Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, and The Winner Stands Alone, among others, have sold 115 million copies in more than 160 countries.
A self-help sheen hangs over this book by the internationally bestselling author of The Alchemist, which reads much more like a collection of bland aphorisms than a work of fiction. It is Jerusalem, the year 1099, and as French soldiers prepare to invade, a group gathers around a trite sage known as "the Copt." The topics broached are wide-ranging and somewhat random: a young woman asks about solitude and the Copt gives her a circuitous answer: "If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself. And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void. But the void does not exist." A boy, worrying he may be useless, is told: "Don't try to be useful. Try to be yourself; that is enough, and that makes all the difference." Another woman decides that the time is right to ask about elegance and is told that elegance is more about how one wears clothes than the clothes themselves. If Coelho is attempting parody, he has failed, this being both too long and too broad. The wisdom to be found here could be found in many other, better places. Agent: Sant Jordi Asociados (Spain). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Coelho's writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts." --"Daily Express" "His writing is like a path of energy that inadvertently leads readers to themselves, toward their mysterious and faraway souls." --"Le Figaro" "His books have had a life enhancing impact on millions of people " --"The Times" (London) "An exceptional writer." --"USA Today""An intriguing and playful premise." --"The Boston Globe ""Full of worthy musings and quotable quotes on a variety of subjects--from solitude and love to beauty and miracles. . . . Like all Coelho's other works, the earnestness, simplicity and clarity of ["Manuscript Found in Accra"'s] prose start touching your soul and transforming your thoughts." --"The International Herald Tribune ""Coelho . . . shows himself again to be a cerebral and subtle writer." --"The New York Journal of Books " "Spiritualists and wanderlusts will eagerly devour . . . [Coelho's] search for all things meaningful." --"The Washington Post " "Coelho masterfully presents his points wrapped in the ... familiar guise of an ancient story." --"Portland Book Review ""A timeless and powerful exploration of personal growth, everyday wisdom and joy." --"Bookscan "(London)