Book Review: The Zahir


Title: The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession
Author: Paulo Coelho
Language: English
Format: Paperback


The story is about a international best seller author whose wife has gone missing. He did not know whether his wife, who was also a war journalist had been kidnapped or gone with her own will. His search for his wife made him understand his own obsession, and took him to meet people and go to places which in the end opened his horizon about the power of love.

At least that’s what you will read or interpret based on the writing in the back cover.

One that I like so much from this book is that Coelho wrote something along the line: if the book is not self explanatory than it is not worth reading, as if it gives me a permission to freely interpret what he wants to say in this book. It carries so many messages, I couldn’t even pick one to start with.

Of course being me, I don’t believe in love mumbo jumbo in this book. I don’t believe in the supernatural feminine power which has been the central issue for some of Coelho’s books (probably it’s his own Zahir). I couldn’t care less with the issue of spirituality which I sensed very heavy in his books. I still like reading his works merely because he wrote things very beautifully.

He has been writing about some of the oldest theme in the world: love, obsession, life and death. How come he keep making it enjoyable and satisfying without becoming incredibly mushy.

It’s a joy reading his book, and it was so hard to put this book down. I finished it in only three nights, and mind you I only read before I go to bed. Imagine how many late night I have been having lately!

I know some people enjoy reading books because they like or concern about the issue the author would like to talk about. But I think it is more enjoyable to be able to read a book with a fully open mind and take in the story as it is. And, if the message is really important for you, there is one thing I actually learn about this book.

It is about the importance of telling a story. It reminds me about why I write this blog. To share a story. The same with why Coelho wrote his books. And the same with why the characters in his books kept telling their stories.

And for his wonderful story, I would rate this book 4 out of 5.


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