Customer Reviews

416
4.2 out of 5 stars
Manuscript Found in Accra
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$15.83 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

139 of 145 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 3, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been a huge fan of Paulo Coelho since The Alchemist. All of his books and novels teach us about wisdom, life and love. This latest book is not really a novel in the traditional sense. Manuscript Found in Accra is actually in the realm of wisdom literature, a compendium of brief discourses in the spirit and style of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.

The setting is Jerusalem in 1099 AD. A diverse crowd of people has gathered in dreaded anticipation of the destruction of their city by an army of advancing Crusaders. A mysterious man known only as The Copt arises and begins to speak to them. What follows is a night of questions and answers through which The Copt pours forth ancient wisdom to the anxious listeners.

There is no new revelation in these pages, but rather a re-telling of the old ways of wisdom and light through the mouth of The Copt. Coelho freely evokes Kahlil Gibran. Consider The Copt's words, "Work is the manifestation of Love that binds people together." Compare that to Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, who says, " Work is love made visible. ... when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God." Coelho also repeatedly puts the exact words of Jesus Christ into the mouth of The Copt without mentioning the original source of those words. Nevertheless, in spite of the lack of originality, Coelho's writing style is engaging, interesting and intriguing. The wisdom contained between these covers is essential to the well being of our souls. Some chapters will speak with more clarity and urgency than others, depending upon the needs and interests of the reader, but as a whole, Manuscript Found in Accra will have something to benefit every reader.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 2, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Unlike many of Paulo Coelho's most recent books, where the theme of the book is a spiritual or moral journey set within either an autobiographical or fictional account, "A Manuscript Found in Accra" follows the pattern of one of Coelho's earlier works, "A Manual for the Warrior of Light" in that the book is a collection of wisdom sayings and sage advice around various life topics.

Set in Jerusalem the night before the invasion by the Crusaders in 1099, the book chronicles the wisdom of life as synthesized by "The Copt". Covering areas as broad as the meaning of life, love, sex, work, failure, defeat, solitude, faith and other challenging life topics, "The Copt" draws on diverse wisdom literature such as the Talmud, Bible, Koran and other sources to synthesize life lessons to a crowd of people facing certain upheaval and likely death within the next 24 hours.

While the introduction and back story are mildly interesting, and set the stage for the sage wisdom to follow, the book itself reads as an interesting, but somewhat parental lecture on these mysteries of life, love and death. In classic Paulo Coelho fashion, the message squarely hits the mark, and the reader will find challenging and profound insights within the pages. The spiritual, philosophical and psychological elements blend together nicely to provide the reader with a thought provoking and soul searching look at some of the greatest questions life has to offer.

While many casual fans of Coelho will likely be disappointed by the plot (or lack thereof) and the format of the book, the reader who enjoys the deep spiritual and psychological elements of Coelho's work, and who may have enjoyed the "Manual" will find this a fascinating, thought provoking and personally insightful read.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
A wise man sits in a square taking questions about life on the eve of his town's massacre by an invading army. His wisdom, delivered in simple yet profound sentences, can alter the course of your life. A must-read for anyone interested in living a courageous, loving, meaningful life. My favorite quotes:

16. In the cycle of nature there is no such thing as victory or defeat; there is only movement ... there are neither winners nor losers; there are only stages that must be gone through. When the human heart understands this, it is free and able to accept difficult times without being deceived by moments of glory.

23. Defeat ends when we launch into another battle. Failure has no end; it is a lifetime choice.

30. The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.

31. .. saying no does not always show a lack of generosity, and that saying yes is not always a virtue.

40. Ask a flower in the field: "Do you feel useful? After all you do nothing but produce the same flowers over and over." And the flower will answer: "I am beautiful, and beauty is my reason fro living." Ask the river: "Do you feel useful, given that all you do is keep flowing in the same direction?" And the river will answer: "I'm not trying to be useful; I'm trying to be a river." Nothing in this world is useless in the eyes of God.

41. Don't try to be useful. Try to be yourself; that is enough, and that makes all the difference.

42. Do one thing: Live the life you always wanted to live. Avoid criticizing others and concentrate on fulfilling your dreams.

