Friday 9 December 2016

Review: Biography: Aleph by Paulo Coelho

HarperCollins, £14.99

Published 15/10/2011 | 05:00

Coelho calls Aleph 'the long trip to my soul -- past, present and future'. To some people this is known as a mid-life crisis, but Coelho articulates a mystical and spiritual dimension to his journey that gives this book (and most of his other writings) its appeal.

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It begins with him trying to overcome the rut he is stuck in, a whirl of airports and hotels with none of the adventure of his earlier travels. His life is stagnating.

His spiritual teacher, known as J, tells him he 'needs to leave in order to return to his present', at which point Coelho sets out on a journey to rediscover his faith and the purpose of his life on Earth.

He goes on a physical and spiritual journey, which brings him into contact with a woman he loved 500 years ago.

Coelho is the sort of writer you will either love or loathe but his stubborn quest to live a meaningful life makes for thought-provoking, if sometimes irritating, reading.

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