In his most personal novel to date, internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. Read more...
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In his most personal novel to date, internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, he decides to begin again: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him. Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before--and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life's inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys: Are we where we want to be, doing what we want to do? Some books are read. Aleph is lived.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-15
- Reviewer: Staff
In this chimerical tale, protagonist Paolo embarks on a journey to remedy his dissatisfaction with life, a frustration he feels despite enjoying the accoutrements of success. Given that his world includes clairvoyance, Divine Energy, and time-travel, Paolo's is not the usual existential crisis. His present-day troubles, in fact, can be traced to betrayals during a previous incarnation that took place during the Inquisition. When he encounters Hilal, a woman he wronged, complications arise from their shared experience in The Aleph: "the point at which everything is in the same place at the same time." Given the couple's history, Paolo's response is curiously practical and distant: "reopening old wounds is neither easy nor particularly important. The only justification is that the knowledge acquired might help me to gain a better understanding of the present." Although the novel requires ample suspension of disbelief, there's no better author to serve such a work than Coelho (The Alchemist)—his main character bears the weight of the sometimes ambiguous and wandering narrative with pithy reflections. (Sept.)