The archer A novel

Paulo Coelho

Book - 2016

"This is an inspiring fable about the importance of taking risks and overcoming difficulty. It is told from the perspective of Tetsuya, a famous former archer, and his apprentice"--

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FICTION/Coelho Paulo
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New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2016.
Physical Description
160 pages ; 20 cm
Main Author
Paulo Coelho (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A boy hears tales of a master archer, but the archer has long since retired and pursued carpentry instead. Still, the boy wants to learn the secrets that made the archer legendary. Thus begins internationally best-selling Coelho's (Hippie, 2018) newest tale. Read at face level, this slim volume seems to offer little beyond rudimentary instruction, but the deeper message of the archer is that mastery requires one to delve into the heart of any endeavor. More than perfect technique, it is a matter of patience, intention, hard work, and a willingness to be vulnerable. In other words, the journey is about intersecting with the soul. Evocative, brushed illustrations in black, white, and gold from Christoph Niemann don't always seem to fit the text, and Coelho's mystical, aphoristic style will not be to everyone's taste. Some readers will see deep truth in the spare sentences; others will find this allegorical tale a trite yawn. Whether this book will be a life-changer or not will depend very much on what the reader both brings to and seeks from its pages. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The next visionary work from the internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist features a boy who asks questions about the life of Tetsuya, a famous archer who has withdrawn from public life. Tetsuya uses his bow and arrow to illustrate his answers, showing that thought and action must be linked. Backlit by illustrator Niemann's art. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Coelho (The Alchemist) returns with the jaunty story of a master archer who dispenses philosophical advice. Using a fablelike framework, Coelho spools out short chapters that are interspersed with simple but evocative artwork. The story begins as a young boy leads a stranger to the local carpenter, Tetsuya, whom the stranger claims is a master archer in hiding. The stranger requests a competition to prove he is more skilled than Tetsuya, but when Tetsuya takes his turn, he aims for his target while balancing on a rickety bridge. Tetsuya's lesson is that the stranger can not compete, because—though he performs well in ideal, controlled situations—he cannot be a master until he can also perform well under difficult, trying situations. After the stranger leaves, Tetsuya and the boy return to the carpentry shop, and Tetsuya holds forth with meditative gems meant to teach the boy the skill of archery as he himself had been taught, such as "never hold back from firing the arrow if all that paralyzes you is fear of making a mistake," and "once the arrow has been shot, there is nothing more the archer can do, except follow its path to the target." The narrative is simple, and the act of holding a bow and shooting an arrow is a fairly obvious metaphor for doing one's best and striving for excellence. Despite this, fans of Coehlo's koanlike narratives will find much to ponder. (Nov.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A young man seeks wisdom from a retired hunter who explains how the principles of archery can help readers find the courage to take risks and embrace life's unexpected turns.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A young man seeks wisdom from a retired archer who explains how the principles of archery can help readers find the courage to take risks and embrace life's unexpected turns.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A young man seeks wisdom from a retired hunter who explains how the principles of bowhunting can help readers find the courage to take risks and embrace life’s unexpected turns. By the best-selling author of The Alchemist. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

From the #1 best-selling author of The Alchemist comes an inspiring story about a young man seeking wisdom from an elder, and the practical lessons imparted along the way. Includes stunning illustrations by Christoph Niemann.“A novelist who writes in a universal language.” —The New York Times In The Archer we meet Tetsuya, a man once famous for his prodigious gift with a bow and arrow but who has since retired from public life, and the boy who comes searching for him. The boy has many questions, and in answering them Tetsuya illustrates the way of the bow and the tenets of a meaningful life. Paulo Coelho's story suggests that living without a connection between action and soul cannot fulfill, that a life constricted by fear of rejection or failure is not a life worth living. Instead one must take risks, build courage, and embrace the unexpected journey fate has to offer. With the wisdom, generosity, simplicity, and grace that have made him an international best seller, Paulo Coelho provides the framework for a rewarding life: hard work, passion, purpose, thoughtfulness, the willingness to fail, and the urge to make a difference.