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The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession Paperback – July 3, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Then one day his wife disappears. Over time she becomes his Zahir; he writes a book about love and for a while the Zahir fades. Then he meets the man he believes she had left with and the Zahir returns.
This is a wonderful story about becoming, and remembering who you were meant to be, not who you settled into. It will stir in you a passion to be more than you think you can be, and, to give more, and love more purely. Follow a man who goes in search of an estranged wife, only to find himself.
I first discovered him with "Veronica Decides to Die" on an airplane flight. It made me want to rush out and do something wonderful with my life, and I've recommended it to friends. Several of his titles are permanent parts of my library.
That said, however, I was frankly disappointed by "The Zahir." I don't believe there's the moment of transformation for any main character which we've come to expect from Paulo Coelho. I don't believe there's an adequate exploration of the conflict that gets his tale going in the first place. Things just seem to meander from one place to another until the story fills enough pages to call it a day. I sincerely believe a first time author would have found it difficult to get this published.
Buy the rest of Paulo Coelho's books. Loan them to friends. Keep them in your library so you can read them again and again. But if you really want to read this one, check it out from the public library so that you can return it when you're done.
There are themes of love, belonging, separation, anxiety, heartbreak, understanding, alienation, need, want. Many settings, in many places including Paris, Madrid, Kazakstan. The themes are ones that absorb all humankind whether we realize them or not.
I read this book at a bad time in my life, pulling it randomly from my wife's bookshelf, and being pulled into the book as if it were somehow the correct choice of all the books I could have picked. It spoke to me deeply of love and understanding, in a way that I think many couples, many who have loved or lost will instantly empathize with. Following in the narrator's steps, we arrive where he does, gain wisdom as he does, and achieve enlightenment as he does. And hopefully, find and regain true love that had been neglected, as he does.
Coelho's native language is not English, yet none of his writing feels "translated" or stilted like happens to many foreign writings when they appear in English.
It is as if the author has a special gift for storytelling that transcends individual languages, the the vast number of countries in which his books have been published seems to support that.
Whether you are looking to be entertained by a lively tale, or are seeking solace and understanding as I was, The Zahir will fill your need. If you are in need of both then it behooves you to read everything this master storyteller has written.
To me, "The Zahir," is an author out-of-control with his self-indulgent egoism. I'm wondering if Paul Coelho believed he would start a movement based on the "energy of love," kind of how Ayn Rand started "Objectivism." Fortunately, the type was large and the chapters short -- otherwise I would never have finished the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've heard great things about this author, from people who I consider to have good taste in writing. I have a feeling I just picked the wrong book to start on from him. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Angie, When will those clouds all disappear?
Excellent book! A new favorite of mine. I've purchased extras I found at a thrift store to give as gifts.Published 1 month ago by Shawn Vermillion
This book was written for me. Paulo Coelho couldn't say it any better it's like I was on the same journey he was love and spiritualPublished 1 month ago by marlyn
I love Paulo Coelho, have read many of his books. They always have some deep insight to them.Published 1 month ago by Keyra
its amazing how he understand people reaction and his knowleadge about humanity in every scence, paulo coelho has become my favorite writer with this book.Published 5 months ago by Magali
i really enjoyed this book, he is a great writer, with a lot of spirituality.Published 5 months ago by josephine curry