ADULTERY

Adultery (Adultério in Portuguese) is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. It is the sixteenth major book by Coelho, and touches on the theme of adultery.

Plot

A woman around her thirties begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody’s eyes, she has a perfect life: a solid and stable marriage to a rich and loving husband, sweet and well-behaved children and a job as a journalist she can’t complain about. However, she can no longer bear the necessary effort to fake happiness when all she feels in life is an enormous apathy, boredom and depression. All that changes when she encounters an ex-boyfriend from her adolescence. Jacob is now a successful politician and, during an interview, he ends up arousing something in her she hadn’t felt for a long time: passion. They begin an affair which leads to brutal, S/M sex that she finds very exciting. She will now do anything to conquer that impossible love, and will have to go down to the pit of human emotions to finally find her redemption.

Download the book: Adultery.pdf

BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT DOWN AND WEPT

By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept (Portuguese: Na margem do rio Piedra eu sentei e chorei) is one of Paulo Coelho’s most prominent titles. This is the first part in Coelho’s trilogy “On the Seventh Day”. The other two parts are Veronika Decides to Die and The Devil and Miss Prym. This trilogy is a week in the life of someone ordinary to whom something extraordinary happens.

The novel takes its title from the incipit of the famous Psalm 137: By the Rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion (KJV).

PLOT SUMMARY 

It is essentially a story about love. It also includes elements of paganism; in particular it focuses on the female aspect of divinity.
The story focuses on Pilar, an independent young woman, who is frustrated with the grind of university life and looking for greater meaning. Pilar’s life takes a turn when she meets up with a childhood sweetheart, who is now a spiritual teacher and a rumoured healer and miracle worker. They set off on a journey through the French Pyrenees as the journey unfolds.

Download the book:  By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept.pdf

THE VALKYRIES

The Valkyries (Portuguese: As Valkírias) is a 1992 novel by Paulo Coelho.
The book is autobiographical, but told from the third person. It deals with the exorcism of personal demons and discovering one’s strength. It also deals with relationships among people, in this case, Paulo and his wife. Together with her, he embarks on a journey through the soaring heat of the Mojave desert. During the 40 days journey, surrounded by doubts and temptations and entering their innermost conflicts and questions, they met the valkyries, strange warrior women.

Plot summary

The plot involved Paulo going to the Mojave Desert to meet “the Valkyries” themselves, a group of warrior women who travel the desert on motorcycles.
At the beginning of the story, “J”, Coelho’s master in RAM, shows him a copy of the poem by Wilde that says “we destroy what we love” and this theme is central to the story.

  • A story about Paulo and his wife as they embark on an adventure to find his guardian angel. 

Download the book: The Valkyries.pdf

THE PILGRIMAGE

The Pilgrimage (Portuguese: O Diário de Um Mago, “Diary of a Mage”) is a 1987 novel by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. It is a recollection of Paulo’s experiences as he made his way across northern Spain on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The novel serves as part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery.
PLOT
The story begins in 1986 when Coelho undertakes his initiation into the order Regnus Agnus Mundi (RAM), which he subsequently fails. He is then told that he must embark on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago to find the sword that is the symbol of his acceptance into the ranks of RAM. He must do this to gain insight into the simplicity of life. The journey transforms him as he learns to understand the nature of truth through the simplicity of life.
He begins his journey with a guide, also a member of RAM, who goes by the alias Petrus. During the journey Petrus shows him meditation exercises and introduces him to some of the more down-to-earth elements of Western mystical thought and philosophy, and teaches him about love and its forms: agape, philia and eros.

 Download the book: The Pilgrimage.pdf

THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO

The Witch of Portobello (Portuguese: A Bruxa de Portobello) is a fiction work by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho published in 2007, about a woman born in Transylvania to a Romani mother in a gypsy tribe without wedlock. The central character is abandoned by her birth mother because the father was a foreigner (gadje) and later adopted by a wealthy Lebanese couple.

