THE ZAHIR


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 then 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.

Editions

Rights sold in 51 languages:

Albanian, Arabic, Armenian (Eastern dialect), Armenian (Western dialect), Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Complex), Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kasakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Reviews

"There are so many books on my nightstand. One of them is THE ZAHIR by Paulo Coelho...
I love his work, always have. It's so grounded but deals with such heavy topics."
-- CARRIE ANN INABA, JUDGE ON ABC’S “DANCING WITH THE STARS”, ON THE
“CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR” WHEN ASKED WHAT WAS SHE READING (2006)

 

"An exceptional writer."
-- USA TODAY, US, AUGUST 2005

 

"Der Zahir is Coelho's masterpiece... A fascinating guide through life and love."
-- NEWS, AUSTRIA, APRIL 2005

 

"A wonderful obsession called Esther: a physical and spiritual journey,
a tale of love and longing inspired by Borges."
-- CORRIERE DELLA SERA, ITALY, APRIL 2005

 

"The world’s favourite author."
-- THE EXPRESS, UK, JULY 2005

 

"The Zahir is fascinating."
-- BOSTON GLOBE, US, DECEMBER 2005

 

"Paulo Coelho's prose is like the rain: a downpour of thrilling,
wise, dazzling and astonishing words."
-- IL MESSAGGERO, ITALY, APRIL 2005

 

"Coelho has managed to make something very beautiful again...You crawl into the writer’s head, feel the despair in the search for his wife Esther and until the last page you don't know how this search will end."

-- BOEK, HOLLAND, SPRING 2005

 

"A compelling story: an adventure to read!"
-- PARAVISIE, HOLLAND, AUGUST 2005

 

"Der Zahir is a wonderfully mature work with lasting and sustaining effect on its readers....
The new novel challenges us to confront existential questions. Coelho doesn’t succumb to the temptation of prescribing new modes of behaviour, but he poses them as possible alternatives in our quest for love, happiness and contentment."
-- ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, GERMANY, APRIL 2005

 

"... it's dearing of Coelho to challenge the norms of society. And there is this feeling of the power of love he is giving you, that makes the book worth reading."
-- BERGENSAVISEN, NORWAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2005

 

"It is time that Brazil won a Nobel Prize, and O Zahir could be the instrument

that was missing to be able to gain this honour."
-- REVISTA VEJA, BRAZIL, 23 MARCH 2005

 

"Metaphors and parables, Coelho has woven a fresco where love imposes a sublime energy."
-- LE MIDI LIBRE, FRANCE 13 MAY 2005

 

"Coelho has written an enlightening story of faith and the reclamation of pure love, The Zahir. Recommended for all popular fiction collections."
-- LIBRARY JOURNAL, US, 1 AUGUST, 2005

 

"It's all you need to know about relationships. If you have had - or are planning to have - a girlfriend longer than nine months, this is the book for you."
-- MADS LARSEN, NORWEGIAN WRITER, AUGUST 2005

 

" I read Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir. Earlier I always thought that I have arrived [in target] but now I understood that the journey has not even begun yet ."
-- TONI WIRTANEN, SINGER FROM THE FINNISH ROCK GROUP APULANTA, NOVEMBER 2005

 

"Highly recommended!"
-- LIBELLE, BELGIUM, AUGUST 2005

 

" Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir is a journey to a close place. Very close. Inside."

-- KATA KÄRKKÄINEN, FINNISH AUTHOR AND PAINTER, NOVEMBER 2005

 

" I have been thinking about what is the most important in life. The Zahir is a story about how to find what is most valuable only by loosing it."
-- LAURA MALMIVAARA, FINNISH FILM AND THEATRE ACTRESS, NOVEMBER 2005

 

" I am addicted to Paulo Coelho. The Zahir is a journey we have to do. Paulo Coelho shows the way ."

-- SAMULI EDELMAN, FINNISH FILM AND THEATRE ACTOR, NOVEMBER 2005

 

"The Zahir stands out for its powerful and captivating narrative skill."
-- REVISTA MÍA, SPAIN, SEPTEMBER 12TH 2005

 

"Undoubtedly, The Zahir is Paulo Coelho's most exceptional and spiritually deep literary creation. It is an epic chant for life in the midst of the tragedy of abandonment, which is the tragedy of today's human beings. Coelho does not only show how to tranform the tragic solitude into a creative one, but in this epifanic ode of his work, Coelho also offers a beautiful and irrefutable conclusion, a message as deep as certain: one can overcome the power of adversity, regardless of its nature, with the strenght of one's spirit.."

