Book Review: Aleph

By Paulo Coehlo

Because of my great love for Isabel Allende, www.literature-map.com suggested that I give Paulo Coehlo a try. I planned to read The Alchemist or Veronika Decides to Die, but I happened upon this book on the “New Books” shelf at the front of the library.

This book was hard to enjoy. I had to force myself to like it. For about the first half, I thought it was a supernatural memoir. Then I noticed the back cover said Fiction, but according to a New York Times interview with Coehlo from September 2011, this was his experience on a train across Siberia in 2006. I can’t put into words how sad this made me. Viewing it as fictional was the only thing that got me through the book.

The story itself is interesting, if viewed in the context of being purely fictional. The writing was a bit boring and lacked true style and eloquence. That contributed to my difficulties reading the book.

I would not recommend this book, but it wasn’t bad enough that I’d never read his other works.

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