48. Dreaming carries no risks. The dangerous thing is trying to transform your dreams into reality.

50-51. ... they risk taking a first step -- sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes out of ambition, but generally because they feel an uncontrollable longing for adventure. At each bend in the road, they feel more and more afraid, and yet, at the same time, they surprise themselves; they are stronger and happier. Joy. That is one of the main blessings of the All Powerful. If we are happy, we are on the right road.

53. "Difficulty" is the name of an ancient tool that was created purely to help us define who we are.

54. And to those who believe that adventures are dangerous, I say, try routine; that kills you far more quickly.

68. Because Enthusiasm is the Sacred Fire.

135. And may this lead us to behave impeccably, making use of the four cardinal virtues: boldness, elegance, love, and friendship.

146. Excessive caution destroys the soul and the heart, because living is an act of courage, and an act of courage is always an act of love."

151. Our soul is governed by four invisible forces: love, death, power, and time.

153. Therefore, what the future holds for you depends entirely on your capacity for love.

153. The greatest gift God gave us is the power to make decisions.

154. And precisely when everything seems to be going well and your dream is almost within your grasp, that is when you must be more alert than ever. Because when your dream is almost within your grasp, you will be assailed by terrible GUILT.

169: The wounded person should ask himself: "Is it worth filling my heart with hatred and dragging the weight of it around with me?"

177. On loyalty: And beware of the pain you can cause yourself by allowing a vile and cowardly heart to be part of your world. ONce the evil has been done, there is no point in blaming anyone: the owner of the house was the one who opened the door.

178. The most important of wars is not waged with a lofty spirit or a soul accepting of its fate. It is the war that is going on now, as we speak, and whose battlefield is the Spirit, where Good and Evil, Courage and Cowardice, Love and Fear face one another.

I loved this book... surprisingly, as much as I liked The Alchemist.

-- Brendon Burchard. #1 New York Times bestselling author of "THE CHARGE" and "THE MILLIONAIRE MESSENGER"
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am happy to be the first Korean reader to read Paulo Coelho's new book Manuscript found in Accra.

I was surprised. It felt as if Senor Coelho had established his own religion for people living in this era. I had a feeling I was making conversations with him through my heart. I thought that the way people ask and search for answers when facing a war about to break out appear similar to the way people might have asked and found answers for themselves in tragic circumstances like the 9/11 terror attacks. This is when I understood the sentence "which are the values that remain when everything is destroyed?"

I find that the basis for the 20 questions appearing in the book is from our "fear." Fear of losing, fear of loneliness, fear of being unworthy, fear of change, fear of love, fear of the flow of time, fear of sex, and fear of obligations to support his family. For the fear, it gives people the reason to ask questions about successful people, about miracles and about their future. Fear and insecurity are emotions that seem to exist regardless of time. So naturally when everything is destroyed, the remaining values are no doubt ways to defeat "fear and insecurity." It felt as though the author was trying to encourage readers to defeat "fear and insecurity" by seeking ways together with him. I do not think that the answer from the Copt - in other words, the author - is the one and only answer. I do not think that is what the author wanted. I feel that in the time and efforts of questioning and searching for answers, people find light and ways.

Senor Coelho is already searching by himself - or together with readers - for values that give us strength in life through his blog and twitter. The form of arena is different, it is nothing like the one from the medieval times, but people continue to question and find answers through a new type of arena called social networking. With the answers "some will write down what (he) say(s). Others will remember (his) words." They "will set off for the four corners of the world" and "tell(ing) others what (they) have heard." I know that Senor Coelho is becoming "a centre of knowledge (...) again." I hope Korean readers will meet this book soon".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 10, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really love Paulo Coelho. He is an amazing writer and storyteller and I have read most all of his books. That said, I felt like this particular book was not one of his best. At first I was confused whether or not the "Manuscript found in Accra" was real. I still don't know. It is not stated as a fact in the book. I guess its not..... when I just couldn't figure that out, I started to read.

I felt that immediately disappointed that this book reads just like the book "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran. As I read further it kept reading like Gibran, which felt very familiar and weird..... I mean it could be an extension of Gibran's book, because the format is exactly the same. For instance each chapter starts with something like this: "And a woman who was getting on in years and had never found a husband said: "Love has always passed me by." Then the chapter starts with, "And he answered: In order to hear Love's words, you must allow Love to approach." This feels just like Gibran to me.

