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The Spy

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  23,361 ratings  ·  2,439 reviews
In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history's most enigmatic women: Mata Hari.


When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city.

As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Knopf (first published 2016)
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Aijazz Its a historical fiction, to be precise. Even though most of the history handed down to us is also prejudicial but the authors do not say so; Paulo…moreIts a historical fiction, to be precise. Even though most of the history handed down to us is also prejudicial but the authors do not say so; Paulo admits it to be a real life story of Mata Hari garnished with his magical way of writing(less)

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Tonstant Weader
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical-novel
Mata Hari really deserves better than she has been getting in the literary department. First there was Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran that made her inexplicably obtuse and naive considering her accomplishments. Now Paulo Coelho gives us The Spy which seems to be nothing more than a contrivance for some New Age aphorisms. He sees her as someone who was an emancipated woman, that freedom was her crime, but ignores the reality that made her “free”.

The real Mata Hari is more interesting. M
Issa Deerbany
فتاة ولدت في أسرة غنية وما تريده تحصل عليه وحتى تجد من يدافع على افعالها.

تتعرض الاسرة الى أزمة مالية فتصبح الفتاة تبحث عن الهروب من الواقع الذي تعيشه.

تريد الشهرة والمال فوجدتها في باريس وعن طريق الرقص والتعري تحت اسم الفن. ومرافقة الأغنياء والنوم معهم.

تتهم بالجاسوسية وتصبح ضحية الحرب الذي لابد من ضحايا يقدمها لتعليل خسارة جيوشها في الحرب وفشل انظمتها.

لم اجد باولو كويلو يدافع عن تصرفات هذه المرأة ولكن يرويها كما هي مع بعض التصرف البسيط لهذه القصة الحقيقية.

قصة عادية جدا ولَم أشعر بعبقرية المؤلف او
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
“I am a woman who was born at the wrong time and nothing can be done to fix this. I don’t know if the future will remember me, but if it does, may it never see me as a victim, but as someone who moved forward with courage, fearlessly paying the price she had to pay.”

I picked this one up randomly at the library at the very last second, after spending over half an hour looking for the perfect read. And I’m pleased to say that Paulo Coelho impressed me and then some.

The Spy has brilliant starting
Abrar Hani
Jan 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
انا غالباً لا اضع توقعات لروايات كويلو فبعد تسع قراءات له اصبحت ادرك تماماً اين ستسير رواياته وكيف ستنتهي فهي غالباً تُختم بسعادةٍ وسلام بعد أن يدس كويلو خلالها كل ما يملك من نصائح ومواعظ ومحاولات مملة لرفع الروح المعنوية للقارئ .

مشكلتي مع كويلو ليست في روحانياته او تفاؤله المبالغ به ، مشكلتي مع النمطية التي تسود على رواياته ، وتكراره لنفسه في كل رواية وكأنه يعجز عن الخروج من الدائرة التي حصر نفسه بها لتبدو رواياته وكأنها منسوخة من بعضها رغم اختلاف الفكرة الاساسية .

لكن هذه المرة وضعت افكاراً مسب
Heidi The Hippie Reader
The Spy is the story of Mata Hari, told first in her voice and then from the point of view of one of her male admirers.

Paulo Coelho isn't at his best in this novel.

He prefers and excels at metaphorical stories. For example, in this tale, Coelho has Mata Hari comparing herself to the nightingale that impaled itself on a thorn to grow a bright red rose for a young man in love.

I get what he was reaching for- but I think this tale would have been told better through details rather than metaphors.

Ninoska Goris
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: leido-2017
Uno de mis libros favoritos de todos los tiempos es de Paulo Coelho, El Zahir. Por lo regular disfruto mucho de sus libros aunque no son de mis géneros favoritos y este libro sonaba muy interesante.

Estaba impaciente por leerlo pude quedar más desilusionada: el libro es aburrido a más no poder; el que debió ser un personaje interesante es retratado aquí como una mujer interesada, superficial, mentirosa y egoísta con quien no conecté; y, aunque el libro es muy corto, me tomó mucho tie

Mata Hari...was she a spy or wasn't she? Did she serve as a double agent for Germany and France throughout World War I or did a malicious allegation with zero evidence destroy her life? In this re-imagining based on nonfiction accounts, author Paulo Coelho says no. Her only crime was her choice to be an independent woman, exposing the world to feminism for the very first time, and for that she lost her life by firing squad.

As Mata Hari waited for execution, one of her last requests was for a pe
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
This book reminds me that I shouldn't read historical fiction novels that are based on specific people, rather than a general time period. I'm too critical, and no doubt I expect too much from authors who are brave enough to take on the daunting task of getting inside another person's mind.

