The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession by Paulo Coelho


The Zahir is a typical Paulo Coelho book. Based on a particular country and its mysticism and the messages it gives. This time it is Kazakhstan and France and the context is human relationships. Zahir is an Urdu/Arabic word for ‘Visible’.

The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

But those who understand these languages would know that their meaning is much deeper than just that. However, the author has used the word in a very different context. He says when you are absolutely lost in your beloved and you can not see anything but that person, that person becomes your ‘Zahir’.

It is a story of a writer (looks biographical at times), whose wife leaves him. And goes and lives in a far-off Kazakhstan. After her own realizations as a war journalist, she sees death very closely and realizes that war is necessary to live and to feel real love.

Meaning in Life

She becomes a mentor for a lot of people who are seeking love and searching for meaning in life. But this is also the time she does not connect with her husband who is too lost in his worldly affairs and success. To make him feel, what she has learned through as a war correspondent and through other people who have visions, she leaves him and goes and lets him long for her.

The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession by Paulo Coelho

While she waits for him, she knows that he is going through the process of learning what she wants him to learn. And when the process is completed he would find his way to her and they would be back together.

It is the sixth Paulo Coelho book that I read. And this is certainly not his best book. ‘Veronica’ remains my favorite to date. The narrative is confusing at times. And the message that comes out very discreetly in his previous books is missing. The book does not seem to be coming from the heart. But more from a pressure or need to write another book. Read it if you are a Coelho fan, otherwise, it is avoidable.

Buy this book – The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession by Paulo Coelho at Amazon India.

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  1. Hey Anu,
    Visiting after a loong time.. is it reqd to have a message for all the books? I prefer it not to be so, just my thought!qgdq


  2. I guess people write books because they have something to say. And in this particular case, the author is talking about the message all the time, so if I am not able to get that message after reading the whole book, I guess that remark is justified.


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