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The Zahir

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  43,223 ratings  ·  2,125 reviews
The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doe
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 27, 2008 Sylvia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People in the journey to their personal legend.
Shelves: fictiousaddict
I believe the quotation below will be sufficient to show how brilliant Coelho is:

‘Marie, let’s suppose that two firemen go into a forest to put out a small fire. Afterwards, when they emerge and go over to a stream, the face of one is all smeared with black, while the other man’s face is completely clean. My question is this: which of the two will wash his face?

‘That’s a silly question. The one with the dirty face of course.’

‘No, the one with the dirty face will look at the other man and assu
Oct 29, 2012 Jen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
So far my least favorite of Coelho's books. A woman leaves her husband with no explanation to find out how to be happy. She leaves no note, no messenger, takes nothing, just seems to disappear. He finds himself in the journey and learns he needs to look for her because he loves her, not because he is obsessed. Along the way other hearts get broken.


"When someone leaves, it's because someone else is about to arrive - I'll find love again."

"In order to be able to find her, I first had to fin
Odai Alsaeed
هذه الرواية الثانية لي مع باولو كويليو ولا ادري ان كانت الترجمة هي المشكلة في هذا السرد الممل ام هو اسلوب الراوي .الرواية فيها تطويل ممل ووصف رتيب لدرجة انك تفقد القدرة على اكمال القراءة .احداث الرواية تدور في محور ضيق فيها بعض المشوقات والعبر الجميلة .ولكن اعتقد ان هناك ما يستحق القراءة اجود بكثير .
1 star. Self-congratulatory, conceited wankery. Only earns it's 1 as the prose was easy to read and well written for what it was. If you would like to read a book about how fantastic Coelho thinks he is, this is for you.

By demand, my blog post on this book:

I am just going to come out and say it.

Paulo Coelho is a knob.

I dislike this man, his opinions and his writing. I have read The Alchemist and the The Fifth Mountain in the past and have felt that they were completely
زهرة منصور
الزهير هي نطق آخر للكلمة العربية الظاهر والتي تعني الشئ الواضح أو الذي لا يمكن المرور دون ملاحظته. تدور القصّة حول الراوي صاحب الروايات الأكثر رواجاً، وبحثه لزوجتِه المفقودة. يتمتّع بطل الرواية بكلّ الامتيازات ومن ذلك المال والشهرة ولكنه مشكوك فيه من السلطات والصحافة بسبب الاختفاء الغير قابل للتوضيح لزوجته من بيتهم في باريس. يستكشف كويلو معاني مختلفة للحب والحياة من خلال الرواية(ويكيبيديا)
كعادة باولو كويليو أبهرني في (الزهير) لكنه فاجأني في النهاية لم تكن مناسبة لمستوى الرواية وما تحويه من ج
Nile daughter
The (Zahir) is a concept that was totally new to me , I had to do some further research to find out that it is related to the Sufi , I read the book in English but after noticing the Arabic edition , I would have preferred if it was titled (Al zaher الظاهر ) as a translation not as a repetition !
I liked the definition he reached at the ednd :
(The zahir was the fixation on everything that had been passed from generation to generation ; it left no question unanswered , it looks up all the space ;
wow. do you know how and when i discovered this author? at the airport bookstore- at la guardia, the american terminal-the one next to the dunkin donuts/baskin robbins that one must ignore... you know how difficult it is to find something worthwhile to read in the airport bookstore, and i was about to buy something else- this book was in the low corner pocket and i saw it. the cover, and the title, are enticing, but could have been just over the top. but i usually test drive books buy opening th ...more
Nour Sharif
Mar 14, 2013 Nour Sharif rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
Recommended to Nour by: no one, thankfully. That means I don't have to kill anyone yet.
2.6 stars
Okay, dear dear Paulo Coelho. Where do I start?

This is how this book briefly was written.


