Nandakishore’s review of The Alchemist > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by T.D. (last edited Jan 20, 2015 03:14AM) (new)

T.D. Whittle I disliked this book so much that I could did not finish it beyond the first few chapters. Utter crap. I cannot believe how beloved it is.


message 2: by Kristen (new)

Kristen I completely hated it.


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Lieberman Well, that's one I can remove from my to-read list. Thanks, guys.


message 4: by Nandakishore (last edited Jan 20, 2015 08:02PM) (new)

Nandakishore Varma T.D. wrote: "I disliked this book so much that I could did not finish it beyond the first few chapters. Utter crap. I cannot believe how beloved it is."

I read it long back. I wanted to try my hand at really brief and effective reviews.


message 5: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Kristen wrote: "I completely hated it."

Me too.


message 6: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Lisa wrote: "Well, that's one I can remove from my to-read list. Thanks, guys."

Yes, I think you can certainly avoid it.


message 7: by Calico (new)

Calico I thought I was alone in disliking this book. I felt I was reading self-help disguised as a children's story.


message 8: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Calico wrote: "I thought I was alone in disliking this book. I felt I was reading self-help disguised as a children's story."

No, you are in good company. It is such a puerile story.


message 9: by T.D. (new)

T.D. Whittle Nandakishore wrote: "I wanted try my hand at really brief and effective reviews."

:) No one could accuse you of mincing words with this one.


message 10: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma T.D. wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "I wanted try my hand at really brief and effective reviews."

:) No one could accuse you of mincing words with this one."


:D


message 11: by Manny (new)

Manny I am ashamed to say that the author has a house here in Geneva. A friend saw him in the street the other day.


message 12: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Manny wrote: "I am ashamed to say that the author has a house here in Geneva. A friend saw him in the street the other day."

Better avoid that street, Manny.


message 13: by Lina (new)

Lina Manny, if you find out for me where exactly his house is, I will gladly throw eggs at his windows.


message 14: by Manny (new)

Manny I know which part of town it is (Champel, for people familiar with Geneva), but not the street. It's possible that my friend is better informed... I will ask her!


message 15: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Lina wrote: "Manny, if you find out for me where exactly his house is, I will gladly throw eggs at his windows."

That is too cruel, I feel. :(

Those poor eggs...


message 16: by Lina (new)

Lina Yes, I know. I might use tomatoes or something, me being a vegan and all. Even then, it's cruel. I am open for alternatives. Like, calling the police claiming there's a bunch of corpses in Coelho's basement, but leaving out that it's the corpses of people's belief in literature, chopped up and buried by his gigantic ego.


message 17: by Jibran (new)

Jibran Succinct!


message 18: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Jibran wrote: "Succinct!"

It was an attempt to write a really short review. :)


message 19: by Jibran (new)

Jibran The shortest and precisest review ever haha

I notice many of my intelligent reader friends not liking it but still rating it three stars. I think they are a tad cautious of going too hard on a book loved by so many people.


message 20: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Jibran wrote: "The shortest and precisest review ever haha

I notice many of my intelligent reader friends not liking it but still rating it three stars. I think they are a tad cautious of going too hard on a boo..."


Oh, I sometimes get that feeling. For example, I was thoroughly underwhelmed by The Book Thief and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In these cases, however, I feel that it is no fault of the book but just a matter of wavelength.

With The Alchemist, I felt that I was on surer ground. The writing is very ordinary, and theme is something out of a self-help book.


message 21: by Kavita (new)

Kavita Great review! I felt the same about the book, though I don't remember anything about it. That says it all, I think!


message 22: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Kavita wrote: "Great review! I felt the same about the book, though I don't remember anything about it. That says it all, I think!"

Thank you. I was trying to write the briefest review possible. :)


message 23: by Helle (new)

Helle It's been over 15 years since I read this book and I remember next to nothing about it, but I do recall that it spoke to me at time when I needed it. However, I didn't go into the book expecting it to be a great novel but rather a fable, which I believe is what it purports to be. It is therefore, in a sense, simplistic and has a message. I recently read Ishiguro's latest novel, which I didn't like much, to put it simply, but I know that others did, and thus I assume that the book and my tastes and expectations don't converge - rather than assuming that there's something inherently wrong with the book. (I mention The Buried Giant because it is also a fable of a kind). As author Susan Hill has said, if you don't like a book, assume it's because tastes differ. I know I'm risking some kind of lynching offering these viewpoints in this thread but I hope you see the twinkle in my eye when I end with Poe's description of people who scorned other people's reading choices. He called it 'the mad pride of intellectuality.'


message 24: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Helle wrote: "It's been over 15 years since I read this book and I remember next to nothing about it, but I do recall that it spoke to me at time when I needed it. However, I didn't go into the book expecting it..."

Helle,

All our reviews are subjective, aren't they? So "inherently wrong" is something which I never say.

The meaning of the review above is "Nandakishore believes this book sucks."

In message 20 above, I have said that there were some books which I didn't like, but I felt that it was a matter of wavelength. However, I found this particular book very shallow and the writing to be extremely ordinary: so I feel I am justified in saying it is bad. However, anything anybody says is a matter of opinion, ultimately.

If nobody has lynched me for trashing such a popular book, I guess you won't be lynched for expressing your opinion. Anyway, my threads are always open to everybody. I really believe in free speech.


message 25: by Kavita (new)

Kavita @Helle,

You are right, different people like different books. But that does not mean that all books are above criticism. Criticising a book or pointing out things in it that you don't like does not mean you are scorning other people's reading choices. There is enough room in the world for both sides to express their opinions freely.

