Charlotte's Reviews > Aleph

Aleph by Paulo Coelho
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Jul 07, 12


You know how there's a certain type of spiritual seeker who grates at your nerves? There's that whiff of total self-absorption, arrogance, machismo, even cruelty that seems to contradict our expectations of love and tranquility, etc. Well, I get that with Paulo Coelho.

That said, I loved this book and I think he's fascinating. Aleph allows you to join in Coelho's particular spiritual journey and travel with him on the Trans-Siberian railway, visiting past lives and other supernatural locations. There are no coincidences for Coelho; everything has significance.

Maybe part of that feeling of arrogance comes from the fact that he's unapologetic about his spiritual, metaphysical quest. He does not ask you to suspend your disbelief. You're either with him or not, as you like.

Aleph reads with the intimacy of a kind of extended journal entry but, curiously, it also reads like a detective story. Not a conventional page-turner, but a page-turner, nonetheless. Coelho's writing style is direct and simple, but lyrical.

I read The Alchemist first, and had mixed feelings. However, reading the Aleph wipes away my doubts about his sincerity. Paulo Coelho's life is a conscious spiritual quest. If such things interest you, I recommend Aleph.
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