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Aleph
Cover of Aleph
Aleph
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Transform your life. Rewrite your destiny.

In his most personal novel to date, internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, he decides to begin again: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.
Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life's inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys: Are we where we want to be, doing what we want to do?
Some books are read. Aleph is lived.
Transform your life. Rewrite your destiny.

In his most personal novel to date, internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, he decides to begin again: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.
Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life's inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys: Are we where we want to be, doing what we want to do?
Some books are read. Aleph is lived.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    "Remember the Aleph. Remember what you felt at that moment. Try to bring into this sacred place something that you don't know but that is  there in your heart. If necessary, think of a favorite symphony and let it guide yo to where you need to go. That's all that matters now. Words, explanations, and questions won't help; they'll only confuse something that is already quite complex enough. Forgive me, but let that forgiveness come from the depths of your soul, the same soul that passes from one body to another and learns as it travels through nonexistent time and infinite space.

    “We can never wound the soul, just as we can never wound God, but we can become imprisoned by our memories, and that makes our lives wretched even when we have everything we need in order to be happy. If only we could be entirely here, as if we had just woken up on planet Earth and found ourselves inside a golden temple, but we
    can’t.”

    “I don’t see why I should forgive the man I love. Or perhaps only for one thing, for never having heard those same
    words on his lips.” A smell of incense begins to waft toward us. The priests are coming in for morning prayers.

    “Forget who you are now and go to the place where the person you always were is waiting. There you will find the
    right words, and then you can forgive me.”

    Hilal seeks inspiration in the gilded walls, the pillars, the people entering the church at this early hour, the fl ames of the lit candles. She closes her eyes, possibly following my suggestion and imagining some music.

    “You won’t believe this, but I think I can see a girl, a girl who isn’t here anymore but who wants to come back . . .”

    I ask her to listen to what the girl has to say.

    “The girl forgives you, not because she has become a saint but because she can no longer bear to carry this burden of hatred. Hating is very wearisome. I don’t know if something is changing in Heaven or on Earth, or if my soul is being damned or saved, but I feel utterly exhausted, and only now do I understand why. I forgive the man who tried to destroy me when I was ten years old. He knew what he was doing, and I did not. But I felt that it was my fault, and I hated him and myself. I hated everyone who came near me, but now my soul is being set free.”

    This isn’t what I was expecting.

    “Forgive everything and everyone, but forgive me, too,”

    I ask her. “Include me in your forgiveness.”

    “I forgive everything and everyone, including you, even though I don’t know what crime you have committed. I forgive you because I love you and because you don’t love me. I forgive you because you help me to stay close to my Devil, even though I haven’t thought of him for years. I forgive you because you reject me and my powers are wasted, and I forgive you because you don’t understand who I am or what I’m doing here. I forgive you and the Devil who touched my body before I even knew what life was about. He touched my body but distorted my soul.”

    She puts her hands together in prayer. I would have liked her forgiveness to have been exclusively for me, but Hilal is redeeming her whole world, and perhaps that is better. Her body starts to tremble. Her eyes fill with tears.

    “Must it be here, in a church? Let’s go outside into the open air. Please!”

    “No, it has to be in a church. One day we’ll do the same thing outside, but today it has to be in a church. Please, forgive me.”

    She closes her eyes and holds her hands aloft. A...
About the Author-
  • Paulo Coelho is the author of many international best sellers, including The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes, and The Pilgrimage. His books have sold more than 130 million copies in 160 countries and have been translated into 72 languages. In 2007, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. He lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 15, 2011
    In this chimerical tale, protagonist Paolo embarks on a journey to remedy his dissatisfaction with life, a frustration he feels despite enjoying the accoutrements of success. Given that his world includes clairvoyance, Divine Energy, and time-travel, Paolo's is not the usual existential crisis. His present-day troubles, in fact, can be traced to betrayals during a previous incarnation that took place during the Inquisition. When he encounters Hilal, a woman he wronged, complications arise from their shared experience in The Aleph: "the point at which everything is in the same place at the same time." Given the couple's history, Paolo's response is curiously practical and distant: "reopening old wounds is neither easy nor particularly important. The only justification is that the knowledge acquired might help me to gain a better understanding of the present." Although the novel requires ample suspension of disbelief, there's no better author to serve such a work than Coelho (The Alchemist)—his main character bears the weight of the sometimes ambiguous and wandering narrative with pithy reflections.

  • San Francisco Chronicle

    "A new tale of magical longing. . . . Masterful."

  • The New York Times "Coelho is a novelist who writes in a universal language."
  • USA Today "It's time for American readers to set out on a journey of discovery that will lead them to the works of this exceptional writer."
  • The Times (London) "[Coelho's] books have had a life-enhancing effect on millions of people."
  • The Washington Post "Spiritualists and wanderlusts will eagerly devour The Alchemist author's fiery diatribes about love, fear, and the search for all things meaningful."
  • Cecilia Samartin, author of Broken Paradise "Aleph is a book written by the soul, and for the soul. At once tender and fiercely courageous, it challenges you with an embrace while seducing you with a discerning blade that points directly at the heart of what matters most in life and death. And when you have finished the last word on the last page, even if your logical mind doesn't completely understand all that you've read, your eternal spirit will be dancing with joy."
  • The International Herald Tribune "Vivid, captivating. . . . So engaging that readers will not want to put it down for even a fraction of a second. As the author sets out on his journey, the reader gets the sense that, he too, is embarking on the same voyage."
  • Publishers Weekly "[A] chimerical tale. . . . There's no better author to serve such a work than Coelho."
  • The National "Enigmatic. . . . An illuminating book."
  • The Washington Independent Review "Borges set the standard that Coelho capably upholds. . . . Coelho the writer is both discerning and revealing of Coelho the protagonist, whose enthusiasms we share."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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