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Veronika decide morrer by Paulo Coelho

Veronika decide morrer (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Paulo Coelho

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5,414129801 (3.61)156
Em uma vida muito depressiva, Veronika tenta se matar e vai parar em um manicômio.
Lá encontra Edward, um rapaz esquizofrênico, ela se apaixona e aos poucos descobre o que é viver. ( )
1 vote Mezttally | May 20, 2012 |
English (100)  Spanish (9)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (129)
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It's normal to be crazy.
It's crazy to be normal.
I'm glad I gave Coelho another chance. ( )
  ChrisPisarczyk | Mar 17, 2016 |
What's "insanity"?
This book makes you think about what insanity is.

The book explores the experience of a young woman who, having survived a suicide attempt, finds herself in a mental asylum, where she is told irreversible damage has been done to her heart and she will be dead within a week.

It is sad that some people cannot truly love all that life has to offer, until they face death -- as would death's face be the only thing capable of waking up, inside of themselves, the will to live. ( )
  Haidji | Feb 2, 2016 |
I found "Veronika" to be a very interesting and insightful reading experience. The characters are very human and full of doubts and fears like all of us. The ending is surprising and teaches a lesson to all that don't have faith in their lives and in living life to the fullest. The great lesson here is: enjoy life - it is worth living it ! ( )
1 vote AlexisLovesBooks | Jan 26, 2016 |
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho - excellent

An ex-colleague recommended this to me many years ago. At the time, I hadn't read The Alchemist and thought the title of this book sounded far too depressing. so the years passed and I gave it a miss...but it stayed in my mind and once I'd got round to The Alchemist, I knew I must read it at some point. Spotted a bookray at the beginning of the year and voila....

Veronika is a young woman who seemingly has a good life: a job, loving parents, pretty and not short of admirers etc., but she feels her life is meaningless and repetitive and can see no reason to continue. She takes an overdose and prepares to die but something goes wrong and she wakes up in an asylum. That is bad enough, but she is then told that she has fatally damaged her heart and will die in a matter of days. That should be fine, she wanted to die after all, but the wait, the suspense of when will that moment arrive.....how will she endure it? But during this time something curious happens, while she waits to die, she begins to appreciate life.

I'll say no more, you should read the book. Far from depressing, it is a moving tribute to what life should be. Definitely life affirming.

When I said I had started to read this, another friend and ex-colleague said the book
was powerful. He got that right. Everyone should read it!

Listed in the 1001 books you must read before you die

http://www.listology.com/list/1001-books-you-must-read-you-die ( )
1 vote Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Coelho continues his magic in my life! He weaves a fine tapestry of what it means to be mentally ill here that is spot on, as an individual planning on working in that particular field of social work. One way that he does this is through his characterization of multiple people that could be considered crazy in modern society. These characters show us that maybe these people are not as crazy as we would like to make them out to be. There is a truth that underlies their thinking that we just may not grasp because it is different from the herd mentality.

I loved what was done with this book specifically with the message about living each day. We must learn to live our days for self, but also like they are going to be our last. If you are looking for an inspirational read then this one will speak to your very heart. ( )
1 vote SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
This has been my favorite book for a long time. Every day we have to choose whether to live or to die, and Coelho illustrates that wonderfully. ( )
1 vote AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
You know how there are just certain things in life that your brain simply cannot comprehend no matter how hard you try? For me, that’s philosophy. Philosophy seems like something that should totally work for me, but the bigger picture, that moment of clarity, of understanding, NEVER comes. I signed up for Philosophy 101 in University and I’m not sure if I had the worst teacher known to man but I walked out less than halfway through the first class. The sole exception to this has been The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet. Say what you want, but that shit is legit. Veronika could take a lesson or two from Pooh Bear.

So, Veronika decides to die. That’s not a spoiler, clearly.

‘When she had achieved almost everything she wanted in life, she had reached the conclusion that her existence had no meaning, because every day was the same. And she had decided to die.’

