The Zahir: I can’t take it any more

Well, I was warned.

An arguably admirable 226 pages in to Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir, I just can’t take it any more. There’s only so much poorly written, derivative, self-absorbed parapsychological gibberish I can consume in two weeks. Depending on your point of view, this may be my first book-based failure of the year.

To mitigate my failure, I’m adding another book to my 2012 26 book list: John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps. I picked it up in the library yesterday, aware that my Zahir-inspired despair was soon likely to reach breaking point. Buchan’s novel is just the right length to fill the remaining time I’d set aside for The Zahir.

Coelho’s is the second book I haven’t enjoyed this year; but the first (Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart) wasn’t such a hard slog that I gave up on it. I very rarely give up on books (which is a testament to how awful I found The Zahir). Should I have stuck this one out? Or will it be extra satisfying to cram another (hopefully better) book into 2012? Your thoughts please.


9 thoughts on “The Zahir: I can’t take it any more

  1. Oh, sad to hear you didn’t enjoy Things Fall Apart. I studied it at uni and I got quite into it. Think I will skip The Zahir though. Coelho is so celebrated but I’ve always found reading him akin to wading through treacle.

  2. I couldn’t tell you as I gave up on it earlier than you did. Utter rubbish. I’ll lend you ‘The Alchemist’. You won’t believe it’s the same person.

  3. Pingback: 2012′s 26 book challenge: The list | Al Online

  4. Pingback: Book 10: The Book of Chameleons | Al Online

      • In that period I read all of his books. Liked most. My first was Eleven Minutes; interesting … I read The Alchemist when I was rather depressed and was afraid after some paged it would push me over the edge, but it was actually quite helpful read :) I did not like The Fifth Mountain all that much nor The Valkyries, but I also have this thing against putting books down. Then again, one needs to enjoy reading and if that enjoyment is not there, fuck it! Do wish I had realised I already read The Winner Stands Alone before I bought it for this holiday … ;-)

  5. Pingback: Reading failure #2: Neuromancer | Al Online


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