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By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of Forgiveness Paperback – May 23, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Tra edition (May 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061122092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061122095
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This first United States paperback of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept comes after huge worldwide sales of the novel of faith, romance, miracles, and the importance of following the heart's true path. The inspirational tale follows Pilar, a young woman from the Spanish countryside who, sparked by the teachings of a now-mysterious man she has known and loved since childhood, leaves her graduate studies and embarks on a spiritual pilgrimage through the Pyrenees Mountains and reevaluates her life and her future. Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, author of the international bestseller The Alchemist, is considered to be one of the most widely-read Latin American writers in the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Before James Redfield there was Coelho, whose fiction laden with spiritual messages has proved more popular overseas than here. (The Alchemist, first published in Brazil in 1988 and here in 1993, glanced PW's paperback bestseller list but has sold two million copies in South America.) Though likely to please the author's fans, this new novel, a didactic love story set in modern-day Spain, may not extend his reach. Its heroine is Pilar, 28, who, in the company of her former boyfriend, learns over the course of seven days that "the spiritual path is traveled by means of the daily experience of love." That may be music to Coelho devotees, but others will note the surrounding cacophony-the incessant lapsing from narrative into lecture; the stilted characters, who lack motive and verisimilitude (after 10 years of separation, the ex, a former seminarian, now an esteemed miracle worker, invites Pilar for coffee and declares his love for her). Coelho's message, though, informed by his adherence to the Roman Catholic sect of the Order of Ram, is invariably heartfelt and challenging, emphasizing the feminine aspects of the divine and the charismatic aspects of worship. "Some day," Pilar learns, "people would realize... that we can perform miracles, cure, prophesize and understand." Whether that understanding will encompass Coelho's reasons for sacrificing dramatic integrity to polemic, and for insisting on cloaking sermons in fictional trappings, remains to be seen. $75,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 (http://paulocoelhoblog.com), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paulo-Coelho/11777366210), Twitter (https://twitter.com/paulocoelho) & Instagram (http://instagram.com/alkmist), among others. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=paulabraconnot) and Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulo_coelho/sets) , offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers.

Customer Reviews

I found it bearable but a bit much, a bit unnecessary.
Jonathan Robbins
Coelho has such an amazing way of expressing the character's feelings that you come to really know the characters in his stories.
Rita
Love for another person, love for life, love for dreams, love for God.
fly_aristocrat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Robbins on February 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I begin by noting that I love Coelho and find his prose to be almost poetic. I found this book - as always - beautifully written but a bit heavy on religion. Let me explain before you boo me off the stage, Coelho lovers! Usually, I find his thoughts on God and religion to be beautifully written but also subtly drafted. For example, in his masterpiece "The Alchemist", God and fate and religion were infused throughout the story, but subtly so. Here, the religion is very in your face. I found it bearable but a bit much, a bit unnecessary. Coelho is such a gifted writer that he doesn't NEED to be so blunt with religion and god. That said, this novel - as his others - is well constructed, a quick read and one in which we quickly become involved in the main characters lives. I found myself rooting heartily for the two main actors. The ending was something of a surprise, but as always left me on the edge of my seat with my mouth open and my mind racing. The book does what any good book should - leave you with the belief that you have read an excellent story, as well as give you many things to think about and relate to your own life. "By the River ..." is well worth a read, and Coelho continues to inspire with his almost non-stop beautiful prose. Each page contains at least one gem which I underline, think about, come back to, chew on, and then think about some more. A great read - if it was by anyone else I'd give it a 5; I give it a comparative 4 only in relation to his other books. While this one is great, his others are even greater.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Judith E. Pavluvcik on September 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
With each book I read by Paulo Coelho, I come to admire his works of wisdom, of love and of hope even more. Each book is a gem! I could not write down the quotes fast enough from this book! This book will leave you joyful as well as hopeful in this most romantic tale.
Pilar is confronted with facing herself - either she embraces her love or she walks away from it in the form of her childhood friend, who has misgivings about entering the seminary, due to his enduring love for her. She encounters the feminine face and force of God, which desires her to open up to love. Likewise, her seminarian is facing the battle of choosing between love and God. Both characters encounter challenges of the heart and find that they can have the best of both worlds - of love and of God. This is NOT a pushy or preachy religious book, but a book, which imparts the feminine and masculine aspects of God in our lives amidst the deep love of a man and a woman have for each other. "The previous day, the world had made sense, even without love's presence. But now we needed each other in order to see the true brilliance of things (88)."
"But love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even it that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness. The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us. (79)"
Coelho, the eternal optimist, shows us once again the power of love and of God's love in our lives. This book is a quick read and it is one of Coelho's best! A great love story!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Durling Heath on February 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
A love story in which the two main characters, Pilar, who is a student in the town of Zaragoza, and her childhood sweetheart who she new as a girl in the small Spanish village Soria, `By The River Piedra, I Sat Down And Wept' weaves ideas about God, religion, and carnal love into a nice, if not a bit obscure work of fiction. Perhaps because this book was not read in its English translation and not in its original Spanish, something was lost in the process.

Pilar receives a message from her childhood friend that he will make a speech in Madrid. When Pilar reaches Madrid, she realizes her friend has become a very influential and powerful leader of a religious movement that embraces the femininity of God. Shortly after the event, her friend professes his love for Pilar, a love that had been a part of his being since the two were children back in Soria, and he bades her to join him on a journey. On this journey, Pilar learns that her friend has not only become a leader of a religious movement, but that he also has the power to work miracles. At the same time, Pilar deals with "the Other," the part of each of our psyches that manifests itself as fear, regret, and other counterproductive emotional responses that prevents us from achieving our full potential as human beings. During this journey through the French Pyrenees, which includes stays at hostels and visits to churches and chapels, the two find themselves at the monastery at Piedra where the two had played as children. It is at Piedra where Pilar's friend must ultimately choose the path of his own life.

Often described as poetic, Coelho's prose in `By The River Piedra, I Sat Down And Wept' is artistic and almost dreamlike.
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