Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Aleph by Paulo Coelho

by Paulo Coelho
published by Harper
ISBN 978-0-00-743552-4

In an extremely personal novel  bestselling author Paulo Coelho sets of on a journey of self discovery. From meeting readers in Africa crossing Europe and Asia he takes the Trans-Siberian Railway.
He is searching to find himself and renew his passion for life and his dwindling energy. He meets Hilal a gifted violinist who insists on following him on his train journey. She reminds me of a groupie awed by the world famous author, but in Paulo world she is someone he loved five hundred years before.                          
I like the idea of the train journey to discover more about yourself  though the idea that time does not run in a straight line has always been based on perception.  That Paulo feels the need to be someone powerful though remorseful in his former life is disappointing.  He clearly feels he is not taking advantage of Halal someone so besotted with him it is hard to agree with his view. The other people on the journey play a small part except Yao who comes in as the calming force when tensions run high.

This is a story of religion, cruelty, love and egos it is hard to tell with Paulo whether he is creating a  story, trying to write a self help book,  a spiritual guide book or a diary. I didn`t like this book but others my find it truly inspiring. For me I have worked too long with young people with mental health problems who say very similar things to Paulo. They struggle with reality, other worlds and different dimensions and are lost in the enormity of it all. The difference is they do not have Paulo`s credentials.

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