All that said, there is beautiful Wisdom in here, as there is in all Coehlo's books but for some reason I just couldn't get past how much it read like something that has been done before. And I kept asking myself, "Where is the story?"

And yes, it is wonderfully written as all of Coehlo's books.... and .... but... I don't know. I guess I was expecting more. So buyer be aware that this book is not a "story" per se, but rather a self help sort of book with actually loads of love and wisdom, and certainly good advice and beauty..... But don't expect a story, but rather small stories within a possibly real story... that reads a lot like the book "The Prophet" by Gibran.

I gave it 3 stars because I did like the material and it is well written. It just didn't feel like an original creative work, which has always been the case when I read Coehlo.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Paulo Coelho is probably best known for his best selling book "The Alchemist". I read "The Alchemist" and while I found it inspirational, it was not exactly a literary gem I could not part with. So when I saw this latest work being published, I decided to give Coelho a second chance. And what a present surprise I got! I do not want to be harsh and say that this is a good book becuase Coelho did not write it himself. However, the origins of the book are quite interesting.

In 1974 English archeologist Sir Walter Wilkinson discovered a manuscript while he was working on his research in Egypt. Egyptian experts confirmed that this was one out of 155 (known) copies circulating the world and that document was created around AD 1307 in Accra, region outside Egyption territory. Sir Wilkinson was allowed to take manuscript with him to England and in 1982 Paulo Coelho met Sir Wilkinson's son while vacationing in Porthmadog, Wales. That was the first time Mr. Coelho learned about the existance of this manuscript. In November 2011, this manscript was shared with Mr. Coelho and at this time the manuscript becomes available to the public.

I was amazed by the book. It does not force any religious beliefs on its reader but it rather teaches readers on how to live life. Each chapter describes human condition: defeat, defeated one(s), solitude, feeling useless/not good enough, fear of change, beauty, what direction to take in life (fire in the belly), love, choice, sex, allowing the light of love in one's life, elegance, intellectual vs. physical work, luck and success, miracles, anxiety and obsession, future, loyalty, war and finally - who are our enemies. My favorite ones are about elegance and loyalty. Loyalty is descibed as "the returning lover will never be eyed with distrust, because loyalty accompanies his every step". For elegance, the manuscript says that "elegance is not an outer quality, but a part of soul that is visible to others." and "Every tribe, every people, has values that they associate with elegance: hospitality, respect, good manners. Arrogance attracts hatred and envy. Elegance arouses respect and love".

I am keeping this book for the rest of my days on earth. It is a kind of book that in some way reminds me of Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet". While Gibran created his masterpiece as a poem, this manuscript is written in prose. Both are remarkable and showcase kind of wisdom that is not encountered every day. I only wish I could give this book 10 stars instead of 5.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Manuscript Found in Accra" is a record of advice given to the gathered community of Jerusalem by a "Copt" in July of 1099. On the eve before French forces were expected to sack the city, the "soul of Jerusalem" was shared for posterity. Jerusalem, at this time, was reputedly a community of peace where Jew, Christian, and Muslim lived together in harmony(?!). The manuscript itself is structured as a question and answer session.

What otherwise could have been a non-fictional self-help book or work of religion or spirituality is cloaked as a novel via this framework. While the idea is interesting, making the reading experience more intriguing than if it were simply presented as the contemporary author's ideas, its execution wasn't entirely convincing. Although the prose is reminiscent of antiquated wisdom literature, the resemblance is passing. Its authenticity is dubious and, consequently, the reader is never really transported to 11th century Jerusalem.

A fair amount of the advice, if not groundbreaking, is certainly well-intentioned and may inspire some readers to greater depth and fulfillment in their lives. Unfortunately, most of the "wisdom" is so basic that those interested in this type of literature and, consequently, likely to read it probably won't be particularly enlightened or edified. Some of the truths presented are self-evident but the author's analogies and examples offer little support (and, in some instances, are inexcusable logical fallacies). That was probably the most disappointing aspect of the novel - it falters under intellectual scrutiny.