-- SANTA FE RADIO, COLOMBIA, AUGUST 2005

 

" Through Coelho’s masterly use of language, wisdom, insight…we learn much about love, happiness, and what’s important in life. Filled with allegories and beautiful paragraphs that will have you turning down those pages to refer to them again later, Coelho builds a tale which grips the reader until the end."
-- THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, AUSTRALIA, JULY 2005

 

" It is a compelling portrait of the destructive power of heartbreak."

-- AGE, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 2005

 

"Paulo Coelho’s themes of fame, marriage, loss, and acceptance are fully explored in this riveting book and once again through his strong storytelling he provokes his readers to consider their own lives. A simple tale with far-reaching, profound truth."
-- NEW IDEA, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 2005

 

" A largely dialogue-based parable, this novel is teeming with complex characters and spiritual teachings. Spellbinding reading ."

-- MANLY DAILY, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 2005

 

" Like all Coelho’s books this is yet another interesting journey and well worth the price of the ticket ."
-- BAYSIDE BULLETIN, AUSTRALIA, SEPTEMBER 2005

 

"Through Coelho’s masterly use of language, wisdom, insight…we learn much about love, happiness, and what’s important in life. Filled with allegories and beautiful paragraphs…Coelho builds a fine tale."
-- MELBOURNE HERALD SUN, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 2005

 

"[Coelho’s tale] grips the reader until the end….The lessons he presents convince us the journey is as important as the destination, our lives are often shaped by forces larger than ourselves, and life evolves until we die."
-- SYDNEY DAILY TELEGRAPH, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 2005

 

"[The Zahir] was my first encounter with Paulo Coelho and there can be little doubt this talented author is worthy of the praise his books receive internationally."
-- BUSINESS DAY, SOUTH AFRICA, AUGUST 2005

 

"Coelho takes on the essential mystery of „ordinary things“ in The Zahir,
to build a glittering tale full of immense possibilities and startling insights."
-- THE TIMES OF INDIA, INDIA, JUNE 2005

 

"It is a surprising novel. Paulo Coelho meditates about true love and happiness.

We can see the humanistic aspect of Paulo Coelho through The Zahir."
-- HANKYOREH, SOUTH KOREA, JUNE 2005

 

"The Zahir is full of pilgrims seeking after truth, spiritual phrases and splendid allegory.
It is comparable to his major work, The Alchemist."
-- MUNHWA ILBO, SOUTH KOREA, JUNE 2005

 

"A novel like thunder. The Zahir reveals addition, overindulgence and obsession.

Coelho's work contains mythic reflection. We can taste a flavor by this masterwork' attraction"
-- CHOSUN ILBO, SOUTH KOREA, JUNE 2005

 

"Paulo Coelho is a master of making ordinary things unique."
-- “ZHENSKO TZARSTVO”, BULGARIA, 7 JULY, 2005

 

"The house of literature has many mansions, and I believe Coelho takes
his place within an important tradition of fabulist writing."
-- THE TIMES, UK, JUNE 2005

 

"The novel, closer to Cortázar than to the Coelho of "The Alchemist" takes us upon a journey to redemption and light. This time the light we are shown by Coelho, is his own light, a lot more revealing, from the man and from the new fibre of an adult narrator that Coelho discovers, for himself and for us."
-- LA RAZA, US, JUNE 2005

 

"One stays with “The Zahir” long after turning the last page. Coelho is a soul whisperer."
-- NATIONAL RADIO, BULGARIA, 15 JUNE, 2005

 

"The Zahir is fascinating if uneven, and written in spare, compelling prose. He beautifully captures that disturbing sense of dislocation and suspension of time one feels after a major loss, when life seems to go on as usual for the rest of the world."
-- BOSTON GLOBE, US, DECEMBER 2005

 

"With “The Zahir” Paulo Coelho takes us on an exciting journey into the human heart and the abyss of love.."

