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The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession

The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession [Kindle Edition]

Paulo Coelho
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Coelho's writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts… he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face.' DAILY EXPRESS

'His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.' TIMES

'One of the few to deserve the term "Publishing Phenomenon".' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

'Coelho's talent to inspire his readers with wisdom and hope … is as strong as ever. There is a forgiving kindness and humanity that is unmistakeable and tremendously appealing.’ DAILY MAIL

‘It's like music, really, the way he writes, it's so beautiful. It's a gift that I envy above all others.’ JULIA ROBERTS


'Coelho's writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts! he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face.' DAILY EXPRESS 'His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.' THE TIMES 'One of the few to deserve the term "Publishing Phenomenon".' THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 466 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XOZ9IW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent disappointment 27 Nov 2008
By S. Wood
This was my first dip into Coelho; I bought it as it appeared to be one of the few books by a decent author at Manchester airport. Unfortunately, I am left hugely disappointed by a book that is repetitive, self-indulgent and wholly lacking in depth; I felt no empathy for any of the characters and feel none the wiser nor enriched for having stuck it through to the end. I look forward to reading The Alchemist but can only hope that it is a class above the juvenile drivel on offer in The Zahir.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 and a half stars really. . 12 Jun 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Paulo Coelho for ages and was really looking forward to the release of this novel. I have always loved his books and what they uncover, however, now that I have read it, I am not sure whether I enjoyed it or not.
The story is about a successful author discovering that his wife, who works as a war journalist, has disappeared without trace. Has something terrible happened to her, or has she simply walked out of his life without first giving him a reason? He seems to be unable (or unwilling) to believe the latter, as it was this very woman who encouraged him to write in the first place. However, there is a particular man who seems to know more about his wife than he does, and it is through the help of this man that the author goes on a journey of his own to find his wife again. .
The title of the book itself, The Zahir, comes from a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. It is meant to come from Islamic tradition and it means visible, present and incapable of going unnoticed. Anything can become the zahir, and once a person comes into contact with it, it is all they can think about. In Coelho's novel, the wife of the author becomes his zahir, and she is all he can think about since she went.
Coelho examines the very meaning of what it is to be human in this novel, especially in regards to a human in love. Love and obsession are often quite similar, and both can be just as destructive as the other. This, I think, is the essence of what Coelho is trying to put across to his readers in his latest offering. The fact that the main protagonist doesn't have a name applied to him makes you wonder whether this novel is coming from a very personal space of Coelho's soul.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the worst book I have ever read? 11 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just done something which as a bibliophile I find rather shocking - I have put a book in the bin. It is 'The Zahir' by Paulo Coelho, and it is the worst book I have ever read. Where to start? It is stunningly badly written. Coelho is either barely literate in his native language, or he put the translation job out to tender and took the cheapest quote. He is also astoundingly vain and humourless - or at least his main character is, who I take to be a not particularly well disguised avatar of himself. This is a book with pretensions to grandeur, with hints that the author has found a way to discover and profit from a profound spirituality. But what it actually is is a piece of shallow and pretentious pseudo-philosophy in which vacuous and unpleasant characters of very dubious moral value witter on in an infuriatingly vague way about 'love' - a word which Coelho never bothers to define. It is a book which I shall remember for only one notable feature - that at one point the narcissistic sentimentality reached such a point that I actually felt physically ill. Read the first paragraph of the last chapter and see if it has the same effect on you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Paulo... 24 Jun 2006
This is a book to read and think about ... its quite a simple tale really - obsession - certainly, but also how we don't always value what we have, until its gone that is. Its certainly semi-autobiographical - dealing with a famous author whose wife leaves him, without any reason or news of where she has gone .... the book investigates his reactions and how he goes about finding her....

I'm not saying this is a literary masterpiece - indeed his writing is often villified ... but he's a popular author with something to say. Not always sure the critics are comfortable with his popularity but this book is well worth a read ... just read between lines and you may take something more away from it...
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused but yet content. 14 Jun 2005
I am a huge fan of Coelho's work and wait with baited breath for the for his latest book to be published. I don't mind admiting that I have even asked friends of mine, fluent in Coelho's native tongue, to read me the books that have not yet been published in English. However, the Zahir has left me feeling troubled, and not because I did not enjoy his work, but because yet again Coelho has made me reach into my soul and take a deeper look at my life. I was 19 when i first read the Alchemist, and now seven years on I feel that that same sense of confusion that I did in my teenage years. Yet finally i feel content because The Zahir, explains so clearly that to feel this way is the best way to live life. Paulo manages to explain through his own personal loss and gain what Gilbran tried to explain in his love letters. I truely believe that only by trying to make sense of all of the bad times can you truely apreciate the great. This book had touched my heart and further opened my eyes to the world around me. Paulo Coelho I thank you from the depths of my soul for helping my on the journey to get rid myself of the pain of the past. if like me you ever become feel just that little lost, I suggest that you take time to read The Zahir
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but glad I bought
A bit long winded, but glad I bought it
Published 9 days ago by Janet Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read! Couldn't put it down!
Read this a couple of weeks ago, and was just browsing some of Coelho's other books on here when I saw this was rated so low from reviews, so felt I had to leave one! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jodie Dorey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Lesley S Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlyl recommended both to those readers who are familiar with Coelho...
A classical novel which I have dedicated to someone in particular in my search to know. Highlyl recommended both to those readers who are familiar with Coelho and new comers alike.
Published 2 months ago by Christopher Schembri-Malta
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Complete waste of time. Not worth the trees it cost to produce. No character development, staggeringly boring plot. Only really useful for wiping or starting fires
Published 8 months ago by DavdiOakle
1.0 out of 5 stars no
This was semi mystical babbling with the thinnest of plots. Read the alchemist and ignore this collection of words. Retire now!
Published 9 months ago by Mark Austen
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Paulo Coelho book
A bit slow and not very exciting. Felt like I was waiting for it change all the time. Other books of his I haven't put down.
Published 11 months ago by Pippinpie
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual and thought-provoking read.
Beautifully written, you're in the story from the first page. probably the only novelthat has reduced me to tears. Read more
Published 13 months ago by AJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book-memorable
It was difficult to put down and fascinating in the ideas he outlined. It was also beautifully written and that makes a real change. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Judi Williamson
3.0 out of 5 stars all right
This book was an interesting read. The central premise is falling in love with the idea of love & losing sight of the person you love. Read more
Published 17 months ago by JoAdores
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