I'm of the belief that if you dare to feel that you have the insight into someone else's inner workings and what makes them tick, you better make damn sure that your instinct of human nature is sharp and on po
Mohammed Arabey
منذ بدء التاريخ والقصص والحكي هي أهم وسائل توثيقه وتعليمه
فلها المساحة الأكبر بالعهد القديم، بالقرآن..منها عرفنا حضارات قديمة، أساطير الاولين..والتاريخ
ويعدنا الحكاء الكبير باولو كويللو بأن يعيدنا لعصر الحرب العالمية الأولي..مع قصة متا هاري


وهي ربما قصة أمرأة "متحررة" في زمن منغلق منافق..لذا جائت كاسرة لكل القيود
الجاسوسة الراقصة هي دوما ما طبع في اذهاننا في مصر عاما بالجاسوسة الراقصة نادية الجندي..ولكن لا مجال للهزل هنا

فالقصة مبينة علي احداث حقيقية...تبدأ بأعدام ماتا هاري ورسالتها لمحاميها
Araz Goran
" في الحرب، تكون كرامة الإنسان هي أولى الضحايا "

لا أود الخوض في تفاصيل ونقد الرواية، سأركز في مراجعتي على هده الجزئية فقط المتعلقة بمقاربة الحرب من منظور إنساني وأرى أنها تحمل ثقل الرواية على كاهلها ، ولأجلها كتبت وكويلو ماهر دائماً في دس تلك الرسائل في قصص قد تبدو بعيدة بعض الشئ عن هدف الرواية الرئيسي، إنما تبقى غاية الرواية هي تمرير رسالة معينة بين جناح الرواية ..

أجل في الحرب تكون الكرامة هي آخر ما يمكن أن يحسب له حساب، والبرئ هو أول من يدفع الثمن وآخر من يلملم الجراح، في الحرب يقتل بعض الناس
Sara Bow
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ich weiß jetzt schon, dass dieses Buch ein Jahreshighlight 2018 wird !
Obied Alahmed
لا بأس .. ولكن من يقرأ الخيميائي أولا لا يستمتع بالجاسوسة

مع أنهما لباولو كويللو إلا أن الفرق واضح بين المزاجين
Hussain Hamadi
Jan 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
رواية مخيبة للامال وكثيرة الفوضوية في الاحداث تجعلك تتمنى الانتهاء منها ولو لم أكن قد أعلنت بأنني ساقراءها لتركتها جانبا منذ لحضة ما قرأت سطرا او سطرين منها

عندما يقوم باولو بتمجيدالعهر لا تتوقع ان تقرا شيء يستحق ان يذكر

مراجعة الرواية عند الدقيقة 6:55 في الرابط
Lina Ahmad
لا شيء جديد في ادب باولو ! العاهرة الشريفة
ها هو باولو من جديد يحول مفهوم الزنا والعهر الى مهنة الشرف ، أشياء بنظره تستحق الاحترام وما وراء اللجوء الى هذا العالم الكثير من الجرأة والثقة .

احداث الرواية حقيقية ، فتدور خلال الحرب العالمية الاولى ببطلتها (ماتا هاري) ، جل ما فعلته في حياتها كان عبارة عن هز جسدها بفظاعة والتعري من دون لمسة فن واحد أو ايحاء!
هي مجرد امراة فاتنة وجميلة تتعرى في العلن تحت ذريعة فنية ما لم افهمها . بحق السماء يا باولو اين الفن بهذا ؟

أعدمت ماتا هاري رميا بالرصاص ، فاتهمت باس
“Death is nothing, nor life either, for that matter. To die, to sleep, to pass into nothingness, what does it matter? Everything is an illusion.”

----Mata Hari

Paulo Coelho, the international bestselling author, pens a gripping and part fictional tale on the life of a legendary dancer cum falsely accused as a spy, Mata Hari in his new novel, The Spy that opens with the execution of this exotic and talented dancer by the French, but then the author spins a riveting autobiographical account of th
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Finally a solid read! This one was short enough where I started this morning and was able to finish it this afternoon. Fascinating story of Mata Hari. Basically, the woman was executed for being considered a double agent but on such flimsy evidence that her execution was seemingly to save the asses and protect the reputation of the powerful men she slept with. A woman that once again rang that tired old bell "I was born at the wrong time." When will it ever be the right time for women to be born ...more
Jill Croce-McGill
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it

Margaretha Zelle, aka Mata Hari, was a famous "exotic" dancer who shocked and dazzled audiences; as a prostitute, she entertained the most richest and powerful men.

But unfortunately this lifestyle also brought her under suspicion. In 1917, Mata Hari was arrested in Paris, and accused of espionage. She then was put on trial and executed for treason, and in all likelihood was innocent.

Mata Hari would be considered a feminist hero in today's world, a wo
Fiona MacDonald
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Utterly heartbreaking story. Wonderfully told (Paulo Coelho is a master of the written word) and just so incredibly sad to read. Mata Hari's voice speaks through the pages eloquently, passionately and sensually. I really enjoyed this... no, in fact I loved it. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is interested in Mata Hari's life.
Kelsie O'Driscoll
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After picking up this book, I did some research on Mata Hari before reading the book. Obviously, the book cannot compare to the events that transpired in her life, but I believe Paulo Coelho gave this woman a voice that was condemned by a rigorous society. You can immediately tell that this is a work by Coelho because of his use of metaphors and prose, but it is a delightful read that I, personally, needed at the moment. Instead of picking up a self-help book (no shame in that, I do too!), I hig ...more
I was disappointed in this book considering that the Brazilian author is Paulo Coelho, which is why I wanted to read it. My knowledge of the dancer and famous spy, Mati Hari, is still scarce after reading the book. I felt that the author "phoned it in" and it felt superficial and thin. Mati Hari was a Dutch exotic dancer and mistress to powerful men (both French and German) who was convicted of being a spy for the Germans in World War 1. She was found guilty and shot to death by a firing squad ...more
Erin Clemence
This review is for the audio version of “The Spy” written by Paulo Coelho, narrated by Hillary Huber and Paul Boehmer, and published by Random House Audio.

