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Manuscript Found in Accra Paperback – December 31, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 461 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Coelho’s quietly beautiful book is difficult to categorize. Unlike many of his novels, it is not an allegory, nor does it revolve around a mystical or physical pilgrimage. Instead, it consists of a series of queries posed by a population under siege and the powerfully simple, yet evocative, answers provided by an essentially unidentified wise man. As Jerusalem is surrounded by belligerent Crusaders in AD 1099, its diverse citizens—Jews, Muslims, and Christians, who have lived together in peace for centuries—gather in the square to seek the counsel of the Greek, known familiarly as the Copt. The Copt advises them to speak of their daily lives and search their hearts, minds, and souls for questions pertaining to universal truths. As the Copt thoughtfully answers questions posed about a variety of everyday subjects, including solitude, love, utility, luck, miracles, beauty, sex, anxiety, grace, and elegance, he bequeaths to his audience an “invisible sword” with which to fight intolerance and ignorance. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The sublime Coelho continues to break stylistic boundaries with this series of spiritual musings grounded more in history and morality than in his trademark brand of mysticism. --Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Coelho’s writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts.” —Daily Express
“His writing is like a path of energy that inadvertently leads readers to themselves, toward their mysterious and faraway souls.”  —Le Figaro
“His books have had a life enhancing impact on millions of people “ —The Times (London)
“An exceptional writer.”  —USA Today

“An intriguing and playful premise.” —The Boston Globe

“Full of worthy musings and quotable quotes on a variety of subjects—from solitude and love to beauty and miracles. . . . Like all Coelho’s other works, the earnestness, simplicity and clarity of [Manuscript Found in Accra’s] prose start touching your soul and transforming your thoughts.” —The International Herald Tribune

“Coelho . . .  shows himself again to be a cerebral and subtle writer.” —The New York Journal of Books
“Spiritualists and wanderlusts will eagerly devour . . .  [Coelho’s] search for all things meaningful.” —The Washington Post 

 “Coelho masterfully presents his points wrapped in the … familiar guise of an ancient story.” —Portland Book Review

“A timeless and powerful exploration of personal growth, everyday wisdom and joy.” —Bookscan (London)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (December 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345805054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345805058
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (461 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Kear VINE VOICE on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine 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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified 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. ...
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Vine 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.
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