The latest novel from number-one 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.
©2013 Paulo Coelho (P)2013 Random House Audio
The richness of the narration by Jeremy Irons makes this story mesmerizing - he has the incredible ability to speak as though he were multiple actors - each with their own unique personality and "voice" - it's hard to believe that anyone could do this. Because the story is so rich with wisdom, I have now listened to this many times - and each time I hear new things and discover nuances that I missed previously. I suppose the print version would be good if I were to just study the wisdom in the book, but listening to the narration puts the book on steroids.
There is a tremendous amount of wisdom in this book - it is presented as a series of distinct themes ranging from the meaning of victory and defeat, what love means, what success is, the importance of gratitude and mindfulness is daily living, the spiritual meaning of sex, and exploration of the 4 cardinal virtues, the meaning of "beauty", and many, many more. If I were to stop the narration after every chapter, I could write an essay on the application of the ideas to my own life.
The prayer of the "Copt" that echoes the Lord's prayer in the Bible. It uses the same sentence construction and flow, yet expands the ideas with such poetic elegance and symmetry of phrasing when narrated by Jeremy Irons that you feel compelled to stop the narration and just let the richness of the words reverberate in your mind. I've lived 58 years and I can honestly say that I've never heard anything narrated quite so well, ever.
The description of one of the cardinal virtues of "elegance". I've never really studied this concept before and was not aware of the deeper meaning. In this sense it was an epiphany that opened my perception to why some things in the world just seem "right", are attractive or compelling, and why when I am in a certain headspace, things just seem to click. In this sense, "elegance" is the passion of Mandela to change the destiny of S. Africa, the symmetry and grace of a cheetah chasing its prey, how a sound wave can be converted to an electrical impulse and processed chemically to produce a thought.
You can listen to this book many times and it is so well done that it feels as though you have done a meditation - especially if you stop it and reflect on the application of the wisdom. This is a deep book that encourages introspection, yet it is light enough and so compelling a listen that I gain much from it by plugging my smartphone in my car (with the Audible app) and listening to it on the way to work. I live in northern Canada and it is now 30 below and there is black ice on all the city roads and deep snow - normally very stressful to drive. I can listen to this book and get so wrapped up in it that I scarcely notice the commute - I can just picture in my mind's eye the Copt addressing the crowd on a hot, dusty summer day on the eve of an invasion - providing insights, encouragement and wisdom on the meaning of things that are truly important in life.
Love to Bungee!!
Listening to Jeremy Irons narrate was the highlight of this story. I have read print versions of other Cuelho books and have had a bit of a problem following the story. The audio version held my attention from beginning to end.
Definitely. The narration was like being at a live performance of a play.
Clarity and imagination. The story is set in Jerusalem in 1099, just before the Crusaders put the city to the sword (one of the worst massacres in history). I put my IPOD in a player and just sat back and listened to the story. I could close my eyes and imagine a dusty square in 11th Century Jerusalem filled with frightened people listening to the old Coptic. This performance was a pleasure.
Read by Jeremy Irons makes this book so easy to absorb. I truly love this book. I think everyone should read it. It will help you to see things in your life better, to live better and to be better.
His accent along with his sensitivity bring the book to life.
Yes most definitely.
I will listen to this one over and over again........
Hard to put into words, when a book and the passages just speak to you. Maybe it's timing in terms of your life's journey.
Set in the time of the crusades within a city in imminent danger of being sacked and slaughtered, this is an interesting short novel that is part religion - part philosophy. The principal character borrows from everything from the new testament to Aristotle in reciting meditations on sundry subjects that are brought up by his questioners. Not at all preachy or particularly sectarian.
The narration by jeremy Irons is absolutely superb. His voice, intonations and rhythm are perfect for this book.
You must read these words if:
A.) you are human!
B.) you have ever felt lost!
C.) you have ever struggled with your life!
D.) you are still breathing and reading this words!
E.) you are ready for major change in your life!
It's like a battle cry for moving beyond conventions and unimaginative expectations. Find permission to dream here, bold encouragement to grow, hope, hope, and more hope for those of us who too often feel we are alone in our worldview.
ha2tim is a SelfMastery Coach, NationBuilder, Urban Shaman, and Hip-Hop Philospha
this book is a beautiful listen. I did not know what to expect, but my soul was fed. short but powerful.
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