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Adultery: A novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 19, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


"Propulsive.... A compelling tale of existential angst, marital betrayal and sexual sin." --The Chicago Tribune

About the Author

One of the most influential writers of our time, Paulo Coelho is the author of many international best sellers, including The Alchemist, Aleph, Eleven Minutes, and Manuscript Found in Accra. Translated into 80 languages, his books have sold more than 165 million copies in more than 170 countries. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and has received the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur. In 2007, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Zoë Perry. 
Connect with the author:
Twitter: @paulocoelho

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; Fifth edition (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101874082
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101874080
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (655 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide, have been released in 170 countries and been translated into 80 languages.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, he soon discovered his vocation for writing. He worked as a director, theater actor, songwriter and journalist. His collaboration with Brazilian composer and singer Raúl Seixas gave some of the greatest classic rock songs in Brazil. In 1986, a special meeting led him to make the pilgrimage to Saint James Compostela (in Spain). The Road to Santiago was not only a common pilgrimage but a turning point in his existence. A year later, he wrote 'The Pilgrimage', an autobiographical novel that is considered the beginning of his career.

In the following year, COELHO published 'The Alchemist'. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time.

Other titles include 'Brida' (1990), 'The Valkyries' (1992), 'By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept' (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo entitle 'Maktub' (1994), the compilation of texts 'Phrases' (1995), 'The Fifth Mountain' (1996), 'Manual of a Warrior of Light' (1997), 'Veronika decides to die' (1998), 'The Devil and Miss Prym' (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in 'Stories for parents, children and grandchildren' (2001), 'Eleven Minutes' (2003), 'The Zahir' (2005), 'Like the Flowing River' (2006), 'The Witch of Portobello' (2006), 'The Winner Stands Alone' (2008), 'Aleph' (2010), 'Manuscript found in Accra' (2012) and 'Adultery' (2014).

He has received numerous prestigious international awards. He is member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil since 2002 and Messenger of Peace by the United Nations since 2007. In 2009 he received the Guinness World Record for the most translated author for the same book (The Alchemist).

The man behind the author likes to write and practices Kyudo - a meditative archery. He loves reading, walking, football and computers. In that sense, he has always maintained a close contact with his readers but now, and thanks to the new media, he has established an incredible feedback with them. Paulo was the second most influential celebrity on Twitter in 2010 according to Forbes and he is the writer with the highest number of followers in the social media.

In the past years Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress (, Facebook (, Twitter ( & Instagram (, among others. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube ( and Flickr ( , offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

261 of 281 people found the following review helpful By Brendon Burchard on August 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
It would be easy to assume this is simply a book about sex and adultery. But people often misunderstand the depths of those things, and thus this is a book of deeper allure and meaning.

This is a story about a woman mad with loneliness and boredom and disconnection, driven to the brink and willing to risk it all to find something more—adventure, passion, redemption, herself. She is not someone you will admire, and she will seem at times superficial and disgusting, but you will understand her. And despite her wealth and ugliness, despite her weakness, her indiscretion, her bizarre thinking, you might just learn something from her. And that is why this is a book for anyone in a relationship. What relationship doesn't get ugly at times?

What Coelho does so brilliantly in "Adultery" is pace its story with its main character’s life, struggles, and personality. And so it feels a bit boring and stifled at first, then it shocks and overreacts, then it has trouble finding itself, and then, finally, after all those relationship troubles and veiled justifications, it lifts and soars. For these reasons, people will want to stop reading when it feels slow, trite, or impossible. But there is danger in putting a Coelho book down, for in the end he always surprises us and teaches us. Anyone in love or after love can learn something from this book.

Here are my favorite quotes:

“Today I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days.”

“Apathy. Pretending to be happy, pretenting to be sad, pretending to have an orgasm, pretending to be having fun, pretending that you’ve slept well, pretending that you’re alive.
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful By moysak on August 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
ok... just finished Adultery and I really liked it. It's a different style/genre for Coelho but I did truly enjoy it. You do have to be open-minded to read it though... I feel like the negative reviews I've read might be coming from scorned people or those that can't see "outside" the box. It is as the title suggest about sex outside the marriage but that's not the message of the book. And if that's all you get then you didn't really read the book... I think it's about self-discovery. About self-acceptance and self-love. The most important in life to truly be happy. No one else can nor should be responsible for that but yourself.
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat on August 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
To say this is a book about a woman committing adultery is to miss the whole point of the story I feel. Linda lives in Switzerland with her husband and two children - none of whom are ever named. She has a good life, and an interesting job as a journalist and as a family they are financially secure with domestic staff to look after the children and do the housework. Who could want anything more from life?

But Linda is restless and bored. It would be all too easy to dismiss Linda as shallow but she is far more than that. I'm sure many readers will put the book down in disgust saying she should count her blessings and no one could want more in life. Things are not as simple as that. Linda feels she is plodding along from day to day with nothing exciting in her life - everything is just dull. She wonders if she is depressed but she doesn't think she is. She wonders whether she needs to see a psychiatrist but doesn't think that will work either.

It must be difficult to empathise with Linda unless you yourself have felt that sort of restlessness. I have felt it and it resulted in me turning my life upside down and doing some things which maybe were not a good idea though they seemed the only right thing to do at the time. What lesson you take from this strangely absorbing book - because there are lessons to be learned from it even if your life in no way resembles Linda's - are always going to be personal. But what I think is important is to not let yourself slip into a rut because if you get in too deep then the only way out is going to be to upend your life and those of the people you love.
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52 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Firecat Hat on August 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The message of this book is clear. Feed your inner child in a healthy manner or suffer the consequences.

My name is Firecat Hat. As a writer, I make a point of reviewing wonderful books by wonderful writers. Paolo Coelho is at the head of my list.

I therefore read `Adultery,' in three days.

It was enlightening. And as I reflect on it, as I try to sum up this book, I see something about it worth mentioning right off the bat.

And that is this. This book tends to defy categories. That is to say, this book is rather independent in its subject matter. It is broad, and - as might be expected by Paolo Coelho - has philosophical tones running underneath it all the way.

But, besides that fact, what is Coelho's `Adultery' really about? Is it about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Is it about mental illness? Is it about adultery, that taboo subject we find ugly? A subject we would like to avoid? As I reflect on these pages, I ask myself: what is this story about, really?

Well, this book, lets put it this way, lets us into the life of someone who will open up to us far more than most of our friends and family members will. The main character is telling us her story as far as she can. I don't even think she could tell her psychotherapist about her life as honestly as she can us, the readers of this book.

And so the book is interesting because we are really seeing someone.

A lot of people will be mad at this person because she is an adulteress. I can understand that. And that is natural from reading this book, because at times one does just shake their head and think `Boy, she's quite lost.'

But that's exactly the point.
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