Q&A with Paulo Coelho discussion

The Witch of Portobello (complete and free!)

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message 1: by Paulo (last edited Feb 19, 2008 06:55AM) (new)

Paulo (paulocoelho) | 52 comments Mod
Dear readers,
You can now browse the full edition of The Witch of Portobello (courtesy of Harper Collins). Therefore, you can read the first pages (or the full edition). If you decide do buy the book, there is a link on the left side.

The Witch of Portobello ( complete and free! ):

This link will be there till the 11 of March. On the next months, we are going to have full editions online of all my titles published in English.

message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert (rgbatduke) Dear Paulo,

Wonderful! I'll check it out. I will probably not buy this version of it because I try to read works of magical realism written in Spanish in the original, even though I speak Spanish itself very badly (from lack of practice). Reading is somewhat easier, and somehow Spanish is a more poetical language that captures the "magic" somewhat better than English does even as I get valuable practice.

At this point I think I own at least five or six of your books, all in Spanish. Of them, my favorite is probably The Alchemist, probably because it is the most fanciful and "magical" of the stories, for all that it is drawn in part from the Thousand Nights and a Night tales and that literary tradition. It is also partly because of my relative weakness reading in Spanish -- I do better with "children's books" than I do with the more serious of adult novels, and many of your other books are much more mature in their theme and language. I truly struggle with Marquez (who has otherwise beautiful language) as a consequence, but do well with Allende, especially her childrens' stories!

Anyway, please count me as a serious fan, one that will find it interesting -- and different -- to actually read one of your works in English for a change (although I'll probably still buy it Spanish as I said).

By the way, I am a theoretical physicist and philosopher, and I also write novels (as well as nonfiction, magazine articles, textbooks and the like). My first fictional novel is also magical realism (insofar as it is anything -- it certainly tells a fantastic tale). At your convenience you should feel free to check it out here:


where there is an online preview of the first three or four chapters. If you like it, I would be honored if you would let me send you an e-book copy of it for free, in small payment for the many hours of pleasure (and thought) I have obtained from your books over the years now.


message 3: by Angie (new)

Angie I'm a big fan of your work and have read quite a few of your titles, but I'm also curious about your style and the way you include yourself in the narrative, even if it is to say that you knew the characters you are referring to. The journey you took in the desert in the Valkyries was almost wasted on me because I didn't think this was a real journey, just a superb narrative. Are you a magician?

message 4: by Majdz (new)

Majdz Dear Paulo Coelho
I was a young freshman student when i first read the Alchemist, and the begining of it (the story of young boy who drowns while viewing his beauty) was marvelous to the state that i recounted it to my guides in my scouting group! After reading Metamorphosis by Ovid i found the story of the same boy, and was thrilled!

After 6 or 7 years (recently) I found the Witch of Portebelo, in my causins library, and while he was in the shower, stole it and ran home so he wouldnt stop me.... read it in one day and just loved it! specially since i am Lebanese.
So this brings me to my question; did u happpen to know anything about Leb before u wrote this book, or did u search about it, and why was it you chose the parents who adopted the main character to be Lebs, do u have friends who are originally from Leb who recounted to u what happened there about war and instability?

Another question if i may: in the Zahir, i know that in Arabic the meaning is "something that is soo clear and can not go unnoticed" true as u mentioned in the book...however being a Muslim i never knew it was a sort of tradition or important aspect in this specific religion...can i know from where u knew about it? i'm interested in knowing since my second name is Zahraa and i know that is means "the clear light" so i would like to know if there is any connection between the two words :)

thank you so much
One of ur readers

message 5: by Kavitha (last edited Feb 27, 2008 12:17PM) (new)

Kavitha | 1 comments Hi Paulo

I just started reading "The Witch....". A page turner, I must say. I havent been able to put the book down since yday. My favourite line so far has been : "If there is any possible consolation in the tragedy of losing someone we love very much, its the necessary hope that perhaps it was for the best.". This is so true.

I have a couple of questions for you.One, where do you draw inspiration from for philosophical themes such as those brought out in your books?

In this book, Athena is portrayed as a very strong woman (This is obvious from statements like "BECAUSE ALL OF MY LIFE I HAVE LEARNED TO SUFFER IN SILENCE"). Why then does she cry openly in the church or in Lukas' presence after their split? Doesnt tears show her weakness? I strongly believe that tears will expose ones weaknesses. Whats your take on that?

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