In order to mark the official publication of the new autobiographical book by Pope John Paul II, “Get Up, Let’s Go,” scheduled for May 18, the renowned Vatican observer Sandro Magister of L’Espresso Online traveled to Krakow in order to get a personal look at his life.

The new book by the Pope covers the 20 years from his elevation to the episcopate in 1958 up to his election as the Successor of Peter in 1978.  The work is a continuation of his previous autobiographical book, “Gift and Mystery,” which we wrote about his life as a priest.

Magister traveled to Krakow to contrast the biography of the Pontiff with the urban and cultural environment in which he spent the years written about in “Get Up, Let’s Go,” and to go “in search of the similarities and differences between the two Wojtylas, before and after October 16, 1978.”

Magister said that “there is a feverish anticipation to read it in Krakow” and he cites the example of Fr. Adam Boniecki, chief editor of “Tygodnik Powszechny,” who shared with Magister what the pope thinks of his own skills as a writer.

Magister reveals that just as “Gift and Mystery” grew out of an interview with the former vice-director of “L’Osservatore Romano,” Gianfranco Svidercoschi, the new work “had as its primary drafter a Polish bishop who is also his friend, Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.”

Magister also gives a brief overview of the literary works of the Pope, saying, “There are things he was able to do successfully both in Krakow and in Rome, others that he was not able to duplicate, and still others that he invented only as pope.”