Review: The Zahir

The Zahir
The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book by Coelho that I have read. I have ambivalent feelings toward it. On one hand, I really enjoyed many of the messages about love and spirituality that he is pushing, and the things he says sound powerful and convincing. However, I am not impressed by the way he envelops these messages within a plot. The book feels more like a long rambling essay, rather than a novel. When the author wants to transmit something to the reader, he just invents a dialogue and puts the message in the mouth of a character — /any/ character — and as a result, everyone in the book is saying the same things and feels like the same person. And this is supposed to be a novel about discovery and change, but it feels like all these characters are flat, they do not really change or develop in any way (even if they /say/ they do). All in all, I believe that if this were a non-fiction book, it would feel much more natural and beautiful.

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