She decides, over a period of months where she begins collecting sleeping pills, that there is essentially no more point to life because she’s already accomplished everything. So why continue to live it? Veronika takes the pills yet she’s discovered by an unknown individual and wakens to find herself in Villete, the infamous mental hospital. She’s devastated to find that she didn’t succeed in her task but is informed by the doctor that she damaged her heart irreparably and that she has less than a week to live. Initially, this book started off strong and it seemed as if it would be an interesting look into the workings of a mental illness but Paulo Coelho opted to go for a philosophical angle instead which flawed the whole point he was trying to make. Within these short 191 pages we’re introduced to other individuals currently staying at Villete: a woman with acute anxiety and a man with schizophrenia which are all meant to be traits of Coelho himself who was institutionalized when he was young.

‘In a world where everyone struggles to survive whatever the cost, how could one judge those people who decide to die? No one can judge. Each person knows the extent of their own suffering, or the total absence of meaning in their lives.’

There is much confusion when it comes to the medical aspects of the novel and the even more ridiculous plot twist. In a nutshell, this story is about reveling in our differences, the fact that what society views as “insanity” isn’t necessarily so, and the necessity for finding the beauty in each new day of life. While I understand what Paulo Coelho was intending with this story, taking a serious subject like attempted suicide and giving it a picture perfect (and unrealistic) ending made it all so very contrived. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Jan 15, 2016 |
It has been a few years since I read it. As I bought it late September in 2007, I might have read it in 2007 or 2008.
I just thought about it, as it also plays in a mental institution, a few days after finishing [b:The Silver Linings Playbook|13539044|The Silver Linings Playbook|Matthew Quick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347909156s/13539044.jpg|2915346] .
This book is also about a way to heal and face reality.
Great ending, I did not see that coming.
( )
1 vote Ingo.Lembcke | Oct 27, 2015 |
Over ambitious. Paulo attempts to do like with The Alchemist, creating a 'fable' and a 'story' out of modern times but doesn't quite get the same resonance, also tries to tackle things bigger than he is willing to give space to or even try to fully convey other than in his 'mystical' writing. ( )
1 vote BenKline | Oct 1, 2015 |
It has been a few days since I finished this book, but I haven't had time yet to write a review. At first I hesitated if I should read the book, because I've had two recent deaths in my family. Decided to give it a try anyway.
So, what do I think about this book?
I liked it. Despite what the title says, for me this is a book about life, at least for the greater part.
It is sometimes painful, when the methods used in the clinic are described. Or cynical, when the 'owners' and their ways are mentioned.
And that is about all I'm hoing to write, because I don't want to tell on how the book ends.
Oh, just one more thing: this book I seriously reconmend! ( )
1 vote BoekenTrol71 | Sep 27, 2015 |
I have become less and less enamored with Coelho's writing, since I first read The Alchemist many, many years ago. Maybe I have become a bit more cynical or maybe my relationship with spirituality has shifted and matured in a way that doesn't relate to the kinds of messages he shares anymore (it would be interesting to re-read The Alchemist and see if I still relate to it as I once did).

All of this is to say that I did not love Veronika Decides to Die, which tells the story of a young, beautiful woman who attempts suicide and is placed in the Villete mental hospital in Slovenia and how her redemption and growth inspires other patients to redeem themselves and find their own ways back into the world. My problem with the story is not so much a rejection of the idea that "normal" is a condition determined by the majoritythat condemns the unique and different as insane, but rather that none of the characters seem to behave as real people. Each character, including many of the patients turn out to be secretly wise old souls, able to spout deep and meaningful philosophy at a moment's notice. These four main patients are just "different" from what society expects them to be, which is why they have settled and become comfortable in the hospital. Although, some of the "real insane" are mentioned in passing, the complicated issues of those dealing with true mental illnesses is not treated well. The main focus of the story is on a more romantic vision of insanity and suicide as something that is just misunderstood, with the idea that if a person can just learn to take risks and live life fully everyday, then they can cure themselves of "insanity." While I agree in the concept of trying to live as fully as possible, here it is presented as such an oversimplification and repeated over and over again to the point that the story becomes dull and the message watered down.

