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3.6 out of 5 stars167
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 September 2014
I really enjoyed Paulo Coelho's new book Adultery. Once again, as with The Alchemist, he looks into the human condition and asks the question, What makes us happy? The story is about a woman in her thirties who has a loving husband, two beautiful children, a fabulous home and a great job, yet she is not happy and wonders if there is going to be anything more in her life. Is this it? She is in need of excitement but feels guilty, as she knows that she has everything and more than most people could ever want. Paulo understands people so well. He knows how they think, how they look at life, what they expect, what makes them tick and I laughed in places when his thoughts were so in line with my own. When she embarks on her affair she realises that it is not making her any happier, and indeed feels full of guilt. She goes away with her husband for a weekend and manages to find the answer to her question. I would recommend this book to everyone, especially if you enjoyed The Alchemist.
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To say this is a book about a woman committing adultery is to miss the whole point of the story I feel. Linda lives in Switzerland with her husband and two children - none of whom are ever named. She has a good life, and an interesting job as a journalist and as a family they are financially secure with domestic staff to look after the children and do the housework. Who could want anything more from life?

But Linda is restless and bored. It would be all too easy to dismiss Linda as shallow but she is far more than that. I'm sure many readers will put the book down in disgust saying she should count her blessings and no one could want more in life. Things are not as simple as that. Linda feels she is plodding along from day to day with nothing exciting in her life - everything is just dull. She wonders if she is depressed but she doesn't think she is. She wonders whether she needs to see a psychiatrist but doesn't think that will work either.

It must be difficult to empathise with Linda unless you yourself have felt that sort of restlessness. I have felt it and it resulted in me turning my life upside down and doing some things which maybe were not a good idea though they seemed the only right thing to do at the time. What lesson you take from this strangely absorbing book - because there are lessons to be learned from it even if your life in no way resembles Linda's - are always going to be personal. But what I think is important is to not let yourself slip into a rut because if you get in too deep then the only way out is going to be to upend your life and those of the people you love.

This is a book which needs the reader to do some hard thinking about their own lives and to be aware that restlessness and boredom can lead to constructive change or it can lead to destruction. Everyone has their own agenda and if you're using them they may equally be using you. Thoughtful and thought provoking - this book may well repay a second or third reading. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.
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on 29 May 2015
Once upon a time, I worked in a Borders (a bookstore, for you younger kids that think everything comes from the internet). I remember that books by Paulo Coelho were best-sellers that we could hardly keep in stock, especially The Alchemist. A lot of customers told me how his book changed the way they look at life. There is definitely a depth to his books that you won’t find in “best-sellers” like 50 Shades of Grey.

So, I was surprised to find out he had written a book called Adultery, about adultery. Only it’s so much more than a story about a woman’s affair. In fact, the affair plays a very small part in the story. It’s more setting than plot…it’s also a great hook. Linda, a journalist living in Geneva, has a great life by most standards, but suddenly finds herself miserable when she realizes that her life lacks passion after a flip remark by an author during an interview. Basically, Linda is on her way to a midlife crisis.

“Today I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days.”

Around the same time, she reconnects with a college boyfriend who is now a well-known politician that she must interview. And, so, her affair begins…but the passion she finds does not bring her any real happiness.

The story is written in first person, almost as a confession, with brief chapters. This format had me racing through book, which is unusual for me, considering this isn’t a mystery-thriller or action-packed adventure. It’s just that the drama is so intense in the most personal way, I was genuinely worried about Linda’s marriage and her state of mind. The lady has some seriously dark thoughts run through her head at times.

Coelho does a superb job creating an atmosphere for Linda to come to terms with her life based on her adultery, without any explicit sex scenes. THAT is true storytelling.
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on 7 March 2016
This was the only Coelho's book that made me skip pages starting from the second chapter so that I could just to learn the end; hence I seriously wonder what would made him to write it or even if it was actually authored by him.
There was no kindness and love for human being in that book, no wisdom, nothing to provoke thoughts. I did not understand the plot, and did not have any sympathy for the main characters either. A few sexual scenes and fantasies lacking any hint if love and romance, but instead slipping into perversion.
And the end was even more disappointing than the story itself.
I regret reading -waste of time and trust in the Author.
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on 8 January 2015
Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite writers in the world, but I have to say that his previous stories were better. I would rate this book with 2 stars, but Paulo's writing is so good for the world and people that you just cannot rate it lower then 4 :)
The character in this book is a boring and frustrated women. I am sure that Paulo knows why he selected the character and why he wrote the book. I didn't like her at all, but she is a nice refection on the world today: mainly unsatisfied, not real, afraid of prejudice and not free.
My favourite Paulo's book is Veronica decides to die and the Alchemist and probably all the rest.
I hope that Paulo is writing a new book....
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on 3 February 2015
The worst book Paulo Coelho has ever written. It's like it was written by a highschool student who's the best in their writing class, but not good enough to be published. I regret buying this. Luckily I now have Amazon Prime, I can choose better books for free. In fact, I'd much rather re-read his older novels.
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on 24 December 2014
Paolo always manages to find a way of simply but beautifully expressing a wide range of emotions that most of us have but aren't talk about. He's managed it again with Adultery, which I thoroughly enjoyed and has made me look again more closely at 1 Corinthians chapter 13!
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on 19 October 2014
Must have been good as my wife has been very quiet reading this book on holiday
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on 21 October 2014
Coelho’s 16th book is a tale about one woman’s dissatisfaction with her lot in life. She seems to have it all with a decent job and a happy family around her, and the reader wonders why she feels a lack of contentment – the modern day curse of always looking to improve, to have something different. I suppose it is a Buddhist critique of contemporary life and the constant unavailing struggle for something better. But then Linda meets Jacob and she sees that opportunity to ascend above that sense of alienation, of apathy.
But this seems quite a slightly narrated novel to me – it lacks that profound depth to turn the plot into something with a real essence and inescapable meaning to it. I was not able to really engage with the characters, they lacked the believability to resonate and live beyond the page.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 September 2014
I am not usually a fan of Paulo Coelho works (except the beautiful And Veronica Decides to Die), but "Adultery" was a pleasant surprise.

"Adultery" is a study on life and reaching the point of dissatisfaction. Unhappy because of how flawless her life is, Linda, a successful journalist in her mid thirties, challenges her existence and descends into her personal "darkness". The main part of this descent is, you guessed it right, adultery.

Verdict: if you prefer strong female protagonist (with no allusion of higher power and mysticism) to "Alchemist", "Fifth Mountain" and "Frida" - this is a book for you. It is concise and not at all preachy; and, if you are prepared to overlook [almost miscast] sex scenes, I guarantee you will spend a pleasant couple of hours in "Adultery's" company.

Not just for fans of Coelho's other books, "Adultery" lacks any strong moral guidance (which I often found annoying in Coelho's other works), this novel is about the risks and hazards of the current social condition and is well worth a read, your thoughts will be provoked, at least! The language is accessible to just about everybody, and the message is clear and simple.
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