-- EVA, BULGARIA, JUNE 2005

 

"A pilgrimage through inner turmoil, through personal concepts of love, happiness and faith."
-- STERN, GERMANY, APRIL 2005

 

"The Zahir is his most intimate and personal book to date with a new ingredient: a sordid humour which we had not found in him before.."

-- EL ECONOMISTA, MÉXICO, 28 JUNE 2005

 

"In the Zahir, Paulo Coelho offers a captivating story which moves, enthralls and makes us reflect on our own lives and the paths that we should take.."
-- AZTECA 21, MÉXICO, 4 JUNE, 2005

 

"Coelho’s calm and suggestive language conveys a sense of touching closeness."

-- ARNO RENGGLI/NEUE LUZERNER ZEITUNG, SWITZERLAND, APRIL 2005

 

"The protagonist of Der Zahir is cleverly balanced, and Coelho succeeds in winning over his readers and making them care for his hero’s doubts and his dreams."
-- NEUE PRESSE, GERMANY, APRIL 2005

 

"Once again, reading Coelho is like reading our own experience, looking from the top of a

mountain towards an horizon full of opportunities, and choosing the best path."
-- GAZZETTA DEL SUD, ITALY, APRIL 2005

 

"A love story, and without a doubt a story of passion which is a love without limits."
-- TRIBUAN BIS, BRAZIL, 19 APRIL 2005

 

"The text of O Zahir is pleasurable reading, with a direct style which reaches the readers. The authors skill lies in mixing fact and fiction, injecting ink with an air of Tzvetan Todorov to define the fantastic: the text should oblige the reader to consider the world of characters as real people and to hesitate between a natural explication and a supernatural explanation of the events that are evoked."
-- JORNAL FLUMINENSE, BRAZIL, 19 APRIL, 2005

 

"In The Zahir, the author takes the role of a prophet, who wants us to see, not only look. He lets his readers answer the questions, that he himself once faced and answered. Its a novel of self-liberation."
-- ORIGO, HUNGARY, 15 APRIL, 2005

 

"Coelho's new book's language is plain and simple -in the very best sense of the word- on the surface, but has deeper thoughts and more personal accounts than his previous works. It has a tone, hardly definable, but even more so personal and engaging."
-- VILÁGGAZDASÁG, HUNGARY, 18 APRIL, 2005

 

"This is a novel of initiation. Not of searching for the sublime out of ourselves, but within."
-- NÉPSZAVA, HUNGARY, 23 APRIL, 2005

 

"Paulo Ceolho 's novels are intriguiging, captivating and consuming. These are all characteristics of his new novel The Zahir."
-- UNA, LATVIA, DECEMBER 2005

 

"The new novel by Paulo Coelho won’t leave anybody indifferent. The Zahir is the best book Coelho has ever written."
-- SIEVIETE, LATVIA, JANUARY 2006

 

"The book with the motto: "Resist stereotype, spiritlessness, and resignation. Follow your dreams. Only this way will you be able to give new meanings and new dimensions to your own existence."

-- MLADA FRONTA DNES, CZECH REPUBLIC, 23 APRIL, 2005

 

"His book is pleasantness and necessary "spiritual caress" for millions of people."
-- LIDOVE NOVINY, CZECH REPUBLIC, 21ST APRIL, 2005

 

"By means of basic questions and answers, Paulo Coelho strives to grasp the essence of life."
-- MLADY SVET, CZECH REPUBLIC, 19 APRIL, 2005

 

"Convinced that dreams can transform the world, this author also knows that the paths of magic and fact are inexorably entwined."
-- GALA, FRANCE, 19TH MAY 2005

 

"Paulo Coelho, very lightly, with no will to use a far fetched style, tells us what leads a man to search a sense to his life. A sympathetic novel with no aim but to help us understand the human kind."
-- FEMME ACTUELLE, FRANCE, 2ND MAY 2005

 

"Coelho speaks to everyone, beyond the criteria of sex, age, class or confession. He puts the sacred within everyone’s reach and gives back its magic to the religious."
-- FRANCE SOIR, FRANCE, 2ND MAY 2005

 

"Tackling the universal, that is really this writer’s gift(…); he’s quite as famous in South America as Nobel Prize Gabriel Garcia Marquez."

-- CARREFOUR SAVOIRS, FRANCE, MAY 2005

 

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