The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

Actually I cannot say that I love Coelho’s books. Sometimes they are sooo philosophical and in many cases I feel like it is a philosophy for depressed teenagers ;) So why I decided to read this book? I do not have the slightest idea… And in fact this was not the first book of Coelho’s that I’ve read, what is more – I have another book by him that I’m going to read! Sounds stupid, I know :)

Paulo Coelho - a Brazilian writer born in 1947.

Paulo Coelho – a Brazilian writer born in 1947.

This was the first book of 300+ pages in English that I read. I love reading books but recently I hadn’t enough time for that. I said to myself that this would be a part of my preparation for TOEFL exam, combining work and pleasure ;) Let’s say that it worked as I passed :P

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian writer who is really very popular in Polish and nobody has idea why it is so! Maybe we just like pseudo-sophisticated novels? Worldwide he is best known for The Alchemist, a novel that was written in 1988 and became an international bestseller soon afterwards. An interesting fact is that the book was  translated into 56 languages and won a Guinness World Record for that :)

The Zahir is one of his latest books; it was written in 2005 and translated only into 44 languages ;)

In Arabic the Zahir means 'conspicuous'.

In Arabic the Zahir means ‘conspicuous’.

Reading this book you may have an impression that it is the author’s biography as the main character is also a bestselling novelist in his middle age. He’s wealthy, has everything he wants, is married to loving wife but meets with other women also as their relationship is considered as open… One day his wife, Esther, disappears. The press and police think that he may be involved in that. Day by day his emotions change. He starts to think about his marriage like he hasn’t done for ages, he can’t understand why she had left him and this thought soon becomes his obsession. Esther’s disappearance is like a new chapter in his life, it’s like a wake-up call for life… Finally this experience turns to be blessing.

The plot of this book was generally OK, however it took me quite a long time to finish it ;) Sometimes I got frustrated of too many ‘philosophical’ thoughts that were so unnatural for people to speak like that. There were some moments when I was wondering about my life and it is generally positive when something makes you do it. The main theme of this book was that a marriage is like a set of railway tracks – forever close but never as one soul. Simple? Sure, but the idea is to always remember how important is the other person, don’t fall into stagnation and don’t feel obliged to pretend that we are extremely happy together all the time.

I’m wondering how the realization of these beautiful ideas looks like in Coelho’s life!

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