Ok, I had promised myself, not to read any more books by Paolo Coelho, but I've become a victim of first my curiosity to read one of the most well-knoOk, I had promised myself, not to read any more books by Paolo Coelho, but I've become a victim of first my curiosity to read one of the most well-known books about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela which I've done myself just three months ago and secondly of clever book marketing: The volume I own is beautifully bound in blue with pigeons, shells and the cathedral of Santiago, all in all very hippyish and thus kind of irresistible to me.
So far, I enjoy Coelho's strange voyage much more than I would have thought and some of the spiritual exercises he suggests, seem quite interesting and easy to practice even at home. I suppose one needs to be open for that kind of writing, but it's invigorating to read about the possibilities of living a fulfilled life in which dreams come true and to be assured that this happiness is normally not achieved by killing oneself in an office all day long.
The very simple writing style which annoyed me so much in Veronica decides to die, doesn't bother me in this description of his pilgrimage as I read this less as literature per se, but as a shared experience, a travel diary and a compilation of spiritual advice.
Not bad at all until I got around the middle of the book, then the whole esoteric bla bla started getting terribly on my nerves - some of the experiences Coelho narrates are just way too twisted for my liking. I've met some people into templars and magic (dark and white) on the camino, but I've never felt big attraction towards these things myself, probably also because they inspire a kind of terror in me. I wouldn't like to hear all those voices and talk to my guardian all the time, not a little bit........In the end I was skipping whole pages just to get to the end, not such an inspiring read after all. Besides, Paulo Coelho leans towards self-celebration which is annoying after a while.
Some very good thoughts which I'll try to keep in mind and some exercises I'll try to practice, but very much over-the-top stuff as well - in the end, I can recommend some very few pages of the book, but I wouldn't bother to read it completely all over again. ...more
Light and fun read, could be disappointing if one believed in the ramblings on the book cover of this tome being a "curious mix of Borges, Almodóvar aLight and fun read, could be disappointing if one believed in the ramblings on the book cover of this tome being a "curious mix of Borges, Almodóvar and Umberto Eco" - but that's how bestsellers are made.....While Tusset can't be compared to any of the aforementioned, it's true that there are crazy and likable characters and a turmoil of happenings set in Spain, just like in a movie by Almodóvar, there's some mystery and some medieval sect like in Eco and there's some Borgesian philosophy (without liking Borges too much myself, i think he'd be rightly offended by being compared to Tusset...)- reminds me a little bit of those restaurants which try to cater to every taste from chinese to italian and mexican and in the end rarely succeed, but i have to say in favour of this book that it's far easier to digest.
the anti-heroe, Pablo, is a character which will make you feel good just for not drinking a litre of strong liquor per day and smoking one porro after the other, so it's also a good read if you don't feel too good about yourself at the moment (He's also fat and has terrible taste....). His philosophy is inspired by Baloo, the bear, who just has those "simple bare necessities in life" and if i liked one thing about the book, it's sarcastic failure Pablo and his bosomy friend Fina who's being neglected by her husband - their drinking tours in Barcelona really entertained me.
still, i didn't really like the ending, especially the completely unbelievable fightings and runnings, it even made me consider to just give two stars, but the very last sentences kind of reconciled me - so there they are, solid three........more