Sunday, April 07, 2013

Book Review - Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

Manuscript Found in Accra
Paulo Coelho
Hardcover
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0385349833
208 pages

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     Paulo Coelho’s Manuscript Found in Accra overflows with platitudes, beatitudes, and parables seemingly written for the 20th Century but found in the 11th in the holiest city on the planet. It is the eve of the First Crusade, July 14th, 1099 and Jerusalem lies in siege awaiting the invasion of Christian forces under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon, Robert II of Flanders, and Raymond IV of Toulouse. Forces of thousands of white-mantled soldiers surround the city’s gates. There, inside that holy city’s walls, on the eve of destruction, men, women, and children of every age and faith gather at a cistern to listen to the wisdom of a mysterious teacher known only as the Copt. He has summoned the panicked townspeople so that he can address their fears with truth; truths that resonate through the ages, truths that transform the audience into better human beings just for having heard them.

     Coelho records the last days of a terrified people using platitudes and parables as a wise teacher instructs the crowd on how to live better lives, even in the midst of sure death for many of them. Using the voice of the mysterious Copt, Coelho addresses the human condition in adverse times and how harmony, joy, and peace bookended with discord, grief, and war define our lives. He speaks of daily life and difficulties overcome and how to live rather than the coming war and what is about to happen to the people of Jerusalem. He speaks of what matters – love, beauty, knowledge, art, poetry, sex, grace, and the future – and of finding your own way or “Personal Legend” even in the middle of war and of “being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.”

     In the end, what Paulo Coelho teaches us in all of his recent works is that there is a “correct” way to live our lives. Forget color, race, money, religion, or position – there is a right way to conduct your life. Be decent and respect each other, love one another, and be at peace. One would hope that we could honor that philosophy by one day becoming apt students of this school of thought…

4 ½ stars out of 5

The Alternative One
Southeast Wisconsin

Additional Reading:

Paulo Coelho’s Official Website

Paulo Coelho’s Wiki Page

Paulo Coelho’s Blog

Manuscript Found in Accra FaceBook Page

Quotes from Manuscript Found in Accra

2 comments:

Carole said...

Hi, I just noticed this review and wondered if you would like to link it in to the current monthly collection of books that people loved on Carole's Chatter. This is the link There are already over 40 books linked in that you might be interested in. It would be great if you came on over. Cheers

Paheliyan said...

Just read Manuscript found in Accra by Paulo Coelho in less than six hours. There was not actually an inspirational journey of a fictional character but the style was more like that of the Manual of the Warrior of Light as it was merely a collection of wisdom quotes spoken by the Copt. There was nothing about Accra. Some quotes by Jesus Christ, Kahlil Gibran and Alfred Lord Tennyson were directly quoted without naming the source. There were discourses on almost all topics like work, love, sex, defeat, anxiety, death , etc. For every reader there is something. Sometimes the discourses appeared as if they were from Bhagavadgita like cycle of birth and death, duty and faith. Not the best of Paulo Coelho but still worth a read. Keep reading. :)