- Unknown Binding: 264 pages
- Publisher: Chivers (2001)
- ISBN-10: 0754043347
- ISBN-13: 978-0754043348
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (406 customer reviews)
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Veronika decides to die
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Top Customer Reviews
This book has definitely inspired and/or changed the lives of many people out there. It is a book that will make you think, appreciate life.
It was my first experience of Paulo Coelho and it has made me to read more. He has a gift for writing books, which changes the way you think about life in general. That book is undoubtedly a phenomenon. I really enjoyed reading this satisfying book. I found the story quite gripping. It is a wonderful although bizarre declaration of love to all mad people in our world and to the life itself. The book really touched me very deeply. Paulo Coelho tells from elementary experiences and the readers recognize themselves: with their frailties and fears and also with their yearnings and dreams.
Short summary of �Veronika decides to die�:
Veronika has everything she could wish for. She is young and pretty, with plenty of attractive boyfriends. She has a steady job and a loving family. Yet Veronika is not happy and one winter�s morning she takes an overdose of sleeping pills, only to wake up some time later in a local mental hospital. There she is told that although she is alive, her heart is now irreparably damaged and she has only a few days to live. First Veronika feels a tiny bit happy about that message. Then she begins to think about her life.
This story follows her through these intense days as she starts to question all her ideas about life. Soon she comes to realize that every second of existence is a choice we all make between living and dying.
The way it alters her way of thinking and seeing the world. How she starts to question everything around her and also her own mortality.Read more ›
As some of the reviewers have said - this is a book about life and not about death and I could not agree more. After an unsuccessful attempt at suicide, Veronika awakens in a mental hospital with a grim death sentence hanging over her head of only having five days left to live. Her conformist way of life, her mediocrity, her stifled creativity, as well as her unwillingness to take risks or challenges, are all brought into the limelight for the reader to "feel". The reader experiences many emotions on Veronika's journey during the remaining five days of her life. We are treated to what her dream "would have been" if she followed her heart and allowed her emotions and passions to shine through.
Veronika's five-day metamorphosis is in effect her rebirth into life. She allows her buried feelings, passions and creativity to surface and to be acknowledged. Her brief stay also influences other patients in the hospital, as they too undergo their own rebirth into the joy of living.
The ending of this tale will come as a surprise to some readers, to others maybe not. Nonetheless, this book is excellent and will re-confirm to the reader just how precious, joyous and love-filled life is. This book also brings home many messages, the most important one being - life is what you make it - it is your choice and your choice alone - one can either live life to the fullest or be a walking zombie as Veronika was.
I thoroughly recommend this book as another inspiring and thought provoking book by Paulo Coelho. I very much look forward to his next book.
But understanding Mr. Coelho requires understanding the rest of the story.
There is a simple beauty to Mr. Coelho's style, in evidence as he describes Veronika's ascent from the depths of her private purgatory to her return to her place among the living. This evolution in Veronika is the crux of the book and it illustrates Mr. Coelho's strengths and weaknesses as a storyteller: his ideas are fresh and original and his sense of plot of solid. But his techniques as a writer, his dialogues, his pacing, are weak.
To be sure, Mr. Coelho's ideas are the cornerstones of his legion fan base. The ideas are not only visible in this book when it comes to Veronika's rebirth but also in interesting but minor parts of the story. One of my favorites was when Mari -- an antagonist to Veronika, a lawyer, and a fellow patient at the Villete hospital where most of the story takes place -- muses about how she would defend Adam in the eyes of God for the role he played in the Fall of Man. I also enjoyed the metaphor from Zedka -- another patient -- about the king and queen who rules a kingdom of mad people and how they reacted.
But I quarrel with Mr. Coelho's development of characters, and especially with his choice of dialogue.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In addition to providing a window to the world of the people labeled as mentally disturbed, this book also provides a window to the ways in which parents might cripple children's... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Liliana
I enjoy every single book of Coelho... His mind is at the core of humanity:)Published 7 days ago by Zimbawe
This probably qualifies as Coelho's seminal best seller and certainly one of his most memorable. Also autobiographical to a large extent. Read morePublished 22 days ago by marksutherland
I enjoyed this book all the way through. The very end of it though seemed a little chopped off, in fact I don't even remember now how it ended. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Susan M
I actually enjoyed it until she started masturbating. There's this whole theme beforehand of how sanity is kind of an illusion, and how living the socially acceptable life will not... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Clo
somewhat interesting, sort of boring, not one you are anxious to hurry and read to find out the ending.Published 1 month ago by Peggy Post