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The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession Paperback – July 3, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
The press chat cites 65 million copies of Coelho's eight previous novels in print, making the Brazilian author one of the world's bestselling novelists (150 countries and 56 languages). This book, whose title means "the present" or "unable to go unnoticed" in Arabic, has an initial staggered laydown of eight million copies in 83 countries and 42 languages. It centers on the narrator's search for his missing wife, Esther, a journalist who fled Iraq in the runup to the present war, only to disappear from Paris; the narrator, a writer, is freed from suspicion when his lover, Marie, comes forward with a (true) alibi. He seeks out Mikhail, the man who may be Esther's most recent lover and with whom she was last seen, who has abandoned his native Kazakhstan for a kind of speaking tour on love. Mikhail introduces the narrator to a global underground "tribe" of spiritual seekers who resist, somewhat vaguely, conventional ways of living. Through the narrator's journey from Paris to Kazakhstan, Coelho explores various meanings of love and life, but the impact of these lessons is diminished significantly as they are repeated in various forms by various characters. Then again, 65 million readers can't be wrong; the spare, propulsive style that drove The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes and Coelho's other books will easily carry fans through myriad iterations of the ways and means of amor. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Subtitled A Novel of Obsession, this tale is the philosophical and spiritual chronicle of one man's quest for self-discovery. Stunned by his wife's inexplicable disappearance from their Paris home and immediately suspected of foul play by the authorities and the press, the unnamed protagonist, a best-selling writer, is forced to reexamine both his marital relationship and his own life. What he eventually discovers with the help of a -mysterious stranger named Mikhail--a man he suspects is somehow involved in Esther's disappearance--is that he must first "find himself" before he can ever hope to find his wife. Although Esther is physically and emotionally lost to him, he rediscovers her as he retraces both her footsteps and the disintegration of their visceral connection. Finally able to release the past and his anger, he can accept the uncertainty of the present by traveling to Kazakhstan with Mikhail in search of Esther and the remote possibility of resurrecting a dormant love. As in The Alchemist (1993), Coelho continues to prove himself a contemporary fabulist, spinning irresistible stories while seeking enlightenment at the same time. Interwoven with details drawn from his life, the mesmerizing narrative offers a highly personal meditation on the meaning and the power of love. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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