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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
149
3.7 out of 5 stars
The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
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on 12 September 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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on 15 June 2017
Wow my favourite story writer. I enjoy reading this book. It did not disappoint.
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on 20 July 2017
I am going to sound repetitive but I was moved beyond what I thought I was capable of.
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on 22 May 2017
Very good...arrived on time.
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on 8 November 2017
Easy to read and always relatable. It had been a while since I read one of his books, and will now be looking for another.
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on 4 September 2017
love Paulo x
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on 1 June 2017
Amazing book!
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on 12 April 2012
I bought "The Zahir" with great anticipation, having recently read "The Witch of Portobello", which I found to be an unbridled joy to read. It is exhuberant, mould-breaking, moving, wise and insightful, holding a microscope to the mysterious labyrinths of the human psyche. So I bought this book with the opinion that Paulo Coelho is an exceptional author, and I still believe that. However, having read "The Witch of Portobello", I was astonished to find "The Zahir" to be a repetitive, obvious, and rather poorly written novel, whose narrative is frequently elbowed aside by authorial intrusion. The novel mentions intriguing-sounding events in the protagonists journey, but fails to weave them into the novel, relegating such important landmarks as a life-changing pilgrimmage to mere asides. The reader is trapped in the narrator's head, but not allowed to see the cartography of the memory and its by-ways. Whilst I understand that the novel is about obsession, Coelho here chooses not to explore anything that can make such a plot more than vaguely interesting. Which is a great pity, because there is a rich seam of creative possibilities running through the text, but it has been flattened into a featureless watermark. It is a long time since I endured a book quite as dull.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 March 2016
The Zahir is the sixth stand-alone book by Brazil-born author, Paulo Coelho. It is translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa. Esther, a journalist and the wife of a best-selling author disappears from their home in Paris. Once the police release him from custody, dismissing the idea that he may have been responsible, he begins to wonder what has happened. He is soon convinced that she left him voluntarily, despite her occasionally dangerous job as a war correspondent. For two years, he remains obsessed about learning the reason she left him.

The first thing the narrator does is find himself a girlfriend. Then, suitably catered for sexually, he laments his inability to understand why his wife left him. As the narrator (eventually, after more than two years) sets about looking for her, the tale is filled with waffle about finding oneself, pure divine energy, spiritual journey, and energy of love flowing around the world. Much of it seems to be a vehicle for expressing the author’s opinion about topics like wealth, sex and fidelity, marriage, and power.

From the narrator’s history it would seem that this story is largely autobiographical. The author must have quite some charisma in person, because on paper his attitude and arrogance are unappealing. The dialogue is wooden (although perhaps this is a function of the translation); the prose is dull; much of the story feels contrived. This book might appeal to men of a Latin background who fancy themselves on a spiritual journey.
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on 25 July 2001
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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