I continue to read Paulo Coelho books thinking I’ll like them. I choose them because they are so small and therefore I assume they will be easy to read. I also choose them because I hear nothing but good things about Mr. Coelho, especially about how his novels are poignant, well-loved and world-renowned. This exact trap suckered me in whe
Louise Wilson
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mata Hari was penniless when she arrived in Paris. Soon she is one of the most elegant women in the city.

Paranoia consumed a country at war and Mata Hari's lifestyle comes under suspicion. in 1917 she was arrested and accused of espionage.

The book is told from Mata Hari's final letter. A woman who dared to break the conventions of her time and paid the price for it. Even facing the firing squad she never lost her dignity.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and the autho
Shwan Majeed
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذه الكتاب انا اعتبره سيرة ذاتية اكثر من رواية, باولو كويلو حسب راي الشخصي وفق في كتابة السيرة الذاتية للشخصية "هاري ماتا" وكتبه لنا باسلوبه الجميل كالعادة في كتبه من قبل وكتبه باسلوب جميل.
صحيح انه لربما لم يكون بسمتوى كتب البقية لباولو ولكن يجب ان لا نظلم كتاب لان هذه يعتبر سيرة ذاتية اكثر من رواية.
وكعادته باولو كويلو ناصر حقوق المرأة في كتابه واخرجها بصورة جميلة ودافع عنه بصورة لائقة على رغم حقيقية الشخصية التي هي غامضة الى الان.
وبهذا اكملت جميع كتب باولو كويلو الـ 17 المترجمة للعربية الى الان
Opinião em breve no blogue
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing

My goal for 2017: Read all of his books.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
With this quick evening read, I acquaint myself with Paulo Coelho.

Coelho being one of the most popular authors alive and his books selling in millions, I was a bit skeptical while approaching this book. But all the skepticism evaporated as soon as I began reading the first chapter. All popular books needn't necessarily be bad! Lesson learnt.

Clear prose with interwoven philosophies dictates the life of Mata Hari - who turns out not to be a spy at all but a rather free-spirited woman born a cent
Jderu Marius
Mi-a placut, dar este scrisa superficial. Este a doua carte de Coelho dupa Alchimistul pe care o citesc. Mi-au atras atentia cateva citate pe care vreau sa le mentionez aici: "oare nu vom putea vedea niciodata chipul iubirii? ... iubirea este un act de credinta fata de altcineva, iar chipul ei trebuie sa fie intotdeauna acoperit de mister. Fiecare moment trebuie trait cu pasiune si emotie, fiindca, daca incercam sa-l descifram si sa-l intelegem, magia dispare. Urmam caile sinuoase si luminoase a ...more
Moujan Taghavi
همیشه با داستان های پائولو کوئیلیو کیفور شدم مثل ورونیکا تصمیم میگیرد بمیرد؛ کیمیاگر، شیطان و دوشیزه پریم و .... .
این کتاب هدیه دوستی به من بود.
داستان آن داستان زنی رقاص است که به خاطر اینکه خودش باشد و آزاد باشد دست به انتخاب هایی در زمان جنگ میان المان و .. می زند که ....
در پشت جلد کتاب امده است بر اساس داستان واقعی نوشته شده است.
Raghdaa Morad
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
2.5 ⭐ this book was a big disappointment I think i had enough of Coelho writings. ...more
Husain Ismaeel
باولو من الكتاب المفضلين لدي بل هو من جعلني أقبل على قراءة الروايات ومنه بدأت قراءة الروايات وكل رواياته محببة لدي لكن هذه الرواية الأخيرة له لم تأت بالإبداع المتوقع منه إذ هو لجأ إلى قصة حقيقية حدثت في الزمن الغابر وأضاف لها نكهاته ولفتاته لكني لم أعجب بالرواية كعمل فني بقدر اهتمامي بقصة بطلة الرواية لذلك أعطيته ثلاثة من خمسة نجوم
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Play Book Tag: The Spy by Paulo Coelho, 3 stars 5 34 Jan 16, 2017 10:04PM  
Play Book Tag: The Spy - 3 Stars 2 14 Jan 13, 2017 12:19PM  
Around the Year i...: The Spy, by Paulo Coelho 1 32 Nov 16, 2016 04:24PM  
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
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“Love is an act of faith & its face should always be covered in mystery. Every moment should be lived with feeling & emotion because if we try to decipher it & understand it, the magic disappears.” 44 likes
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