is clearly delivered in grave, sepulchral tones. Edward de Souza's very British, judicial voice gives credence to court scenes. He depicts Christian as Everyman wading through the slough of Despond, where he meets Mr. Worldly Wiseman and the Evangelist, who hope to delay him on his journey to salvation. When portraying Beelzebub, Souza's voice engages the listener with imperious, commanding, and fearful tones. Funereal organ music provides breaks between scenes and adds to the sense of despair. This novel was first published three hundred years ago; this rendition explains why it is ever popular.
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