I had read his very famous book "The Alchemist", and copied many good quotes from the book. It is a fable with the theme of following your heart. Good little book! In fact, it won the Guinness World Record for most translations by a living author. Pretty good, eh?
My favourite quote: "The search for your dream is an encounter with God and eternity."
I also had read "Veronika Decides to Die". Strange title, but I also enjoyed that book about a woman who spends time in a mental institute because she is 'different'. I knew that Coehlo had written that book from his experience of a mental institute in his teens. His parents sent him there because he would not follow the traditional path that they had set for him. He escaped three times before he was finally released after three years. He became a songwriter. But the government thought his lyrics were dangerous and he was arrested.
When he was 39, he walked the Road of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where he had a spiritual awakening and began writing. That had been his dream, and now he focussed on writing about 'following your dream'.
He is a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
I decided to read his latest book "Adultery".
Plot: Linda lives in Geneva, has everything she always wanted- devoted husband, healthy children, beautiful house, and a good job. But she is empty. When she runs into a former boyfriend from high school, she makes sexual advances immediately and attempts to destroy his wife so that she can be with him. She is without a conscience as she makes herself constantly available for this man, even though she knows that he has no serious interest in her.
Smack dab in the middle of the book, there is a chapter that sounds like a sermon. The topic is God's love and there is a reference from the Bible and an explanation of Paul's viewpoint on Faith, Love and Charity. In the next chapter she is buying drugs to incriminate this man's wife. What is this author trying to say?
Linda is on a path of self-destruction and I was expecting a reason for this- some childhood trauma, perhaps. But she said, "When I was a teenager, everything in my life went exactly as I planned. I was happy."
But now, she says, "There is a hole in my soul". So she gives her time and energy to this man who is a politician. She has no concerns about getting caught. No guilt.
But this author is Paulo Coehlo. I kept expecting something of great value, something insightful!
Then... on page 163, it turns into "Fifty Shades of Grey"- explicit, violent.
Let me say that Paulo cannot write for a woman in her thirties with two small children. I realize that many couples begin to feel that life is not fun anymore. But women in that situation don't have time or opportunity for the constant sexual romps that Linda experienced. She made it her number one priority and charged right into her lover's office regardless of the fact that he didn't want her there- and she was supposed to be at her job.
Big disappointment! No insights! Just a story about adultery. Perhaps the title should have warned me?