Careful, this review contains spoilers!
(view spoiler)
I have to say, at times I found myself obsessed with this book about obsession. At times, it didn't quite flow or seemed to bring in random points, but I felt like I just "got it" and completely understood where he was coming from. Coelho's words resonated deeply within me, and in fact, helped me to "see" and unlock some feelings that I haven't been able to understand for quite some time. In that sense, it was like an Eat, Pray, Love for me. Not to compare authors, literary styles, or anything l ...more
Hanan Dora
فقدت رغبتى فى كتابة ريفيوهات منذ فترة ولكن بأكتب برضه
الموقف هنا يختلف أنا لا أريد كتابة ريفيو لأنى لا أعلم ماذا أكتب ؟!
الرواية اصعب من أن تدرك وأعمق من أن لا تدرك
موجودة فى كل شىء حين تكون لا شىء
ولن تجد شىء حين تظن أنك كل شىء
حين تقرأ الروايات فى المواصلات الأمر يختلف خاصة فى وقت باكر أو وقت متأخر حين يكون الهواء نقيا إلى حد ما فهى تحتاج إلى فضاء حتى تدرك أن هناك أشياء فى اللا شىء !
حدث البيئة
حدث السماء
حدث " الآخرين "
حدث القديم و ودعه بشجاعة راحل
و حدث الجديد واستقبله بحبور مستقبل !
حدث نفسك
Ashley Lauren
This book was nothing like I expected. The back description was misleading - as a novice traveller I saw that the narrator of the book was going to go through "Spain, France, Croatia" etc in order to find the love of his life. Do not be fooled, there is little to no description of these places. In fact, there is no description of Spain at all. Thoroughly disappointing.

Besides that the book itself was... interesting. I admit it is a much different story than I have ever read and I was given some
I was diasspointed with this and I would consider myself a fan of Paolo Coelho. I just don't think this lived up to his usual work. The plot was weak and there was a lot of annoying, sentimental stream-of-consciousness drivel about the meaning of love and the meaning of life. It's true that these are Coelho's usual themes but I think he's gotten a bit carried away with all the sentiment in this novel and forgotten the story in the process. The only thing that kept me reading until the end was my ...more
Walid Elalfy
هى ليست روايه بالمفهوم الصحيح . باولوا كويلهوا اوهمنا ان هناك روايه مثله مثل يوسف زيدان فى ظل الافعى هو اختلاق مواقف لشخوص معينه لبث فلسفته فى الحياه . استغربت من تصنيف الاخوه الذين سبقونى فى تصنيف الروايه فجزء كبير منهم اتهم الكاتب بالتطويل والروايه بالمط والملل ولم يدركوا ما بين السطور وما يريد ان يرسله لنا الكاتب . باولوا كويليهو هذا المتصوف الزاهد ارسل لنا حكمته فى الحوار بين سانتياجو وساحر الصحراء فى روايه الخيميائى وارسل نا نفس الحكمه فى رحله العاهره فى احدى عشره دقيقه وها هنا يرسلها لنا م ...more
Typical Coelho...lots of really good quotes. whether you agree with them or not does not really matter but he makes you think by hitting the extremes.

When i get time i will type my favorite two pages which I think summarize the whole book. here are some others.

"Although I know that I may have lost forever the woman I love, I must try to enjoy all the graces that God has given me today. Grace cannot be hoarded. There are no banks where it can be deposited to be used when I feel more at peace wit
Mohamed Abdelsttar
تاني عمل ادبي اقرأه للعالمي باولو كويليو بعد الخيميائي
لم يخيب ظني اطلاقا .. اسلوب متميز ..حكمة رائعة مع كل صفحة

الرواية بصفة عامة بتخلينا نعيد التفكير في حياتنا ونطرح علي نفسنا سؤال
هل انا سعيد ام تعس ؟؟
هل انا سعيد حقا أم اتظاهر بالسعادة ؟؟
هل نعيش الحياة ام تمض بنا الايام؟؟
كيف نسعي وراء اهدافنا ؟ وده نفس المعني في الخيمائي -السعي وراء اسطورتنا الشخصية-

في الرواية عابرات كتير جميلة اكتفي باقتباس عبارة واحدة منها

"ان ثمن الحرية باهظ اسوة بثمن العبودية .. الفرق الوحيد بينهما أنك في الحالة الاولي تس
Dec 04, 2010 Brad rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brad by: Giovanna
Shelves: philosophical
This book wasn't written for me. I am not on a search for spirituality; I am not trying to understand my spirituality; I don't even think humanity itself is all that special, and I certainly don’t believe spirituality is what separates us from the beasts. So from the earliest moments of The Zahir I felt like a tourist, an unwelcome voyeur.

