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Aleph Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 27, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 279 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A new tale of magical longing. . . . Masterful.” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
 “Coelho is a novelist who writes in a universal language.” —The New York Times

“It’s time for American readers to set out on a journey of discovery that will lead them to the works of this exceptional writer.” —USA Today
 
“[Coelho’s] books have had a life-enhancing effect on millions of people.” —The Times (London)
 
“Spiritualists and wanderlusts will eagerly devour The Alchemist author’s fiery diatribes about love, fear, and the search for all things meaningful.” —The Washington Post 
  
Aleph is a book written by the soul, and for the soul. At once tender and fiercely courageous, it challenges you with an embrace while seducing you with a discerning blade that points directly at the heart of what matters most in life and death. And when you have finished the last word on the last page, even if your logical mind doesn’t completely understand all that you’ve read, your eternal spirit will be dancing with joy.” —Cecilia Samartin, author of Broken Paradise
 
“Vivid, captivating. . . . So engaging that readers will not want to put it down for even a fraction of a second. As the author sets out on his journey, the reader gets the sense that, he too, is embarking on the same voyage.” —The International Herald Tribune
 
“[A] chimerical tale. . . . There’s no better author to serve such a work than Coelho.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Enigmatic. . . . An illuminating book.” —The National
 
“Borges set the standard that Coelho capably upholds. . . . Coelho the writer is both discerning and revealing of Coelho the protagonist, whose enthusiasms we share.” —The Washington Independent Review

About the Author

Paulo Coelho is the author of many international best sellers, including The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes, and The Pilgrimage. His books have sold more than 130 million copies in 160 countries and have been translated into 72 languages. In 2007, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. He lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First American Edition edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307700186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307700186
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reading Paulo's book is such a magical experience. This book will truly open doors to self-discovery that you didn't know existed. Many people around the world can relate with how Paulo felt at the beginning of this book: successful but unhappy, trapped in routine and the vice of solitude, disconnected from inspiration and the Divine.

From this starting point, Paulo takes a life-changing journey across the trans-Siberian railway and discovers a magic that can only be described the moment you finish reading this wonderful book. The "aleph" is a moment in which all time and space is condensed into singularity, what some would call presence, and everyone must learn to find this magical space - ALEPH holds the key to that doorway.

ALEPH is one of my favorite books of all time. Some quotes:

"Go and reconquer your kingdom, which has grown corrupted by routine."

"To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life."

"Travel is never a matter of money but of courage."

"I remember the many occasions on which help has come from precisely those people whom I though had nothing to add to my life."

"When faced by any loss, there's no point in trying to recover what has been; it's best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new."

"Hell is when we look back during that fraction of a second [at the end of life] and know that we wasted an opportunity to dignify the miracle of life. Paradise is being able to say at that moment: I made some mistakes but I wasn't a coward. I lived my life and did what I had to do."

"That is what marks out the warrior: the knowledge that willpower and courage are not the same things.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I loved the Alchemist and recommend it to everyone who is interested in spiritual and personal development. But I have to confess, I finished reading Aleph shaking my head in confusion. Maybe, I'm just not enlightened enough to be reading this book.

I believe our past influences our future. I believe in "signs" and fate. I believe in self-discovery. This book though was way beyond my grasp - way over my head.

On the positive side: Paulo Coelho is an excellent writer and knows how to weave a beautiful story. His writing allows us to picture exactly what he is describing it - the buildings, the cold wind, the swaying train.

The bottom line for me: I just couldn't get into this book.
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By Sally Walker on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
During this incredible journey, Coelho, like in The Alchemist,
discovers that it sometimes is necessary to travel far in order
to understand what is near. Friendship, love, faith and loss
are never far away.
Coelho reminds us that we all travel in our dreams.
I truly recomend reading Aleph to everyone!
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Format: Hardcover
Paulo Coelho is most famous for his über-bestseller "The Alchemist," which has been translated into dozens of languages and has sold over 65 million copies--and for good reason. The inspirational allegory about a young boy finding the Philosopher's Stone and his " Personal Legend" is a favorite book of many including this reviewer.

So I was very excited to read Coelho's autobiographical, newly released "Aleph." With a title like "Aleph," a word used in the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah and the title of a mystical short story by another Latin American writer, Jorge Luis Borges, I wondered if Coelho's new book would be allegorical too and steeped in mysticism.

Instead, it is a very down-to-earth and insightful recounting of Coelho's own quest for meaning, the mystical in his own life, and the fulfillment of his Personal Legend. It is surprising that a man who could write a book that brought inspiration to so many was himself in such need of insight.

It begins at his home in the hamlet of Saint Martin in the French Pyrenees, in the midst of a midlife, spiritual crisis. His life is deluged with routine, what St. John of the Cross referred to as the "dark night of the soul." His teacher suggests that he go on a journey to reconnect with himself and the present, and "reconquer his Kingdom," just as Homer's Odysseus did thousands of years before.

Read the rest of my review published here: [...]
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Format: Hardcover
Disappointed. Aleph is a meandering, self-indulgent novel about Paulo Cohelo's spiritual quest for forgiveness. Translation: He travels across Russia by train signing books for throngs of adoring fans and reporters, drinking vodka, and lusting after a 21-year old girl (who, conveniently enough, is madly in love with him). This book is so pretentious. Cohelo tries to make every little event into some symbolic, cosmic encounter of monumental significance, and most of it just doesn't make any sense. He's under the delusion that the young girl is from a past life, when in reality, see he's just a pervy, 60-something married guy who wants to bone an insecure 21-year old while his doting wife waits at home for him (Thankfully, he does Not have sex with the young girl - about the only self-restraint Cohelo exercised in this book).

The tone of the entire book is pretentious, self-important and misogynistic. It seems he wrote this book for himself, as a manifesto to stroke his own ego, because no one can relate to his ramblings. He gets restless and jet-sets around the world, then decides to hop aboard the Trans-Siberian railway - only to spend the rest of the book complaining about what an awful ordeal it is. Cry me a river, Cohelo. Most people would give their arm to do a once in a lifetime trip like that, yet we're supposed to feel sorry for this mega-successful millionaire just because he feels stuck in his "spiritual quest?" Ugh. Give me a break. This book made me want to puke. Cohelo is so wrapped up in his imaginary little fantasy world, he's obviously lost touch with the problems and concerns of most ordinary people.

Aleph lacks the cohesion of his other novels. It also lacks the depth. It's not nearly as compelling either. If you liked the Alchemist, you'll be sorely disappointed by this book. This novel stinks.
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