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The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession by Paulo…
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The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Paulo Coelho

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,861682,666 (3.32)15
Set in Paris and in the enchanting landscape of central Asia, this new novel by the author of the international bestsellers The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes follows the journey of a man obsessed with finding the wife who left him without an explanation. The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges that money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who, despite her professional success and freedom from the conventional constraints of marriage, is facing an existential crisis. When she disappears along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover, the authorities question the narrator. Was Esther kidnapped, killed, or did she simply abandon a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn't have any answers but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail, the man with whom Esther was last seen, finds the narrator and promises to take him to his wife. In his attempt to recapture a love lost, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself. A haunting and redemptive story about the dark side of obsession, The Zahir explores its potential to both fulfill our dreams and to destroy them. It is also a thoughtful meditation on faith, celebrity, marriage -- and their relationships to freedom and creativity.… (more)
Member:petercasier
Title:The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession
Authors:Paulo Coelho
Info:Harper Perennial (2006), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Zahir by Paulo Coelho (2005)

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» See also 15 mentions

English (52)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Estonian (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
A difficult book to get into and read. I am not sure though whether it was the book itself or the actor doing the reading which made it so difficult (could have been a mixture of both). Overall a book that can make you think about where you are in life, but will not be one that I would be interested in in reading again. ( )
  JevKim | Apr 22, 2022 |
Possibly my favorite Coelho work. The idea of the Zahir has stayed with me in the years since. ( )
  Tohno | Feb 9, 2022 |
Absolutely amazing ( )
  cancrian | Feb 9, 2022 |
Keeping hope alive, motivational
  AbeerShameem | Oct 20, 2021 |
Keeping Hopes, or Alive hope to get something
  hackedkiara | Oct 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Coelho, Pauloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Costa, Margaret JullTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glover, JamieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer-Minnemann, MaraldeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
[four epigraphs] "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen".

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose
one of them doth not leave the ninety and nine in the
wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Luke 15:4".

"ITHACA [poem]
Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933)
translated by Rae Dalven".

"According to the writer Jorge Luis Borges, the idea of the Zahir comes from Islamic tradition [...]
Faubourg Saint-Pères
Encyclopedia of the Fantastic (1953)".
Dedication
[...] This book is dedicated to you, Christina, my wife.
First words
"Her name is Esther; she is a war correspondent who has just returned from Iraq because of the imminent invasion of that country; she is thirty years old, married, without children."
Quotations
Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose—and to commit myself to—what is best for me.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Set in Paris and in the enchanting landscape of central Asia, this new novel by the author of the international bestsellers The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes follows the journey of a man obsessed with finding the wife who left him without an explanation. The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges that money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who, despite her professional success and freedom from the conventional constraints of marriage, is facing an existential crisis. When she disappears along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover, the authorities question the narrator. Was Esther kidnapped, killed, or did she simply abandon a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn't have any answers but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail, the man with whom Esther was last seen, finds the narrator and promises to take him to his wife. In his attempt to recapture a love lost, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself. A haunting and redemptive story about the dark side of obsession, The Zahir explores its potential to both fulfill our dreams and to destroy them. It is also a thoughtful meditation on faith, celebrity, marriage -- and their relationships to freedom and creativity.

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Book description
The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn't have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.
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