But then this book was written for me because, stripping away all the talk of spirituality, I am looking for complete sensuality, complete living, complete be
A great book for anyone struggling with attachment or ownership of something that you love.

"I heard other people speaking in the name of freedom and the more they defended this unique right, the more enslaved the seemed to be to the parent's wishes, to a marriage in which they had promised to stay with the other person "for the rest of their lives," to the bathroom scales, to their diet, to the half-finished projects, to lovers to whom they were incapable of saying "No", or "It's over", to weeke
Emtiaj Hasan
বউ চলে গেছে, বইয়ের শেষে বউকে খুঁজে পাওয়া গেল। এই হচছে কাহিনী, মাঝখান দিয়ে দারশনিক মারকা অনেক লেখা পড়তে হল। কি বিরকতিকর! কি বিরকতিকর!!

দুই মাস, আটদিন পর এই বই শেষ করতে পারলাম। আহ, কি শানতি। আমি খুব ভালোভাবেই বুঝে গেলাম, দারশনিক মারকা বই আমার ভালো লাগে না। আর Paulo Coelho জীবন থেকে বাদ। অনতত কয়েক বছরের জনয তো অবশযই।

বইটা কিভাবে শেষ করলাম, একটা শবদও বাদ না দিয়ে? পরথম দিকে তো বেশ কষট করছিলাম। শেষ দিকে টেনিদার সাথে পড়ছিলাম। নিজেকে বুঝাচছিলাম, একটা চযাপটার পড়তে পারলেই কিনতু টেনিদার একটা চযাপটার পড়তে পা
Suzie Toumeh
Mar 10, 2015 Suzie Toumeh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
This book is Basically one good line with an idea and then ten pages of bla bla bla, which is extremely boring and can cause severe mental pain.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to waste time and brain cells.

The very little good parts:

1. talking about Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans

2. The Ending (view spoiler)

3. He never wrote a name for the main character and when he did (view spoiler)

The very l
Majd Mery
الرّوَايَة جمِيلَة نوْعًا مَا، تحْكِي قصَّة كَاتِبْ مشْهُور ترَكتْهُ زوْجتُه إستَر وهي مراسلة حربية بعد 10 سَنوات زوَاجْ
فلَمْ يتقبَّل رحِيلهَا دُونَ أسبَابٍ تُذْكَر، لتُصْبح الزَّهِير المُلازمَ لهُ، فيَذهب للبحْثِ عنْ نفْسِه أولا ثمَّ ينتقلُ من باريس إلى آسيا الوسطى لييفتح عينيه على الحُب الحقِيقي.

والرّوايَة ملِيئة بالأفكار الفلسفية العمِيقَة تلكَ التي لا تزالُ تشغل البشريَّة

والزهِير كما عرفه المؤلف استنادًا إلى كاتب آخر هو كُل شيء ظَاهر، حاضر لا يمرُّ مرور الكِرام، وإنه شخْص أو شيْء يستحْوذ على
Lina AL Ojaili
عندمــا لــم يبـق لي ما أخسره ، أعطيت كل شئ . عندما كففت عن كوني نفسي ، وجدتها . وعندما خبرت الذلّ وبقيت أمضي ، أدركت أنني حُـرّ في اختيار قدري . لعل بى خطبا ., لا ادرى , لعل زواجى لم افهمه عندما عشته . ما اعرفه هو ان بامكانى العيش من دونها , لا ازال اود رؤيتها مجددا , لاقول لها ما لم اتفوه به عندما كنا معا : احبك اكثر من حبى لنفسى ولو امكننى قول ذلك , لتمكنت عندها من المضى فى حياتى , بسلام مع روحى , لان ذلك الحب افتدانى

