Aleph (A Review)


Disclaimer: Not a thorough review—though I may have to raise a spoiler alert—it is mostly personal notes to self. 

Aleph. I was thinking that it might be some spiritual term or experience, like Zahir. And I was right, it is.

Again, not too differ from Zahir or Pilgrimage, this book is about author’s journey to find elightment. Or in his word “to be the king of his own kingdom again” as he got succumbed into daily routines and failed to feel inspired again. He finally let go and accepted all invitations across the world to meet his readers.

The aleph was found in the Siberian Trans, train that go across Russia for 9000-something miles. He experienced it with a girl he met who is apparently was a girl he once involved with in previous life.

Now, I have read almost all Coelho’s epic novels (with only exception of Brida and Valkyries) but I must have slipped a fact that the author had already knew that he’s bound to meet eight girls from his previous incarnation. Well, he states that in this book.

I would rephrase Aleph (generated from the first letter, as Alpha or Alif in Arabic, perhaps) as a place or spot where one could experience a spiritual awakening, given it’s the past experience or just merely an evocation of memory or inspiration. But, this could be partly incorrect or totally dissatisfying explanation.

Moving on. The peace he had made with his past and the girl, the forgiveness they had accomplished set him free from his current burden in life and he found his “kingdom of life” once again.

I must admit, that my adoration of Coelho was dissipating since—I’d say—The Witch of Portobello. His books up from that one was somewhat confusing and hard to absorb for me. I still found his words and spiritual beliefs were great in those books; but the stories he told didn’t inspired me the way Alchemist, The Devil and Miss Prym, and Fifth Mountain did.

Basically, him telling his own spiritual journey doesn’t move me. Especially in this latest book, the sexual contents disturbed me a bit. I mean, knowing that the author has a loving wife and all. It just got too personal and didn’t hit me in the place it should. I just want to skip the pages ahead to the end.

Well, it’s not a pleasant review, yes? I know. It hurts me also to come out and reveal this.

I think, I will wrap it up by letting you know, that Coelho is still a great mind. I still admire his words of wisdom. I still own several of his previous books, which some I’ve mentioned here, and they’re remain masterpieces in my collection.


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