jill's Reviews > The Witch of Portobello

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
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Jan 03, 09

bookshelves: found-on-a-plane
Read in January, 2009, read count: 1

Preachy new age-y bullshit, with a distinct undertone of "I'm idealizing feminine qualities, so I can't possibly be sexist" sexism. Seriously, one of his characters lists four female archetypes that women supposedly follow, and although he calls them the witch, the virgin, the martyr and the saint, it's just that quote about how all roles for actresses are hookers, victims or doormats, with "bitch" thrown in for variety. The use of various narrators is one of my favorite narrative devices, but it just falls flat in this; the "voices" don't feel at all different. The "reveal" at the end was only surprising because it was dumb and unnecessary. None of the characters felt particularly developed. Oh, and the editor's notes just insulted my intelligence. If you refer to Dracula being the work of an Irishman who never visited Transylvania, I get that it's Bram Stoker without being told, thanks. And, if you reference Maronite Christians, but it doesn't add a damn thing to your story, you don't have to interrupt a thought to tell me what their sect believes. I could rant on like this for awhile, but basically, this is a preachy non-story that insults its readers intelligence. I left it on a plane with angry notes scrawled in the margins.
Not a great start to a new year of reading, but at least there's no where to go but up.
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Angela I wholeheartedly agree but couldn't find the words to describe my irritation with the book. Thanks for your review.


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