From the writer of the beloved tale The Alchemist comes a biographical account of personal transformation and global adventure during the hippie-filled 70s. Written in the third person, we follow the story of Paulo, a young Brazilian man whose dreams of self-exploration and becoming a writer have led him to travels around South America and, eventually, Europe. In Dam Square, Paulo encounters a young Dutch woman named Karla who has been waiting for a companion to accompany her on a transformative journey. Together, Paulo, and Karla board the Magic Bus, a hippie excursion stretching from Amsterdam to Kathmandu. Through the inevitable relationship, the pair develops on the journey, each begins to make new revelations about themselves, their fellow travelers, and the world around them.
Admittedly, I had high expectations for Coelho’s latest creation. I found the fable-like tone of The Alchemist enchanting, and I was eager to see how Coelho would implement his gifts to tell his own story through a unique third-person narration. But perhaps this is the very problem with Hippie: that it does not quite live up to the captivating tone its predecessor set, and that, at the same time, it doesn’t truly feel like Coelho’s own personal story – in fact, the third-person narration somehow distances the reader from both the characters and the author himself. While the plot is interesting enough – Coelho’s horrific saga in South America is particularly compelling – the writing and the lack of strong or well-developed side characters leave something to be desired. The end result is a book that reads at a slow and steady pace; it wasn’t unenjoyable, but it wasn’t a book I looked forward to delving back into each time I picked it back up.
This page was created by an SFBR staff member.
|Author||Paulo Coelho • Eric M. B. Becker, Translator|
|Page Count||304 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|