There is also a strange meta-moment early in the book in which Coelho inserts himself into the story in order to explain that he chose to write the book due his own experiences of being put in a hospital as a young man. Although this is both true and interesting (his parents thought his entry into the arts was a mental aberration), it felt like an odd distraction from the main story and was something I would have preferred to have seen better described in an author's note.

Veronika Decides to Die — not a favorite of mine. ( )
  andreablythe | Aug 17, 2015 |
I so disliked this book!,, July 27, 2015

This review is from: Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption (Paperback)
Veronika is a young Slovenian woman, attempting suicide. She's not ill or depressed; only, she's realised her life is unremittingly the same every day, and she's going to get old and go downhill. Also, she's powerless to do anything about the bad things going on in the world. Of course, her attempt is unsuccessful and she finds herself in a psychiatric hospital...
In the hospital we encounter various other characters, notably schizophrenic Edward, 'The Fraternity', a group who are cured but don't want to leave as they can behave how they want if they're deemed 'mad'. And Dr Igor, who is pursuing a theory on bitterness (or 'Vitriol'), which seems to infect most people...
I so disliked this book: it's probably more of a *1.5. I realise that the whole plot and characters are meant to illustrate Coelho's thoughts rather than being believable real-life persons. But the thoughts and ideas are very facile, making me think this is aimed at a teen audience. Coelho includes an implausible sex scene to spice it all up.
How the author became so famous is beyond me! ( )
  starbox | Jul 27, 2015 |
Paulo Cohello debe ser , fàcil , la mentira màs grande en la literatura .

Es como ,por decirlo de alguna manera ,el Arjona de los libros . Un chanta con metàforas inservibles , libros con mensajes que no llevan a ningùn lado , algùn que otro poema machista ,etc .

Este me lo recomendò una amiga y demàs està decir que no vuelvo a leer nada que me diga esa persona . Obviamente no tenìa pensado leer nunca nada de este autor , con las crìticas y las opiniones de escritores en serio sobre la clase de "autor" que es Cohelo (ademàs de conocer parte de su historia personal como "guìa espiritual" de Cecilia Bolocco .... siempre hay un muerto para un degollado , no?) . Nunca nunca lo hubiese empezado pero , que se yo... me lo prestaron , me insistieron tanto ... y , ademàs , usualmente no me puedo resistir a las novelas sobre hospitales psiquiàtricos asì que le di una oportunidad.

Grave error .

En desacuerdo totalmente con cada una de las premisas . Horrible la escritura . Totalmente falto de creatividad . Un libro que lleva a lugares superficiales y vacios , con personajes irreales y nada pero nada que valga la pena.

Otra cosa ...A basta de romantizar a un enfermo mental y sobre todo a uno que en la vida real no tiene cura ... Les puedo asegurar que Cohelo no sabe sobre trastornos mentales .

No me sorprende que venda tanto porque , en fin ,un bestseller es un bestseller y , si por supuesto , yo tengo mis muertos en el placard tambièn , como cualquiera ... pero -SIN OFENDER- que haya personas que se lo tomen en serio y digan que es profundo!! ¡Por favor ! Serìa como tomarse en serio a Claudio Maria Dominguez . No-señora-gracias-señora, no pienso "abrazar en amor" a este chanta .
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
An interesting, well written book, although some of the themes are a bit clichy and it's easy to see the direction of the plot early in the book. No real surprises like I'd hoped. ( )
1 vote Mimiyoyo | Feb 23, 2015 |
Veronika Decides to Die tells a simple story: the title character, a young, beautiful woman, is dissatisfied with life and decides to kill herself. She survives her suicide attempt, but at the upscale mental hospital she is admitted to afterward, she is told her heart is damaged and she has only about a week to live. This revelation forces her, and the hospital's other patients as well, to re-evaluate what is important in life.