The Q&A format could be comically contrived. The answers were clearly the author's starting point; the set-up questions awkward afterthoughts to achieve an end. For example, the transition to sex was absurdly abrupt. A trader's wife follows up an old man's question about recovering lost moments with, "Speak to us about sex" (page 91). I can imagine the stares of disapproval and shock she must have received! In another instance, the answer doesn't suit the question given the circumstances. A seamstress laments choosing to remain in the city for fear of change (page 45). The Copt's (predictable) response, in which he exhorted them to embrace change, was useless to his audience. While it might have been helpful and appropriate days before the siege, at present it's simply salt in the wound. Why not speak to her current situation? Too often the moralizing came across as trite and condescending platitudes.

Some of the thought was also quite shallow. Happiness is equated with rightness and religion is presented as a means to worship mystery rather than oppress and convert. Even if the reader generally agrees, the presentation is just too simple to be taken seriously. There's a recurring theme that the individual is to pursue his "dream", i.e. the desire of his soul, often at the expense of his relationship to others. One may wonder whether Coelho is sharing spiritual wisdom or simply justifying his own life choices.

While I appreciate Paulo Coelho's intent and effort, the flaws are too numerous to really recommend the work.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
While I was browsing Barnes and Noble this past weekend, I noticed this book on a newly-arrived table and with much excitement and a surprise, I read it right there and then. As it turns out, it was fairly a short read. The spacing within this book makes it so that one can read up to five or so pages before another chapter reveals itself. But, each chapter would prompts one to stop and ponder on the meanings contained in the previous chapter.

It is not like his other works, in a sense of being a "novel" but more like a philosophic/spiritual teachings and lectures about how to live life, from the words of a spiritual man called "The Copt" in 1099 at the city of Jerusalem on the eve before the Crusades. It's basically a question-answer platform - the various townspeople (mixed of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim living peacefully together) gather around Copt while he shares his "wisdom" about everything: love, anxiety, loyalty, nature, sex, etc.

Personally, it has that similar flavor to Khalil Gibran's works - not only that, it really does follow the similar pattern of one of author's previous books, Warrior of the Light: A Manual.

Some of the "sayings" in this book are interesting, to say the least. Overall, it didn't have much in a way of new insights - it's felt like a re-telling of old wisdom and what have you (for those of us whom are well-endowed with profound readings of ancient works). But, it can be important for this day and age.

I personally loved his previous novels, especially The Alchemist,The Devil and Miss Prym, and The Witch of Portobello. And, this latest work by Coelho sure can be quite an insightful read.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 14, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is told as a transcription of a manuscript written in Arabic, Hebrew and Latin and discovered by an English archaeologist in 1974. The document's origin was traced to Accra, a city on the southern coast of Ghana.

The life lessons of this 192 page-turner by Coehlo are immense, masterfully crafted, threaded, woven, brought to life, nourished and laid at our feet for our choosing. Not just lightning in a bottle but wisdom we already know - if we listen to ourselves, if we pay attention to the world, if we care what happens and dare to make a difference first in our own lives and thus in the collective consciousness of the Universe.

We learn those who never lost a battle, avoided scars and taking action, those who eschewed the powerful emotions of humiliation, loneliness, uselessness and despair, also missed the open arms of love and plenitude of beauty that crossed their paths. The manuscript warns that by wasting energy to forego adventure and to shun change, we will likely squander our blessings of love and be quickly and quietly killed by routine in the dead of night... and no one will mourn our passing.

The old story teller reminds us that no one can go back but everyone can go forward and so our imperative is to scatter our seed wherever we go because we know not which seeds "will grow and flourish and enlighten the next generation."

A delightful book... Buy it, download it, borrow it, somehow get your hands on it and read it again and again as I have.

Namaste,

Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have read. Paulo has the words and the insights to help us rebuild this new society that we all need. Probably one of the best Paulo's books since The Alchemist. In the Manuscript I have found all of Paulo's messages in one book. I really recommed Maniscrupt found in Accra to all those we need to see life with new hope and need to find the right values to buil it. It is also a book to give away to those you love. Paulo is finally giving us his sword as he himself says in the book: "this is not a peace deal is a sword to fight for a better world".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Warrior of the Light: A Manual
Warrior of the Light: A Manual by Paulo Coelho (Paperback - Mar. 2004)
$8.69

The Pilgrimage (Plus)
The Pilgrimage (Plus) by Paulo Coelho (Paperback - September 2, 2008)
$10.05

Adultery: A novel
Adultery: A novel by Paulo Coelho (Hardcover - August 19, 2014)
$15.26
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.