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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member
Bangalore India
Could have been better. Really?
Jan 10, 2006 12:50 PM 5150 Views
(Updated Jan 10, 2006 12:51 PM)



The most interesting thing about The Zahir is the identity of the central character of the story who goes in search of his wife. The central character seems to be the reflection of Paulo Coelho himself. This is evident from the character narrating about the books he has previously written about following your dreams (The Alchemist), traveling down the road to Santiago(The Pilgrimage) and references to the warriors of light (Manual of the warrior of light). There might have been more references to other books by Paulo Coelho, which I haven't yet read and thus not aware of. All these raises a doubt whether ''The Zahir'',in essence, is an autobiography of Paulo Coelho.

These issues apart, there are some good points the book covers in provoking questions in life. The Acomodador as called by the Mexicans, is a point where you progress in a field to an extent and then stop due to some reason. The author suggests the way to find the Acomodador is to conduct an exhaustive review of one's life and then go beyond the Acomodador. This is an excellent concept, which deems praise. But the author could have elaborated more on this regard as to how exactly to overcome the Acomodador as people would have stopped their progress when The Acomodador effect is strong(in most cases). But the very concept of bringing in the Acomodador is laudable.

The author also says how you prepare to experience love is to empty your heart of all past burdens. That is mainly how Mikhail, one of the characters in the story conducts sessions in an Armenian Restaurant where people discuss out their personal 'lack of love' stories. This is really a good way to cleanse your heart. I just tried myself a simple variation of this exercise. I tried narrating my life's story aloud, alone. Not only lack of love stories, but my life story in general. Stories of success, of failures, of love, of the lack of it, of moments of peace, of jealousy, of strengths and of sadness. It seems to have lightened my heart and the world looks a bit brighter indeed. Perhaps the author has just did that in the form of the book Zahir. He has somehow shared his life's story in the book to the whole world to cleanse his heart to start accepting love.

There were lot of concepts of the Tengri culture of the Steppes in bits and pieces. Maybe the author can write a book on it exclusively. Some people might think that the nice things about reading books like this are that you somehow can identify your life to what is being discussed in the books and have a general feel good factor. More than that, they fail miserably in teaching some principles which when applied liberate you and develop you. But for that I would recommend The Pilgrimage / The Manual of the Warrior of Light by the same author and The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma. The Zahir succeeds in its own purpose.

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Zahir, The - Paulo Coelho