Whenever you have to find about something, Plunge right in!
The above line, borrowed from the latest offering of Paulo Coelho named ’Brida’ sums up all about what this book is.First things first. If you have already read ’The Alchemist’ and some other books from Paulo Coelho (PC from now on), chances are you would be expecting a lot from Brida. And the good news is you wont be entirely disappointed!
The only caveat is please do not read any any book from PC before or after reading this book in continuation. I have a Salman Rushdie which I will now pick up and before reading this book I have read the latest book by Chetan Bhagat. I advise this because there is a slight repeatition about mysticism and other aspects of the ’unknown’ in all the books of PC. Reading two books in succession could bore you a little bit especially if you dont believe a lot in witchcraft and the hidden meanings of life.
The conflict within all of us to be with someone whom we have known since long, or to be with someone whom we have known for a lesser time but who touches our heart more or to just leave everything and submit ourselves to a lone path with no partner forms the crux of this story. There are not too many sub-plots but the ones which are there (hint – voices, previous life) are short and will bring back you to the story very quickly.Wont reveal much except the fact that the main character of this story has been portrayed beautifully. The internal conflicts, external temptations, fears, and joy are so beautifully penned that you would easily connect with the character and thats quite a brilliant quality for a writer to have!
The two main male leads have been carefully outlined as well. Its very easy for a writer to plunge into personal bias against/in favor of any character due to her/his own personality traits. But PC doesnt do it here. The Magus (I mention him here because apart from Brida he is the only character you would know the moment you start reading this book…dont expect anymore freebies of revealation from me here!) The writerOr shall I say the master?
I know many people don’t like PC because his writing has a repetitive feel sometimes. I wont disagree in full but the real problem in my opinion is of the genre. PC is a genre in himself and one must know how to set the expectations right before picking up his books. I really liked the way all the rituals have been portrayed by him. You literally feel that you are present and are in the thick of things!
Things I liked about the book
1. The core theme.
2. Characters (How I wish I could elaborate more on this but cant be a spoil-sport! hence I will shut up!)
3. A flash in which the author describes parental relationships and how we are surprised when so called ’uncomfortable truths’ are revealed about our parents. (Arent parents normal human beings who would have had a life of their own before we came into this world?)
4. The care with which the intimate and ritualistic scenes are described. Not for once you feel that the author is being too descriptive on the wrong aspects of the situation. Thumbs up to PC (Even in eleven minutes I did not feel suffocated…Bravo PC!)
5. The classic explanation of few realities. example -even the teachers are human beings and even they sometimes blame themselves for little wrongs they think they have done!All and all…a readable book. Definitely worth a buy if you are a PC fan. If you are not his fan, then I suggest dropping in to a bookstore and checking out few pages first before you take a plunge right in!