PLOT

As the book begins, Athena is dead. How she ended up that way creates the intrigue sustaining the book. The child, Sherine Khalil renames herself Athena after her uncle was discussing with her mother on how her real name will betray her origins and something like Athena gave nothing away. As a child, she shows a strong religious vocation and reports seeing angels and saints, which both impresses and worries her parents.
She goes into a London University to pursue Engineering at the age of 19 but it’s not what her heart wanted. One day she just decides that she wanted to drop out of college, get married and have a baby. Here, the author mentions that this might be due to the fact that she was abandoned herself and wants to give all that love she could to her child which she didn’t receive from her birth mother. Two years later, her marriage falls apart because they are facing too many problems due to their young age and lack of money or mostly because he felt that she loved only the child and used him to get what she wanted. A very interesting quote she uses is “From Ancient Greece on, the people who returned from battle were either dead on their shields or stronger, despite or because of their scars. It’s better that way: I’ve lived on a battlefield since I was born, but I’m still alive and I don’t need anyone to protect me.” She grows into a woman in search of answers to many questions that arise within a person. She had a life which many felt was content because she had a child of her own, money, and friends; everything but her mind was at peace, so she searches for the answer to the classical question of “Who am I?” through many experiences. In her quest, she opens her heart to intoxicating powers of mother and becomes a controversial spiritual leader in London.

 

Download the book: The Witch Of Portobello.pdf

ALEPH

Aleph is a 2011 novel by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. It is the fourteenth major book by Coelho, and touches on the theme of spirituality. Aleph was written in Coelho’s native language, Portuguese. Under the sentence “Some books are read. Aleph is lived”, the book is an autobiographical account written in a novel format. Upon release it became a bestselling novel in Brazil.

PLOT 

When the writer feels that his attempts are not properly being requited with the results he desired, he starts to have doubts about the path he is following and about the things he is doing. Then, as his master J. says, he starts trying to become the “King of [his] Kingdom”. The master J. tells him that what the writer is feeling is what he himself had felt some years back. That way, the writer is convinced that what he is in is a phase he cannot withdraw himself from and then he goes to travel. The writer persuades his agent, and then makes out a way to visit Russia for his tour, on the pretext of signing books and holding various programs for the promotion of his books in the northern Eurasian parts. In Russia, he comes across a girl, Hilal, who happens to be a Turk. She talks about her dream about a friend with a light and so does the story develops. Hilal also joins the writer in his carriage in the train. Then, in a vestibule, the two of them, the writer and Hilal see Aleph, which is defined as “a point where everything, the whole universe is contained”.

Download the book: Aleph.pdf

ELEVEN MINUTES

Eleven Minutes (Portuguese: Onze Minutos) is a 2003 novel by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho based on the experiences of a young Brazilian prostitute called Maria, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a young age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that “love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer…..”. When a chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, she dreams of finding fame and fortune yet ends up working as a prostitute.
As Maria drifts further away from love, she develops a fascination with sex. But when she meets a handsome young painter she finds she must choose between pursuing a dark path of sexual pleasure for its own sake, or risking everything for the possibility of sacred sex; sex in the context of love.

PLOT

Maria, a young girl from a remote village of Brazil, whose first encounters with love leave her heartbroken, goes to seek her fortune in Switzerland. She works for a time in a nightclub but soon becomes dissatisfied and after a heated discussion with her manager one night, she quits her job. She tries to become a model but is unsuccessful. Because she is running out of money, she accepts 1000 francs from an Arab man to spend the night with him. She then decides to become a prostitute and ends up in a brothel on Rue de Berne, the heart of Geneva’s red-light district…
There she befriends Nyah who gives her advice on her “new profession” and after learning the tricks of the trade from Milan, the brothel owner, she enters the job with her body and mind shutting all doors for love and keeps her heart open only for her diary. Quickly she becomes quite successful and famous and her colleagues begin to envy her. Months pass and Maria grows into a professionally groomed prostitute who not only relaxes her clients’ mind, but also calms their soul by talking to them about their problems.
Her world turns upside down when she meets Ralf, a young Swiss painter, who sees her “inner light”. Maria falls in love with him immediately and begins to experience what true love is (according to the author, it is a sense of being for someone without actually possessing him/her). Maria is now split between her sexual fantasies and true love for Ralf. Eventually she decides that it is time for her to leave Geneva with her memory of Ralf, because she realizes that they are worlds apart. But before leaving, she decides to rekindle the dead sexual fire in Ralf and learns from him about the nature of Sacred Sex, sex which is mingled with true love and which involves the giving up of one’s soul for the loved one.
This book explores the sacred nature of sex. “Eleven minutes” describes the duration of sex. Also, it depicts two types of prostitution: prostitution for money and sacred prostitution. There are also direct references to sadomasochism.
The story is of Maria’s journey to find what true love is by letting her own life guide her. She enters a life that leads her down the path of sexual awakening and almost leads to her self-destruction when she is introduced to all sides of sexual experience. When she has given up hope to find true love, she finds her true “inner light” and her everlasting true love.

Download the book: Eleven Minutes.pdf