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It might come as a surprise to you to learn
that Brazilian-born Paulo Coelho is one of the most widely read authors in
the world today. His best-loved work, The Alchemist, has sold over 20
million books worldwide and has been translated into 42 languages. The
recipient of numerous prestigious awards, his books are extraordinary
journeys - moving tales that teach, bring hope and have the power to inspire
nations. This superb collection featuring ten of his best titles is a
brilliant opportunity to become acquainted with the work of this very
special writer and, together or individually, these books will make
thoughtful and original gifts.
Eleven Minutes tells the story of young Maria
living an innocent life in a Brazilian village and is played out in a
measured fashion, but with all the author's brilliant scene-setting (very
lush here) fully in place. But then Maria experiences love and suffers great
pain. From this point, Coelho has us inexorably in his grip. Maria's
disillusionment with love leads her to Geneva where she finally ends up
selling her body (Coelho may offer us the beauty of life, but never at the
expense of its harshness). Maria's approach to sex is complex--this is no
mere revulsion arising from what she is now doing with her life. And then
she meets a seductive young painter, who may or may not offer her a new path
in life. But does she prefer to continue on the dark sexual odyssey she has
embarked on, at the expense of real love?
The Witch of Portobello
From one of the world's best loved
storytellers, Paulo Coelho, comes a riveting novel tracing the mysterious
life and disappearance of Athena dubbed 'the Witch of Portobello', which was
a top ten Sunday Times bestseller in hardback. This is the story of Athena,
or Sherine, to give her the name she was baptised with. Her life is pieced
together through a series of recorded interviews with those people who knew
her well or hardly at all -- parents, colleagues, teachers, friends,
acquaintances, her ex-husband. The novel unravels Athena's mysterious
beginnings, via an orphanage in Romania, to a childhood in Beirut. When war
breaks out, her adoptive family move with her to London, where a dramatic
turn of events occurs! Athena, who has been dubbed 'the Witch of Portobello'
for her seeming powers of prophecy, disappears dramatically, leaving those
who knew her to solve the mystery of her life and abrupt departure. Like The
Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform
the way readers think about love, passion, joy and sacrifice.
The Zahir, Paulo Coelho's new novel, is a
perfect follow-on to The Alchemist. Paulo picks up the theme of the
pilgrimage to Santiago but tells a very different, gripping story of love,
loss and passionate obsession. The protagonist of this new novel is a
renowned author who writes about spirituality and once went on pilgrimage
along the road to Santiago. On a return visit, he is suddenly abandoned by
his wife, who leaves no trace of herself behind. As the story unfolds the
author becomes obsessed with understanding the reason for her desertion. The
title comes from a tale by Jorge Luis Borges, published in his book The
Aleph. In Arabic Zahir means 'visible, present and unable to go unnoticed.'
It refers to something or someone that ends up being the only thing we can
think of. This state of 'possession' can be understood as saintliness or
insanity, with a fine line between the two. The novel is also full of
comments on what it is to be rich and famous, on the meaning of money, on
what motivates a writer and on the nature of marriage.
The Fifth Mountain" is set in the 9th century
BC. Elijah is a young man struggling to maintain his sanity amidst a chaotic
world of tyranny and war. This exciting new edition includes exclusive
content, such as an interview with the author, in-depth background
information on the book, recommended books if you liked this one, and much
more. Fleeing his home from persecution, 23-year-old Elijah takes refuge
with a young widow and her son in the beautiful town of Akbar, and is forced
to choose between his new-found love, and his overwhelming sense of duty.
Evoking all the drama and intrigue of the colourful, chaotic Middle East,
Paulo Coelho turns the trials of Elijah into an inspiring story of how faith
and love can ultimately triumph over suffering. A gripping and moving story
of how one man can surmount tragedy, and inspire a war-torn city to rebuild
This is a modern-day adventure story
featuring Paulo's supernatural encounter with angels -- who appear as
warrior women and travel through the Mojave desert on their motorbikes.
Haunted by a devastating curse, Paulo is instructed by his mysterious
spiritual master to embark upon a journey -- to find and speak to his
guardian angel in an attempt to confront and overcome his dark past. The
Valkyries is a compelling account of this forty day quest into the searing
heat of the Mojave Desert, where Paulo and his wife, Chris, encounter the
Valkyries -- warrior women who travel the desert on motorcycles, spreading
the word of angels. This exotic spiritual odyssey is a rare combination of
truth, myth, imagination and inspiration. Ultimately it is a story about
being able to forgive our past and believe in our future.
Along the way he meets many spiritual
messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a
well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first
learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated
for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and
what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually
meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies
much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true
to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy
confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
Previously published as "The Diary of a Magus", this book tells of Coelho's
initiation into a spiritual path, leading to inner development and wisdom.
He shares exercises in self-control and self-discovery, which he was taught
on his pilgrimage along the ancient road to Santiago.
Decides to Die
Veronika does not die; instead, she wakes up in Villette--the "famous and
much-feared lunatic asylum"--only to be told that, having damaged her heart
irreparably, she has just a few days to live. What she faces now is a
waiting game and the strange world of Villette: the rules and regulations
which govern the lives of its inmates and the doctors who treat them.
Coelho's question may be a familiar one: crudely, who, or what, is mad? But
his fiction is a remarkable, sometimes chilling, response to it. "Everyone
has an unusual story to tell" is the starting-point of the new treatment
initiated at Villette by the enigmatic Dr Igor; it's also the insight from
which this book takes off to explore the impact of a "slow, irreparable
death" on a young woman and the mad men and women around her.
the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
The story of an independent young woman whose
life is changed forever by a chance encounter with a childhood friend. A
magical blend of compelling action, exotic locations and intriguing
characters, told with Paulo's characteristic power and insight. Pilar is an
independent and practical young woman who is feeling bored and frustrated by
the daily grind of her university life. Looking for a deeper meaning to her
existence, she happens to meet an old childhood friend, now a handsome,
mesmerizing spiritual teacher -- and a rumoured miracle worker. As he leads
her on a magical journey through the Fench Pyrenees, Pilar begins to realize
that this chance encounter is going to transform her life forever. With
Paulo's trademark blend of mysticism, magical realism and folklore, Pilar's
story is a poignant and deeply inspiring tale
Devil and Miss Prym
The Devil and Miss Prym sees a stranger
arriving in the remote mountain village of Viscos carrying with him a
notebook and 11 bars of gold. The first person to strike up conversation
with the stranger is the inappropriately named Miss Prym, the hotel barmaid.
Unbeknownst to her, Chantal Prym is exactly the subject the man had been
hoping to find. The stranger puts a proposition to Chantal and with it gives
her the power to prove or disprove a supposition that has tormented him for
years--"Given the right set of circumstances every human being on this earth
would be willing to commit evil". Should Chantal prove him right, all her
dreams of escape to a new life would come true, but proving the stranger
right would mean casting aside her deeply ingrained beliefs about right and
wrong. So ensues a moral dilemma and a spiritual struggle between good and
evil that will impact on everyone in the village.
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