This novel is not a realistic depiction of life in a mental hospital; rather, it is a fable about the human condition. The hospital is a microcosm of the wider world. I enjoyed the novel's straightforward prose, but my overall impression was that the story was not very substantial, and its spiritual insights were not very deep (art, music, and sexual pleasure = good; mindless conformity = bad). The same message could have been delivered, perhaps more effectively, in a short story. ( )
2 vote akblanchard | Dec 1, 2014 |
This is a difficult book to rate. I enjoyed the philosophy and there were quite a few thought-provoking statements about conformity and insanity. One favorite: "That is why embittered people find heroes and madmen a perennial source of fascination, for they have no fear of life or death."

As a novel, the plot was minimal and the very lean prose made it difficult to feel anything for the characters. ( )
1 vote CathrynGrant | Nov 21, 2014 |
Een pareltje! ( )
1 vote Flavie | Aug 31, 2014 |
Told from the heart

Clearly the subject is dear to the author and he celebrates the differences in people that we both enjoy and fear. In this PC climate, the message of this book is so necessary - especially the vitriol thesis. There are so many functionally numb people today, that this book should be dedicated to them. Bravo Paulo! This is a masterpiece. ( )
1 vote Molecular | Feb 21, 2014 |
Are the lunatics running the asylum?

This is the third Coelho novel that I've read,after The Alchemist and The Devil and Miss Prym,and for me it is the weakest.Now don't get me wrong I love the author's writing style which I find so easy going yet with a deceptive depth,rather I felt that this book lacked any real plot and was more of a parable or perhaps a part of some philosophical debate where the only true madness is to conform.

Veronika has never done anything challenging or taken a real risk preferring to live a safe unimaginative life within self-regulated boundaries in both her professional and personal existance. Despite superficially having everything to live for is basically bored with life,so decides to commit suicide. When this fails she is sent to a mental hospital where she is told that she only has days to live thus making her re-evaluate not only her life but the meaning of life.Surrounded by other 'maniacs' she finally begins to see life as a gift and wants to live her final days to the full.Which for the reader means we end up with a debate as to the meanings of life and death,love and hate, madness and sanity.

Despite really wanting to I struggled to feel any real empathy towards Veronika and her plight instead finding myself more interested in the other characters in the book lives. In particular I was intrigued by the character of Doctor Igor, the establishment's psychiatrist with his own somewhat warped outlook,who quite frankly seemed to be the only real lunatic in the place.I had pretty well guessed the ending before we got there but didn't feel that was too detrimental to it overall and as such still enjoyed the book, just not as much as the others.

Now at only about 190 pages long it is a reasonably quick read so go on judge for yourself it may give you a different outlook on life. You never know. ( )
1 vote PilgrimJess | Feb 1, 2014 |
4 1/2 stars ( )
  bookmagic | Jan 31, 2014 |
Story set in Romania of a young girl who decides to commit suicide. She is not successful and is hospitalized for mental illness. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
Love this book. Makes us think about life and how to live our lives. ( )
1 vote parvita | Aug 12, 2013 |
As with all Coehlo, it's some great ideas wrapped up into a shiny little feel-good package that just makes me feel a little dirty for liking it. Does he seem awfully contrived to anyone else? ( )
1 vote blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
The title character of this book, Veronika, tries to commit suicide through an overdose of pills. The suicide attempt fails, but the pills have caused irreparable damage to her heart and she only has 1 week to live. This knowledge of her imminent death gives Veronika new insight and a different perspective on life. My copy of the book included some interesting information on Paulo Coelho's life. As a young man, he spent several weeks in a mental hospital. He uses this information to frame many of the events of the book and provide a very different viewpoint of how we view and treat the 'insane'. Although the premise of this book was interesting, I am not a huge fan of Coelho. Rather than subtly stating a theme in his books, he tends to shout it out repeatedly. For this novel, the central theme seemed to revolve around how strict rules in our society force people to behave abnormally, but once a person is labeled 'insane', they have the freedom to behave and live as they want.
( )
1 vote jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
The whole plot to make the two people who wanted to die want to really live again was a little too over the top for me. I am quite sure other people will love it, though. Mr. Coelho's writing is always wonderful, but the story itself did not appeal to me. ( )
1 vote Lexxie | Apr 23, 2013 |
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