Book Review: The Zahir

My sudden scram from Tolkien's The Hobbit to Paulo Coelho's The Zahir had indeed made me feel a bit of nausea.The first one got me stuck with wood elves and meadows, while the latter one taught me the uncanny life of a self-aggravating, yet highly successful writer; the first one made me climb mountains and brood my way to caves, while the latter one made me walk into an infinite looking steppes in search of true love; and The Hobbit gave me a glimpse of what nobility means while The Zahir taught me nothing about love and its different deities. They both have nothing in common, I may say, except only for the fact that they are both known to be a part of the modern literary success.


It was as if it is but another trash that talks about the all-time favorite topic, love, but I assure you that Coelho struck the topic at the part where nobody have already did. With Coelho's strong command of language and an innate wisdom about life and its lackadaisical means, he built a tale that will not let you imagine what is happening between the pages, but will make you realize some things about your life itself which have been obscured all along. It didn't talk about a man and wife reconciling with each other from a dreadful marriage through sweet words and actions, but it discussed love as a divine energy on which every body can and is possessing, but isn't making the most out of it, and is often embezzling every dimension of our lives.

The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in France and enjoys privileges his money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover. Was Esther kidnapped murdered, or did she simple escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn't have any answers but has plenty of questions of his own, though he doesn't know where to start looking for Esther, or if, in fact, he even wants her back. Then, one day, Mikhail finds the abandoned husband and promises to reunite him with his wife. And in his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator will discover something unexpected about himself.

I have this weird habit of folding the upper part of the book in the instance that I'll find a sentence or two that may be worth quoting, and I didn't realize that I've fold almost half of the book.

Paulo Coelho had made it certain that he will connect to his wide range of readers, juvenile or adult, loveless of love-lots, and the whole concoction of what a man can be. Regardless of your status, you will surely find a quote that you will keep for the lest of your lives, or might as well may even stand as your new principle in living.

The downside of The Zahir, on the other hand, was that it was a tale of different tales, which made it somehow confusing I may say. The way Coelho presented the protagonists feelings and realizations was through inserting some excerpts from some famous stories and through stating its images.Yes indeed, it was highly informative and entertaining at some points since it didn't just stick to its theme, which is love, but I wish Coelho didn't overly saturated his masterpiece with too much knowledge; I reckon novels are made to entertain people, not to inform them, settle on informative writing then.

At some points I felt giving up on finishing the book since I somehow felt that Coelho elongated the story too much. It seemed to me that there were some parts where it should have ended right then and there, but it didn't, and the protagonist and his psycho friend continued garnering new adventures, away from the true heart of the story.


"What we need to learn is always there before us, we just have to look around us with respect and attention."

"I believe in signs. I believe in fate. I believe that every single day people are offered the chance to make the best possible decision about everything they do."

"In order to love, they must cease to be who they are."

"It only takes a little knowledge to be somebody."

"Love is an untamed force, when we try to control it, it destroys us.

"Love is a disease no one want to get rid of."

All in all, Paulo Coelho's The Zahir is good, but not brilliant- for me. It is highly recommendable to those people who too are searching for true love, especially if you already reached the point that you feel you're going down an infinite abyss of nothingness. Love is a divine energy you can find anywhere, anytime, from anyone, and Coelho can be the best man to teach you its perks and peeves.

1 komento:

  1. i found it to be extremely boring and illogical..1/10 for it from me