Paulo Coelho is a knob.
I dislike this man, his opinions and his writing. I have read The Alchemist and The Fifth Mountain in the past and have felt that they were completely over rated. Then a friend links all these "insightful" quotes from him all the time on Facebook. And then there is this article from earlier this month. But all of these were forgivable. Until I read this book. This book lead me to one conclusion.
Paulo Coelho is a complete wanker.
This book, The Zahir, is about an amazing author who is famous, incredibly successful with the ladies, intelligent, accomplished, and did I mention a brilliant writer? Maybe I need to tell you again how good a writer the author is. He is married, but has many girlfriends as he is incredibly attractive, and his wife who is a journalist goes missing. He mopes for a bit, while being a brilliant, amazing writer, but then gets an actress girlfriend. He then gets approached by a man who knows where his wife is, and he has to rediscover himself, by writing another ground-breaking book and some other stuff, before he can go find her. But the actress stays with him until he leaves, because he's great.
In case you forget how wonderful he is, he points out randomly how many languages (nearly all the languages in the world) he has been translated into. The books themselves, while wonderful, are not him or his ideas. 'Everything that's written in my books is part of my soul...' (p101). Yeah right. Get your hand off it.
Also he mentions the Zimbardo prison experiment at one stage, because he can. Why? No idea. It wasn't important or necessary. It was in fact completely out of place, not to mention wrong, and seemed to be mentioned to show off how intelligent he was.
My "favourite" part, was after he came home from spending all night out wandering Paris with the "Tribe" and then come home and didn't want to turn on the tv because they had "run out of things to talk about" so were covering a story of a rebellion in Haiti. So he goes on this whole rant about how is a rebellion important to him as a rich, incredibly successful author in Paris! Who cares! I just wanted to slap him the narrow minded prick! Urgh.
As well as all of this he seems incredibly unhinged as well. He screams at his girlfriend after being out all night with the Tribe, mentioned above, and she doesn't ask him where he was. So therefore as she is not jealous (not interested, jealous) he screams at her for not loving him any more. Besides the fact he has been moaning on about his wife who he loves who has left him for the whole book. I was beyond loving him at p5, no wonder the girlfriend seemed to have had enough by p200. But she hadn't really. She really thought he was great. You know why? Because this unnamed author is fucking fantastic, just ask him.
Why did I finish it? Because I wanted to find out what happened to his wife and girlfriend as I liked them (not worth it, it ended all about him), it was only 270pp, and it was orange (for a rainbow challenge). It gets 1.5 stars as it was well written for self-congratulatory masturbation. Actually, no. After writing this, 1.