Adultery by Paulo Coelho- Book Review has been long pending and I wish to take out all my angst about it.
Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel, The Alchemist (was his second book), sold 35 million copies and is the most translated book in the world by a living author. He writes about one book every two years, which is very good if they are of the same caliber as The Alchemist.
I read his Eleven Minutes, Zahir and Witch of Portobello and though they did not match up to Alchemist, they were still worth reading. The suggestive title, Adultery, by Paulo Coelho, investigates what it means to live a complete and happy life, by finding equilibrium between life’s drudgery and the desire for something new and exciting. But it does not live up to the name of the author nor the subject.
The Alchemist promoted the philosophy that people discover only when they understand how to listen. He professed that the whole world changes and all the things we touch will turn into the idealistic gold
Eleven minutes verged on sexual overtones but then there is blessedness to sexuality. Maria, the central character realizes that she has to first reconcile with herself to reach that lofty state.The story of Zahir is of a famous writer who gives up all the principles that governed his life when his wife disappears. He crosses the desert to search for a hidden meaning to life. Paulo Coelho goes back to ancient myths and old traditions to stir up themes of the pursuit of love, the pilgrimage of self-knowledge, and the origins of belief. He uses his own story to describe with irony the state of the modern world. He talks about freedom, loneliness and wonders about the future of man in search of steadiness, love and spirituality.
The story of Zahir is of a famous writer who gives up all the principles that governed his life when his wife disappears. He crosses the desert to search for a hidden meaning to life. Paulo Coelho goes back to ancient myths and old traditions to stir up themes of the pursuit of love, the pilgrimage of self-knowledge, and the origins of belief. He uses his own story to describe with irony the state of the modern world. He talks about freedom, loneliness and wonders about the future of man in search of steadiness, love and spirituality.
The Witch of Portobello relates the story of Athena, the adopted daughter of a rich Lebanese family. She moved to London with her family when war broke out in their country, a war which she predicted.She met the man who would become the father of her child at the university .They marry and have a baby but their marriage doesn’t last.Once she becomes a mother herself, Athena starts thinking of the woman who brought her into the world, and sets out to find her and discovers that she is a gypsy and her name is Lilian. Athena wants to comprehend how her mother could abandon her. The Witch of Portobello defines how both women help others at the risk of their own annihilation.
I did not like Adultery at all. Difficult to believe this is written by the same man who wrote one of my favorite novels-Alchemist. Totally shocking and exceedingly disappointing, although I read the whole book, as I was hoping for it to get good, but it never happened. I would request you not to waste time, or money on this bestseller. I treasured ‘The Alchemist’ the first time I read it as it gave out a strong message.
He churns out a book every two years and his work has become extremely repetitive and that in the name of philosophy he’s only supplying us the same fodder in a new packaging.
The protagonist, Linda was strange and I couldn’t relate to her at all. I didn’t get her. I have many women friends and have interacted closely with many and except for a couple of women who have been through infidelity, none of my women friends are like her. It tells a tale about a woman having an affair through the perspective of a man. We Indians are criticized for our mysticism and belief in tantriks but then this is Switzerland and there she trusts the shaman’s evolutionary biology perspective on infidelity. He delves into the psyche of a woman who has a perfect family, is financially independent, has a nanny to look after the kids and do the housework, has a great life but is bored!! What else could one want more from life but she goes ahead and has an affair?
It is the story of an experiential crisis, peppered with kinky sex, religious preaching that ends on a hackneyed note.
But she is not happy and is kind of depressed she thinks. So what does she do? She interviews her ex boyfriend and without any romance of wine and dinner, she gives him a blowjob on an impulse (he is a respectable politician)
The second time she meets him again in some hotel, dreaming about some great coupling but all she gets is raw sex. She doesn’t like it, and yet harbors these romantic notions that she is falling in love with him! Although treated like a whore, she plans to get rid of his wife, so she could have him all for herself.
And then she goes off on a weekend trip and the adventure sports give her an adrenaline rush, catharsis, all is well again.
This woman needs a sound shake, long sessions of bhastrika pranayama to rattle her out of her self-pity stupor and some long sessions with a shrink who will exorcise her mad thoughts.
This book was a colossal let down as I was looking for some love gyaan (knowledge) but it sure as hell had nothing to do with love or with any gyaan.
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