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The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

The Zahir

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Coelho’s most famous novel is The Alchemist and with The Zahir, an Islamic word for something that comes to totally dominate your thoughts, he continues to examine the spiritual side of humanity. The narrator a successful author, bearing a striking resemblance to Coelho, finds himself lost when his wife disappears for no apparent reason. The Zahir, at times feeling more biographical than fiction, will make you think and question – what you do with the answers you discover is up to you. As with all Coelho's novels, it's beautifully written, highly readable and very accessible.

Similar this month: None.
Comparison: Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Laura Esquivel, Louise Erdrich.

If you like Paulo Coelho you might also like to read books by Laura Esquivel, James Redfield and John Green.


The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

It begins with a glimpse or a passing thought. It ends in obsession.

One day a renowned author discovers that his wife, a war correspondent, has disappeared leaving no trace. Though time brings more success and new love, he remains mystified and increasingly fascinated by her absence. Was she kidnapped, blackmailed, or simply bored with their marriage? The unrest she causes is as strong as the attraction she exerts.

His search for her and for the truth of his own life takes him from France to Spain, Croatia and, eventually, the bleakly beautiful landscape of Central Asia. More than that, it takes him from the safety of his world to a totally unknown path, searching for a new understanding of the nature of love and the power of destiny.

With The Zahir, Paulo Coelho demonstrates his powerful and captivating storytelling.


'Coelho's writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face.' DAILY EXPRESS

'His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.' TIMES

'One of the few to deserve the term "Publishing Phenomenon".' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

'Coelho's talent to inspire his readers with wisdom and hope ... is as strong as ever. There is a forgiving kindness and humanity that is unmistakeable and tremendously appealing. DAILY MAIL

It's like music, really, the way he writes, it's so beautiful. It's a gift that I envy above all others. JULIA ROBERTS

About the Author

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s life remains the primary source of inspiration for his books. He has flirted with death, escaped madness, dallied with drugs, withstood torture, experimented with magic and alchemy, studied philosophy and religion, read voraciously, lost and recovered his faith and experienced the pain and pleasure of love. In searching for his own place in the world, he has discovered answers for the challenges that everyone faces. He believes that, within ourselves, we have the necessary strength to find our own destiny.

His novel The Alchemist has sold more than 65 million copies and has been cited as an inspiration by people as diverse as Malala Yousafzai and Pharrell Williams. Paulo Coelho’s books have sold more than 175 million copies worldwide. He is the writer with the most followers on social media and is the most translated living author in the world. He has won 115 international prizes and awards, has been a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters since 2002 and in 2007 was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Author photo © Xavier Gonzalez

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd May 2006


Paulo Coelho

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Harpercollins Publishers


Paperback (b Format)
368 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Mind, Body, Spirit



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