The Zahir is a 2005 novel by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. Just as in an earlier book, The Alchemist, The Zahir is about a pilgrimage. The book touches on themes of love, loss and obsession.
– From Wikipedia
The Zahir is (so far) unique on the list of 26 books I’ll read in 2012. Why? Because one person recommended it to me, while many more have told me how awful it is. Some have advised that I read a different book by Paulo Coelho; others have warned me to steer clear of his work altogether.
I usually try to approach new books in the same way I’d prefer to experience a new film: in complete ignorance. I often won’t even read the back cover. But, having been presented with a barrage of condemnations of The Zahir, it’s difficult to start reading with an entirely unspoiled opinion. Only 44 pages in I find myself already acutely aware of all its flaws (and it suffers further from following Milan Kundera’s inspiring The Unbearable Lightness of Being).
It will be interesting to see whether The Zahir defeats my prejudices and ultimately wins me over.
Have you ever liked or disliked a book primarily (you think) because you’ve been “programmed” to do so?