Engy Moussa
I am momentarily wordless.. But I will eventually have to say something, if not lots of things, on the exceptional Coelho’s novel The Zahir. I may begin by saying that this novel was like a textbook on real life and true love for me. It introduced me to many new concepts, such as personal history, as well as to many interesting anecdotes that I would pay anything to my memory so it always remembers them. I don’t think that I ever liked as many statements, at some points whole pages, in one book. ...more
Tamim Nashed
I kept reading it and finished it in a short time.... this means that i love it.... It helps you understand the real meaning of can you reach your goals... "the energy of love" which i believe in
Dominic Carrillo
I liked The Alchemist... And I liked a few other Coelho novels- especially if I happened to be reading them at just the right time in my life. I stopped reading The Zahir at pg. 200 because I couldn't take any more of the mystical, inner voice, follow-the-signs, journey-seeking cheeseball shit that seems to be this author's bread and butter. I admit, I've enjoyed Coelho at certain times and when in the right mood. But this time it came across to me as an author's regurgitation of the same theme, ...more
Peut être qu’on est victime d’une histoire mal racontée, la preuve est qu’on vit dans un monde où on obéit à des règles, à des lois sans chercher à les comprendre, sans même demander pourquoi, on les considère tout simplement comme une pure vérité, contrairement aux clochards qu’ont choisi de rester à l’extérieur de ce monde organisé mais quasiment triste.

Un célèbre écrivain commence à poser des questions après la disparition mystérieuse de sa femme Esther : Pourquoi m’a-t- elle quitté ? Pourqu

رابطه ام با کوئیلو از آن رابطه های عجیب است. که بگیر نگیر دارد. ممکن است از یک کتابش خیلی خوشم بیاید و ممکن است از کتاب دیگرش نتوانم بیش از 20 صفحه بخوانم.زهیر را در مدت کوتاهی خواندم.و فکر می کنم موقع درستی خواندمش. انرژی خوبی بهم داد. راستش با وجود شهرت فراوان کوئیلو،از نظر من او بیشتر راوی است تا قصه پرداز.راوی به این معنی که روایت های جالب،عجیبی با تم عرفان و رواشناسی (عام پسند) می گوید که می تواند جذاب باشد. اما با این همه روایت است،قصه نیست. پرداخت لازمه قصه را ندارد. روایت ها خوش خوان است
Beban menjadi seorang pengarang yang pernah melahirkan karya monumental sangatlah berat. Setiap karya berikutnya selalu menarik perhatian publik dan selalu diperbandingkan dengan karya monumentalnya. Paulo Coelho rupanya harus menerima kenyataan ini, setelah Sang Alkemis menjadi buku best seller dunia, dan diterjemahkan dalam 56 bahasa, setiap Coelho menerbitkan karya terbarunya orang cenderung bertanya-tanya "Apakah karya ini sebaik sang Alkemis?". Hal inilah yang rupanya akan terus menjadi per ...more
Yusra Zainab Laghari
This book was not of the same quality as Alchemist but still presented some noble and elevated concepts as presented in all of paulo's books and perhaps the reason I read his books is that they always tend to feature some sort of spiritual quest. There is also a aspect of Sufism in Paulo's books which make them more eminent.

The unnamed narrator of this story is a writer whose wife, Esther, a war correspondent leaves him suddenly without any information or trace of leaving. When she disappears, h
Ali Korkor
Coelho is a lousy story teller ... his stories are super boring, and he isn't that wise either... he's a spiritual maniac that thinks everything is a sign and with the right amount of focus people can to talk to the sun and order the wind ... even metaphorically that would be pathetic!. But maybe that's only me, a pragmatic who can't get his "Alchemy"

That being said. The Zahir wasn't a lot different from The Alchemist although it was an ok insight to the lives of authors and novelists though ag
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50 pages in..... 16 125 Aug 28, 2014 06:02AM  
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The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow in ...more
More about Paulo Coelho...
The Alchemist Veronika Decides to Die Eleven Minutes By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept The Witch Of Portobello

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“When someone leaves, it's because someone else is about to arrive.” 3634 likes
“Ester asked why people are sad.
"That’s simple," says the old man. "They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”
More quotes…