September 09, 2010

Brazilian Thursday - Paulo Coelho

You've probably heard about him - Paulo Coelho - but did you know he's brazilian?
Also, did you know he's deeply frowned upon in Brazil, even though he's a world record author (ALIVE author translated into the most languages)?

There's this thing that happened to me in 8th grade, we had a assignment to read a book in like 3 months, of course, even by then I was always reading something, so 3 days before deadline I told my teacher that I had just finished Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" and that I was using that for our assignment. She said I couldn't, since that wasn't literature and then handed to me a 50 pages book, with super large print and pictures. People. 8th grade. Pictures on every 3 pages or so. And it was about a girl that's on drugs and how that affects her and her family. It took me 30 minutes to read, cause I was bored like hell.

Now you tell me, how can THAT be "literature" and not "The Alchemist" that may not be the best book ever written, but's a full 200 pages of text, with a lovely story with a beggining, middle and finish, not some girl getting into rehab (which was, btw, the end of that book).

So yeah, I figured I'd talk to you about him because even though he's all over, some people don't take him into consideration, think it's "Self Help" which it really isn't. Most of his work is fiction, although even one of the non-fiction I read (Diary of a Mage) was a pretty fictional work and I think it could be nicely read by fiction lovers all around.

The  Alchemist is a lovely book, with a lovely message and a good story about chasing your dreams, about following your heart and, well, I thought it was beautiful.

So that was my message for today, don't let yourselves be a victim of literary prejudice! Paulo Coelho is a brazilian author and is semi-self help, but not really, and he's good. Read it before judging! If by then you don't like it, I'll respect it. Who knows, you might just find a great story :)