Saturday, May 12, 2012

Paul Coelho

I want to spend some time today introducing you to a new favorite author, Paul Coelho. Paul Coelho was born on August 24, 1947. He is a Brazilian novelist and lyrist.

Paul Coelho is probably most famous for his book, “The Alchemist”. It has been translated into 71 different languages and sold more then 65 million copies. Coelho in total has published 30 books and sold over 100 million books in 150 countries. (from wikipedia)

I am reading “The Alchemist” currently; it was recommended by a dear friend that I would define as have interesting ideas on life. But most, well probably 99.9% of the time I have enjoyed his past recommendations, and without him I would never have found authors such as Franz Kafka or Jorge Luis Borges. He began telling me he was reading Brida, so I checked my local library and found myself in luck. Upon reading Coelho’s background it was actually fitting because, though “The Alchemist” was written first, it didn’t gain popularity till after the publication of “Brida”. “Brida” was one I was barely able to put down, and became, for me, a one day read, staying up into the wee hours to finish the story. “Brida” has many different ideas wrapped into one.  Though Brida tends to follow a “Wiccan” or at the very least “Pagan” path, Paul Coelho tends to wind a story together with many religious symbols from different religions and even science, allowing them all to coexist in beautiful harmony. For example, Brida uses Tarot cards in her journey but Coelho in his explanation of soul mates goes back to Adam and Eve. The description on Amazon says,
“Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch.”
When I reread the description Brida’s desire to become a witch is in reality I suppose she was doing but I as I mentioned above would not define her journey as solely to become a witch; Coehlo took so many diverse ideas and brought them all together into a harmonious journey of finding oneself. Because really that’s all Brida is trying to do. The book does have what I would say a bit of choppiness to it, but you have to remember this is a translation from Coelho’s native Portuguese. I find in a story like this, that’s a fact easily ignored, and though for some the symbolism and lessons Brida are taught may be a bit much to wade through, I definitely recommend you skip rolling your pants up and instead you jump right in.
Though I’m only about halfway through “The Alchemist”, it guarantees to be just as wonderful.

Paul Coehlo's website can be found here where links to his facebook and twitter can be found as well.


  1. I think I might actually read these. :)

  2. The Alchemist kind of reads like 100 years of Solitude but I'd say much easier to understand. One Coehlo's facebook it says it's number 5 of the top read books which I didn't realize. I meant to add hyperlinks but forgot going to do that now.