Picks and Pans Review: The Camino

updated 06/12/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/12/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Shirley MacLaine

Early in her 500-mile pilgrimage along Spain's Santiago de Compostela Camino in 1994, MacLaine began to hallucinate and see huge metal screws. "I didn't know if that meant I had a screw loose," she writes. Walking some 20 miles a day, subsisting on yogurt and fruit, dogged by curs, mosquitoes and the press, little wonder the otherworldly 66-year-old entertainer had visions so strange she found "it took an act of control not to roll my eyes at myself! " Her previously recounted past lives (as a suicide in Atlantis and an Indian princess) were lively enough; this time she witnesses the origin of the universe and meets the kindred soul who was both Charlemagne and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, with whom she had an affair before his 1986 assassination. By turns fearful, vain and hostile, MacLaine makes her eccentricity endearing, even if you scoff at how the spirit moves her. (Pocket, $24.95)

Bottom Line: For believers only

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