Manuscript found in Accra

Paulo Coelho

Book - 2013

"The latest novel from #1 internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho is a classic of inspiration and reflection, a meditation on life, love, and the significance of change. A novel of philosophical reflection set in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades. Here a community of Christians, Arabs, and Jews who have long lived together harmoniously have been warned of an imminent attack and certain destruction. Contemplating their demise, the community assembles to seek the wise couns...el of a Greek Copt, who imparts comforting and guiding wisdom on the enduring attributes of human character. The novel unfolds as a sequence of parables on love, faith, sex, friendship, beauty, bravery, loyalty, and success. "--

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FICTION/Coelho Paulo
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Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2013.
Edition
First American edition
Language
English
Portuguese
Item Description
"Originally published in Brazil as Manuscrito encantrado em Accra by Sextante, Rio de Janeiro, in 2012"--T.p. verso.
Physical Description
xiv, 190 pages ; 20 cm
ISBN
9780385349833
0385349831
Main Author
Paulo Coelho (-)
Other Authors
Margaret Jull Costa (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Coelho's quietly beautiful book is difficult to categorize. Unlike many of his novels, it is not an allegory, nor does it revolve around a mystical or physical pilgrimage. Instead, it consists of a series of queries posed by a population under siege and the powerfully simple, yet evocative, answers provided by an essentially unidentified wise man. As Jerusalem is surrounded by belligerent Crusaders in AD 1099, its diverse citizens—Jews, Muslims, and Christians, who have lived together in peace for centuries—gather in the square to seek the counsel of the Greek, known familiarly as the Copt. The Copt advises them to speak of their daily lives and search their hearts, minds, and souls for questions pertaining to universal truths. As the Copt thoughtfully answers questions posed about a variety of everyday subjects, including solitude, love, utility, luck, miracles, beauty, sex, anxiety, grace, and elegance, he bequeaths to his audience an "invisible sword" with which to fight intolerance and ignorance. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The sublime Coelho continues to break stylistic boundaries with this series of spiritual musings grounded more in history and morality than in his trademark brand of mysticism. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A self-help sheen hangs over this book by the internationally bestselling author of The Alchemist, which reads much more like a collection of bland aphorisms than a work of fiction. It is Jerusalem, the year 1099, and as French soldiers prepare to invade, a group gathers around a trite sage known as "the Copt." The topics broached are wide-ranging and somewhat random: a young woman asks about solitude and the Copt gives her a circuitous answer: "If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself. And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void. But the void does not exist." A boy, worrying he may be useless, is told: "Don't try to be useful. Try to be yourself; that is enough, and that makes all the difference." Another woman decides that the time is right to ask about elegance and is told that elegance is more about how one wears clothes than the clothes themselves. If Coelho is attempting parody, he has failed, this being both too long and too broad. The wisdom to be found here could be found in many other, better places. Agent: Sant Jordi Asociados (Spain). (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The latest novel from #1 internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho is a classic of inspiration and reflection, a meditation on life, love, and the significance of change. A novel of philosophical reflection set in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades. Here a community of Christians, Arabs, and Jews who have long lived together harmoniously have been warned of an imminent attack and certain destruction. Contemplating their demise, the community assembles to seek the wise counsel of a Greek Copt, who imparts comforting and guiding wisdom on the enduring attributes of human character. The novel unfolds as a sequence of parables on love, faith, sex, friendship, beauty, bravery, loyalty, and success. "--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Set in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades, a community of Christians, Arabs, and Jews, who have long lived together peacefully, assemble to seek the wise counsel of a Greek Copt after they are warned of an imminent attack and certain destruction.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Set in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades, a community of Christians, Arabs and Jews, who have long lived together peacefully, assemble to seek the wise counsel of a Greek Copt after they are warned of an imminent attack and certain destruction.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The latest novel from the #1 internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist.There is nothing wrong with anxiety.Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear. . . .Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.  *  *  *   July 14, 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. There, inside the ancient city’s walls, men and women of every age and every faith have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth:  “Tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to war. . . . None of us can know what tomorrow will hold, because each day has its good and its bad moments. So, when you ask your questions, forget about the troops outside and the fear inside. Our task is not to leave a record of what happened on this date for those who will inherit the Earth; history will take care of that. Therefore, we will speak about our daily lives, about the difficulties we have had to face.”  The people begin with questions about defeat, struggle, and the nature of their enemies; they contemplate the will to change and the virtues of loyalty and solitude; and they ultimately turn to questions of beauty, love, wisdom, sex, elegance, and what the future holds. “What is success?” poses the Copt. “It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.”    *  *  *   Now, these many centuries later, the wise man’s answers are a record of the human values that have endured throughout time. And, in Paulo Coelho’s hands, The Manuscript Found in Accra reveals that who we are, what we fear, and what we hope for the future come from the knowledge and belief that can be found within us, and not from the adversity that surrounds us.