I will be completely honest. I've walked the Camino de Santiago twice (Frances & Portuguese Routes) and served as a hospitalera once. I'm a bit of a Camino addict. However, I have only read a handful of books about the Camino. I think I can count on less than two hands the number of Camino non-fiction books I have read. I have a stack on my bookshelf I still need to read. There are at least 50 first-person narrative books out there on the Camino and more and more are being written every day as the Camino continues to grown in popularity after hundreds of years of obscurity.
Kurt Koontz walked the Camino just over a year ago. Ironically, he finished his Camino just as I was in the middle of my second Camino. We missed each other by only a few days. His Camino was so inspiring he decided to sit down and put his thoughts on paper to share with the world. This book is an account of his experience of walking the Camino.
As a first-person narrative, Kurt does a great job of sharing basic Camino history, as well as orienting the reader to the day to day life of being a pilgrim. He incorporates this history and information into his daily reflections, which I found slightly distracting. For an aspiring pilgrim, I can see how this information would be useful. For a veteran pilgrim, I found myself skimming over these parts to get to the meat of the text.
The book is divided into chapters for each day of walking. Like many pilgrims before him, his walk includes a cast of characters that make appearances throughout the book. I can recall certain pilgrims I met on my Caminos who were important to me for various reasons. One never knows how an interaction is going to influence you along the way and Kurt is great at sharing the importance of each individual he met who meant something to him and why.
I only have one complaint and it's a silly one. There were several obvious spelling errors in the book. Moreno wool socks? And Cheryl Crow? Someone's copy editor should have known better.
This book is great if you want to experience another pilgrim's Camino. He shares the good and the bad of the Camino, although Kurt was blessed with more good than many pilgrims, having very few difficulties along the way.
If you would like to buy a copy of Kurt's book, you can do so here. It's also available on Kindle.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author to review. For those of you who know me, I am not shy when sharing my opinions about something so you can be confident this is an honest review. I was planning to buy the book anyways. It just so happens Kurt and I were exchanging emails about doing a feature on my website: www.caminodesantiagopress.com and he offered to send one to me. This book is a quick read. I finished it in two days.