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By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept [Paperback]

Paulo Coelho , Alan R. Clarke
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jun 2005

The story of an independent young woman whose life is changed forever by a chance encounter with a childhood friend. This exciting new edition includes exclusive content, such as an interview with the author, in-depth background information on the book, recommended books if you liked this one, and much more.

Pilar is an independent and practical young woman who is feeling bored and frustrated by the daily grind of her university life. Looking for a deeper meaning to her existence, she happens to meet an old childhood friend, now a handsome, mesmerizing spiritual teacher – and a rumoured miracle worker. As he leads her on a magical journey through the Fench Pyrenees, Pilar begins to realize that this chance encounter is going to transform her life forever.

With Paulo’s trademark blend of mysticism, magical realism and folklore, Pilar’s story is a poignant and deeply inspiring tale

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (6 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780007214716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007214716
  • ASIN: 0007214715
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,225,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. He has become one of the most widely read and loved authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and his work has been translated into 67 languages. The recipient of numerous prestigious international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France's Legion d'Honneur, Paulo Coelho was inducted into the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2002. He writes a weekly column syndicated throughout the world.

Product Description


‘One of the few to deserve the term
“Publishing Phenomenon”’

‘His books have had a life-enancing impact on millions of people.’

‘this (is an) exceptional novel.’
Laura Esquivel, author of LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE

From the Back Cover

Pilar is an independent and practical yet restless young woman, frustrated by the daily grind of university life and looking for greater meaning in her existence. Her life is forever transformed by an encounter with a childhood friend, now a mesmerizing and handsome spiritual teacher – and a rumored miracle worker – who leads her on a journey through the French Pyrenees, a magical landscape that has been home to holy visions and miracles through the ages.

On this passionate adventure of the heart and spirit, the two lovers together glimpse the feminine face of God and receive a startling revelation about the divine – that what they have always known as God is actually love, the powerful, essential force that is the very water of life. As they rediscover each other, Pilar and her lover also discover the joyous power at the heart of human experience, and Paulo Coelho, our preeminent weaver of spiritual adventure, once again opens a window onto exhilaration and inspiration for his characters and readers alike.

Since his novel 'The Alchemist' appeared three years ago, Paulo Coelho has emerged as one of the most popular storytellers of our time. The second most widely read Latin American author after Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Coelho conjures magical meldings of gripping action, entrancing settings, passionate characters, and soulful insight – and tells his timeless tales with mystery and spirit that have compelled readers around the world. Now Coelho offers a romantic adventure that teaches two lovers – a woman in search of spiritual sustenance and the maverick seminarian she has loved since childhood – the secrets of life and love and of suffering and healing through spiritual communion.

"The Reconsideration of the feminine, the knowledge of the Other, and our own redemption are principle ideas offered by Paulo Coelho in this exceptional novel."
LAURA ESQUIVEL, author of 'Like Water for Chocolate'

