- The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession (P.S.) © 2005
- Harper Perennial
- 298 pages
I’m afraid my journey with Coelho is over. I was intrigued by The Alchemist, even though it smacked of neo-gnosticism. Veronica Decides to Die had such a twisted premise, I could overlook the philosophy. The Devil and Miss Prym, again, was such an interesting take on a folksy tale, I half-enjoyed it. In The Zahir, Coelho’s mushy spiritualism collided so violently with my worldview it was a chore to read.
I did enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the book—the cultures of Brazil, France and Kazakhstan combine to make interesting reading. Coelho’s prose is beautiful to read, as well. He moves effortlessly between dialogue and thought.
In the end, though, I’m tired of people thinking that leaving their old life behind will allow them to “find themselves”. That mid-life-crisis myth has spoiled too many relationships for me to take it seriously.