Mi Bodeguita del Medio

While my blog is named after a restaurant in Havana I hope to someday visit, here you will find musings, rants, political incorrectness, thoughts on Indian Nationalism, strong straight-forward opinions and tid-bits.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Book review: The Zahir - Paulo Coelho

Two words: dragged out. In spite of being a believer of the listen to your heart, follow your dreams philosophy, to me, this book clearly went over the top. I started reading it late last year and normally should have been able to finish it within two weeks. I took it with me on my trip, and found myself reading the book less, and the lonely planet more. Ofcourse, its normal to read a guidebook when you're travelling, but honestly, I would read completely unnecessary stuff from it, and even about places I wasn't planning to visit (like Indonesia) just in order to avoid reading this book.

I won't even go into the plot except that it revolves around this near-perfect writer's life story (take a wild guess who that character may be based upon) and his obsession with a woman that makes him visit Central Asia and tag along behind groups of punks in the streets of Paris. The sentences are long and unnecessarily complex, and by the time you finish reading one, you've already forgotten what he started off saying in the first place. I have Veronika Decides to Die, another of his titles sitting on the bookshelf, but considering the huge effort it took to read this one, I don't think I'll be picking that up for a while.


  1. He should have stopped with Alchemist. Like dat good woman Arundhadi Roy did, "lay down his pen".

  2. Well, even if he keeps writing, he could do it with less drama!

  3. I really dont agree.
    You know, if you've been through a similar experience in life, only then can you really understand the deeper meaning behind what he means by "the Zahir".

    There are parts in the book that could have been edited out. But at the end of the day, this was his journey into "finding himself" before he could go out and find the woman he loved.

    Every one of us eventually needs to do that. We all lose sight of who we are and what we want at some point.

    And I think this book was one step in driving home the point that we need to drop our past histories, get rid of the acomodador in our lives and move ahead.