"A wondrous book, full of mystery and light."
OSCAR HIJUELOS, author of 'The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love' and 'Mr. Ives' Christmas'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual love story 12 Sep 2000
This is a book written for all romantics at heart. Paulo Coelho has written another superb novel based on the power of love, faith and hope. This book is inspirational, and pushes us to believe and learn to recognise the little miracles that appear to us each day. Dreams do take hard work, patience and a lot of tears, but the author teaches us never to loose hope. Paulo manages to move and inspire through this story. Excellent! It made me trust in love again!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who's ever been in love 10 Aug 2003
Though I did not find this as compelling as The Alchemist, the story of Pilar and her inner conflict with the notion of love highlights universal emotions which anyone who has ever been in love can relate to. Coelho's story-telling technique is simple in prose but conveys a deeper message which may at times be difficult to grasp. I think a re-read is always a good idea as there are subtleties in his message which may not be picked up on straight away. But this shouldn't put the reader off, as it is a relatively short story and easy to read. It is a story of hope, written intelligently by someone who seems to have figured out what a lot of us are trying to find answers for.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The return of the godess 7 Mar 2006
After reading many of Coelos books I thought I could not be any more impressed than I already was, but this is a truly inspiring love story. Pilar is a woman who's life changes over a week as she learns to flow with life and love, and her lover who is struggling with his religeon's ridgid beliefs and his own views about the feminine face of god. As someone who rejected the same religeon at an early age I found I was able to reclaim the parts of my religeon I belive in while still rejecting those I don't. A must for any Coelho fan, especially women.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all love stories are the same 25 July 2001
By A Customer
I had never read Paulo Coelho before this, which I was given by a good friend (although she immediately borrowed it so she could read it again!) It's a very beautiful book with very much hope about love, but also exploring ideas about relationships with God, and coming alive again from a cynical and empty life (similar in this way to "Veronica Decides to Die") It related to so many area's of my life, and i think therein lies it's magic. I'd never read anything that touched me like this before. very, very beautiful.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sweet book perhaps not for everyone... 10 Sep 2004
In lots of ways I really liked this book. I am an atheist and therefore the religious side to the story meant little to me. However the themes of love and sacrifices made in relationships was far more meaningful for me. I generally dislike things which are Christain but I took the religion in this book as the characters trying to make some sense of there lives and that way I could relate to it a little more. Their search for happiness and ridding ones self of 'the Other' reminded me of Buddhist teachings and 'the clouds of delusion'. I thought the love story was sweet and the opening to the story was very poetic and beautiful. I would recommend this book more to people who have any sort of faith. The message behind the story will mean more. Even if you are an atheist there are still things in this book of value but you will may appreciate it less.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Inspiring 8 Jan 2007
By Victoria VINE VOICE
This book is one of my favourite books of all time. It isn't a masterpiece of literature in the way, for example, Jane Austen could claim her work to be. However, it is a million times more powerful. After reading some other Coelho books, a close friend urged me to read this one, saying it was perfect for me. She was right. This book really helped me to re-evaluate my own relationship and path in my life. It is beautifully written, very moving, and at the time it was appropriate to my life which increased its impact. I would urge anyone who feels insecure in themselves or their relationships to read it, it is perhaps over- spiritual for some people but I would without doubt say that if you are looking for a follow up to the Alchemist or any other Coelho book, this is the right choice.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath Takingly Beautiful !! 29 Jan 2002
Just like "The Alchemist", "By the river Piedra..." is a story about a journey symbolizing the route towards self-discovery. "By the river Piedra...", however, could more easily be described as a story of love, as it strives to show that "true love is an act of total surrender". At a deeper level, Coelho also gives the message that as there are no rules when it comes to love, there are no rules when it comes to worshiping God: "to love is to be in communion with the other, and to discover in that other the spark of God".
"By the river Piedra..." is an enjoyable love story that may also be seen as a metaphysical allegory. It is a characteristic sample of Coelho's writing, and some questions are raised by the paradox of Coelho urging people not to use formulae in their lives and yet he once again uses the formula that gave him his best-selling status. Nevertheless, this novel, like all the novels he has written, is a delightful read which gives the reader a sense of much-needed faith in humankind.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reaches deep into the Soul... 20 Oct 2000
Paulo has done it again ! I couldn't put this book down, first reading took just a couple of hours and I have since re-visited it many times. It contains so many truths, so much wisdom. It inspires faith, trust, hope and above all, Love...and Heaven knows we need as much of that as we can get in this New Millennium. A beautiful gift for anyone of any age. Keep 'em coming Paulo, you're work is much loved and HUGELY respected.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Love this book. In fact I am fan of Paulo Coelho and I would say this is one of the best books I have read so far after the alchemist.
Published 28 days ago by Sonam J.
4.0 out of 5 stars some needed thoughtfulness
After reading many non fiction books recently it was nice to read a love story filled with spirituality.
I like you Mr Coelho
Published 3 months ago by ajslater
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book
This is a wonderful book and I would suggest that lots of people read it,the more people who read it will help to make the world, or at least them selves a much better place or... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Glasgow Annie
4.0 out of 5 stars By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
Paulo Coelho books are always worth reading and thought provoking, and I will read more of his books in due course
Published 4 months ago by Dilys Southgate
5.0 out of 5 stars At first I hated it...
but in the end it has had a truly profound effect on me! One of the reviewers who gave it 1 star said the first 100 pages were terrible so I pushed on past that and I am so... Read more
Published 5 months ago by victoria
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not brilliant
Having read several Paulo Coelho books now (early and later) I am starting to find the general premise of his writing to be the same (no spoilers though). Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. Birbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books by Coelho.
It is for sure one of my favourite books of this author. It's worth every minute. Very true and beautiful. You should get it :)
Published 11 months ago by Delicjaaa
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed
I bought this book expecting the same standard as the Alchemist but was slightly disappointed in this book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reeling..
I have read most of Paulo's books after a special friend bought me "The Alchemist" as a gift. I dont read his books like I do my other favourite authors. Read more
Published on 29 Mar 2012 by mummyof2
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this book down
My second Paulo Coelho book in as many days..started with 11 minutes and am totally enthralled by his writing. Have just started a third tonight. Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2011 by DEJ
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