This would be the first time I will do a book review, I’m not really good at this but I think good books deserve to be acknowledge well most especially if it is written by Paulo Coelho. Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors but not just that, “he is recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. The Alchemist, his most famous novel, has been translated into 80 languages. The author has sold over 200 million copies worldwide and is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author.” That is from Wikipedia, you guys.
So okay, let’s start my book review.
- Title: Aleph
- Author: Paulo Coelho
- Place: Brazil
- Publisher: Vintage Books
- Publication Date: 2011
- Edition: Internatizonal
- Media Type: Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
- Pages: 269pp (Paperback)
- ISBN: 978-0-307-95069-7
“If I had to give you one piece of advice, it would be this: don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do. Seek out people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes and who, therefore, do make mistakes. Because of that, their work often isn’t recognized, but they are precisely the kind of people who change the world and, after many mistakes, do something that will transform their own community completely.”
– Paulo Coelho, Aleph
What is Aleph? On Mathematics, in set theory, the Hebrew aleph glyph is used as a symbol to denote the aleph numbers, which represents the cardinality of infinite sets. This book was an autobiographical account written by Paulo Coelho in a novel format.
The book focuses on the main character, which is Coelho himself; trapped in the uncertainty about the path he is taking and doing – being unsatisfied with his stagnant life and spiritual growth. According to his master J, he starts trying to be the King of his Kingdom. In order to withdraw himself back, he persuade his agent to take the Trans-Siberian railroad for his Russian tour – taking numerous city tours, book signing sessions, and special events. In Russia, he met a Turk girl named Hilal who end up accompanying them all throughout the tour. Hilal talks about her dream about a friend with a light and there is where the story develops. In the vestibule of the train, Hilal and Paulo tried the Aleph for the first time by looking at Hilal’s eyes and he then saw their past life – the discovery of pain and forgiveness.
The story is primarily talking about spiritual growth, past life, reincarnation, and love. Personally, I have not that much knowledge about past life or reincarnation that is why I found it quite hard to get the point of this book every time they talks about it. Nevertheless, what I liked about this book is that it somehow let me discover the meaning of our own personal journeys and the courage to overcome life’s challenges. The story is written in full details that is why it is not that hard to understand because each scenes automatically plays in your mind as you are reading it.
I read Aleph not for adapting the whole teachings from Coelho but because of how beautifully he had written it. Even though it was only a translation, the magic of his words is overwhelming and leaving a lasting impression to me. So if you are into reincarnation and related theories this will be a very good book for you.