Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brida: Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho may be one of my favorite authors. His writing is insightful and intense. He writes like a poet about the most ordinary things. In reading some of his previous novels, I have found reason to pause and contemplate. Unfortunately, Brida has given me very little reason to pause.

Brida is an Irish gal who wants to learn about the mysteries of the magical world. First of all, a reader has to suspend their notions of magic and continue with an open mind. Coelho's world of magic is not one of pointed hats, warty noses, spells, and black cats. The world of magic that Brida enters is based on the power of God and Love. Coelho writes about an accessible magic that involves tapping into intuition and the natural forces at work in the world. Readers of Coelho will understand that his writing is based in spirituality and not specific faith.

It's not the spirituality I'm avert to in this novel, but the plot. From a writer who can describe a journey as a worldwide exploration of humanity, comes this somewhat trite novel about soul mates and choices made on the path of life. Whereas I frequently read sentences in Coelho's books that I am impelled to write down and dissect, I found only two such sections in Brida. In short, I expected more enlightenment.

Of all Coelho's works, this has been my least favorite.


  1. Interesting. Maybe he's said his piece enough, ya think? I think I told you we had our advanced language arts students read The Alchemist. They did "get it" which was impressive. I bet PC's editors, publicists keep telling him what the reading world wants and that alters his genius, so he writes something that isn't really his real stuff.

  2. That's a totally valid comment, Pom Pom, and I think it's also accurate. Coelho has been a prolific writer, and I think that often when a writer with something important to say is urged to keep writing for the sake of money, they start to lose their importance. I loved The Alchemist; I loved The Devil and Miss Prym; I liked The Witch of Portebello, but it wasn't as magical for me. I feel like I need to stop reading Coelho so that his genius isn't watered down in thinner plotlines.