Sorry if I am being a little blunt, but I have seen too much of "if you can't say something nice about a book, don't say anything at all" and "a book is an author's baby, so don't call it ugly" remarks all over the place to not respond. I completely disagree with this attitude.


message 26: by Helle (new)

Helle I agree with both of you to a large extent. (And I reacted to comments in the thread as well). Reading is subjective, and we all like or dislike a book with impunity.

However, I believe we should be careful of our expectations when meeting a book (and a person, come to that). We should consider the premise of the book. Is it popular literature, Literature with a big L, a fable or something else entirely? Coelho, in my view, succeeds in writing a fable. He is not Dostoevsky, but nor does he try to be.

Certainly it may be just me, but I believe more and more in stating that I wasn't the right reader for a book if I didn't like it much. There are many ways of phrasing one's criticism - criticism which, by the way, I think can be both enlightening and necessary.


message 27: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Helle wrote: "I agree with both of you to a large extent. (And I reacted to comments in the thread as well). Reading is subjective, and we all like or dislike a book with impunity.

However, I believe we should..."


Helle, there are two ways in one can dislike a book:

1. You cannot empathise with the author's viewpoint or characters, or you simply cannot get into the narrative, yet you can see that the book is well-written, and the author has turned out a competent product - this is what happened to me with The White Tiger, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Book Thief, Lord of Light... to mention some.

2. You dislike the book because you feel it's badly written, shallow, and lacking in basic quality. That's what happened to me with this book and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, to quote another example. Please note that this analysis is also subjective.

In the second case, I post a really negative review. I won't say, "well, I didn't like it, but it's just me"... I will say, according to me, this is a bad book, and it would be wise to give it a miss.

To take a culinary example, I may not like a particular curry, but I accept that there are others who like it. But if I find that a curry has been badly prepared (like too much salt), I tell others of the fact. :)


message 28: by Lina (new)

Lina Helle wrote: "Coelho, in my view, succeeds in writing a fable. He is not Dostoevsky, but nor does he try to be."

Must... insult... Coelho... must... point out... his stupidity... can't... fight... it...


message 29: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Lina wrote: "Helle wrote: "Coelho, in my view, succeeds in writing a fable. He is not Dostoevsky, but nor does he try to be."

Must... insult... Coelho... must... point out... his stupidity... can't... fight......"


Control yourself, my girl! CONTROL!!!


message 30: by Lina (new)

Lina Nandakishore wrote: "Control yourself, my girl! CONTROL!!!"

I... am... trying... it... hurts...


message 31: by Figgy (new)

Figgy This review made me laugh so much.

Awesome.


message 32: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Figgy wrote: "This review made me laugh so much.

Awesome."


Thank you. I never knew a single word could promote so much laughter!


message 33: by Cecily (new)

Cecily This is clever and fun - the review and the comments - but it's not the shortest. See, for example, the link in Manny's review of Guinness World Records, tailored to GR: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 34: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Cecily wrote: "This is clever and fun - the review and the comments - but it's not the shortest. See, for example, the link in Manny's review of Guinness World Records, tailored to GR: https://www.goodreads.com/r..."

Yeah, I know. I was pipped at the post! :(


message 35: by Cecily (new)

Cecily If you could just find a way to write a review of fewer than zero words...


message 36: by Anuradha (new)

Anuradha This has to be the best review ever. :'D


message 37: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Anuradha wrote: "This has to be the best review ever. :'D"

Thank you. I was trying to write a really short review.


message 38: by Anuradha (new)

Anuradha Hah! It's perfect. :P


message 39: by Deepu (new)

Deepu George Sir u got a lot of reviews that supports ur view. Congrats. But i want to disagree with u and disagree by light years. Ok when I first read the book i couldnt relate with it much. i would have given a 2starts may be. Then i started getting better reviews from.my friend and i found a friend who keep it with him like someone would keep a bible. So i thouhht ok what am i missing. So i reread the book. this time it opened up a new world to me. So i dicided to read it once more and Classic came out. U may be a man with strong views but still i would like to put in my strong disagreement for ur views


message 40: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Deepu, your disagreement is noted. :)


message 41: by Murf the Surf (new)

Murf the Surf you know a pite way to say a book is full of brown tootsie rolls......is to say it was so abiguously esoteric Id almost drowned in the chocolate fountain when I fell in dousing my strawberries .........ha ha he he


message 42: by Apatt (new)

Apatt I think it's great for hate-reading so we can go on about how much we hate it afterward :D
Unfortunately, the sales from the hate-reads may encourage Paulo Coelho to write more shitty books.


message 43: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Apatt wrote: "I think it's great for hate-reading so we can go on about how much we hate it afterward :D
Unfortunately, the sales from the hate-reads may encourage Paulo Coelho to write more shitty books."


The universe is conspiring to help him, maybe.


message 44: by Apatt (new)

Apatt Nandakishore wrote: "The universe is conspiring to help him, maybe...."

LOL! I wish it would do some of that for me :)


message 45: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Apatt wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "The universe is conspiring to help him, maybe...."

LOL! I wish it would do some of that for me :)"


You have to believe...


message 46: by Apatt (new)

Apatt


message 47: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Good. You are halfway there already.


message 48: by Cecily (last edited May 03, 2016 12:39AM) (new)

Cecily Nandakishore wrote: "You have to believe..."

Nooo...
description
http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.co...


message 49: by Apatt (new)

Apatt Cecily wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "You have to believe..."

Nooo...

http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.co..."


Not Sagan agan! ;)


message 50: by Asghar (new)

Asghar Abbas This made laugh and I needed it .


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