Saturday, 22 October 2011

Book Review: Aleph - Paul Coelho

Synopsis - Aleph marks a return to Paul Coelho's beginnings.  Facing a grave crisis of faith, and seeking a path of spiritual renewal and growth, Paulo decides to start over: to travel, to experiment and to reconnect with people and the world.  On his journey through Europe, Africa, and Asia, he will again meet Hilal - the woman he loved 500 years before - and this encounter will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, through past and present, in search of an opportunity to rewrite his own destiny.

Review - This is what the South American writers are good at, taking the reader on a spiritual journey.  Paul Coelho is no exception and is one of the best authors I have come across so far who writes in this way.  I have read The Alchemist (one of his earlier works) and I prefer that novel to Aleph.  It is good to read a book that challenges ones thinking.  A book that is slow and calming.  However, I found my mind wandering, being easily distracted.  It would not take much to get me to put the book down, the easiest excuse or finding something 'more important'.  I am not sure whether this was due to me and my current state of mind or if the author just doesn't capture the readers attention.  I am not a believer in that we have lived many previous lives, yes it is possible, but I have no strong thoughts on this - I could have been a tree in an earlier time!  Therefore I do not believe in going back or journeying to put right those wrongs in this manner.  If I have done wrong in this life, I will try and put it right and amend my ways - now!  However, I do believe we need peace, calm and tranquillity -  a time to pause, reflect, meditate, breathe and just 'be'.  I am not good at this at all!  Perhaps this journey is Mr Coelho's way of doing that, reflecting, being.  It is a good book and I like the 'journey', however, for whatever reason it did not grip or hold me.  3*

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