Let’s discuss Paulo Coelho

For several years now, there is a huge fuss about Paulo Coelho. It all started with “The Alchemist”.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist has gone on to sell more than 65 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history, and has been translated into more than 70 languages, the 71st being Maltese, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. Fun fact is that the initial print run was of 900 copies and the publishing house decided not to reprint.(Source: Wikipedia)

Is it possible that you didn’t read it yet? Well if you didn’t, I’m gonna tell you briefly about it.

“The Alchemist” is an enlightening story about a shepherd’s quest to “find his treasure”. It’s about following your dream and surmounting obstacles. I have to say that the book is quite surprising and inspiring.

After The Alchemist

Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written one novel every two years including By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, Like the Flowing River, The Valkyries, The Witch of Portobello, Brida, The Winner Stands Alone. The two I liked the most were “Eleven Minutes” and “Veronika Decides to Die” which was adapted to a movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Me and Paulo Coelho

You see the list of books above? Well, I read them all except for the latest The Winner Stands Alone”. It has been waiting on my shelf for about two years now. Why?

Well Paulo Coelho writing style is captivating, almost every sentence can be used as a life inspiring quote. But reading one book after the other, I started re-reading the same ideas, almost the same storyline. “The Witch of Portobello” was a deception and “Brida” was a torture to finish. The two books were so much alike. Paulo Coelho was not bringing anything new and I was not at all encouraged to read the latest book.

You and Paulo Coelho

I really want you to share with me your experience of Paulo Coelho reading. And if you didn’t read any of Coelho’s books yet I urge you to at least check “The Alchemist” and “Eleven Minutes”.

PS. If you are interested, you can follow @paulocoelho on twitter and check http://www.paulocoelhoblog.com . It is regularly updated seems by the author himself.

The Alchemist has gone on to sell more than 65 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history, and has been translated into more than 70 languages, the 71st being Maltese, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author.[7][12]


  1. jchoufani

    Personnally I liked “The Zahir” it was a nice read full of emotions. As for “The winner stands alone”, the idea is a bit exaggerated, but the context is nice, a bit disappointed by the end, expected it to be stronger.

  2. *confession* I tried reading The Alchemist and couldn’t get through it… Thus, never again did I pick up a Paulo Coelho book… Yet everytime I hear/ read someone talking about it, I think I should give it again a try… This is one of those cases 🙂 maybe I really will this time.

  3. juma

    i’ve read The Alchemist recently, and i really liked it. its very inspiring, but i didnt try to read any other books for him & i’m not planning to even!

  4. I was introduced to Paulo Coelho’s books by my wife some years back, and I admit I feel in love with his style and choice of words. Started with Alchemist (as most of us probably did) and went on to read Fifth Mountain ,The Zahir and The Witch of Portobello , but i agree with those who kind of get “bored” with the way the story lines go. Of course I respect his vision, and i admire the message he is trying to project, but unless you are committed to it, it simply gets repetitive and predictable (not trying to compare the overall mission, but sort of getting used to Dan Brown’s books as well).

    But at the end,Paulo Coelho is a great writer, and his books are one my favorites and his way of writing is a simply amazing , and it keeps me wanna read more (giving I keep a considerable time between each read:) )

  5. carla

    I’ve read many of Coelho’s books. While I have to admit that I didn’t really understand ” The Alchemist” since I read it at the age of 15, and since I don’t read the same book twice- my own policy, with no grounds to validate it, not even to myself- I’d say my favorite book for Coelho is “the Devil & Miss Prim”

  6. Mano

    It’s interesting that no one has read “11 Minutes” by Coelho.

    I’ve been introduced to Coelho in English 202 class back in uni days with his then latest book called “Veronica Decides to Die.” I must say that the story wasn’t to my taste. I loathed it. It took me more than 5 years to get back to Coelho and borrow his “11 Minutes” from a friend and finish it in 6 hours. It was a very easy reading and interesting story of a prostitute. The book became viral in my community and many of my friends got to read it (I’m not sure if the heroin had anything to do with it :P) and it’s funny that I sometimes spot girls carrying it the book around.

    Unlike “Eat, Pray, and Love”, “11 Minutes” was a fun read.

  7. Amer Saidi

    Tried reading “The Alchemist” once….couldn’t get through it….from what I hear if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.

    This is only a theory, but I think part of what makes Coelho sell so well is the perennial story line about self fulfillment and finding one’s dream, which naturally appeals to people as it contains a sort of feel good factor.

  8. Roula

    Unfortunately it seems I started with the wrong book. After hearing from everyone on how good “Paulo Coelho” books are I borrowed “Brida” from a friend. I am sorry to say that I didn’t like it (mainly the story wasn’t captivating enought for me) and it has put me off from trying to read any of the other Palo books. Maybe one day i will get to reading “The Alchemist”.


    I read “The alchemist” two weeks ago, and I have to admit that it is a really inspirating book. Then i read “The fifth mountan”, and I realized that it is almost the same plot. I would like to read more from Paulo Coelho, those two books have a lot of philosophy and are really reflective, specially now, when I am leaving back home to study in another country.

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