The Brazilian-born magical realist Paulo Coelho popularly known as the author of the masterful fable The Alchemist, a book that has made Coelho a true juggernaut of modern literature There is no denying to the popular appeal of Coelho’s work. It is almost humanly impossible to have missed out or not to be affected upon reading The Alchemist, but in recent times, his books have mostly become nothing more than populist mythical tales about spiritual enlightenment.
Brida is about a young Irish woman who, in the early 1980s, follows the spiritual journey and begins a quest to learn the teachings of the “tradition of the moon and the sun”. During the Journey she comes across a magus in a wild forest where she is forced to learn the teachings of the “dark night”. She develops a close relationship with her spiritual advisor Wikka and engages in a clichéd and generally uninteresting spiritual journey from the lost soul to the white witch. She equips herself with the various exercises of the witches. She understands the past and the beauty of the world as she moves towards being initiated as a witch.
The book is a collection of knowledge and experience, without one the other has no use. The book has a meditative and a poetic rhythm, the vibrations of which can be felt even after finishing the book. To be frank, its really tough to express in words about the book by compressing its beauty. Even a Photograph cant express it. The emotions are so true and raw that, identification with the character is very easy.
After reading this Book, I am left with a feeling that reality is something we all seek in this mortal world. Love, life, living, passion, mystery, history, story, magic, music, rhythm, beauty, infinity is the simplest way to summaries it.
To anyone not interested in religion (both Christianity and witchcraft), tarot or spiritual teachings, Brida is a novel to be avoided. It has virtually none of the lyrical prose of Coelho’s earlier books and seems like rehashed spiritual ideas from stories the novelist has already written. Some of the characters are interesting and the story still has momentary flashes of philosophical brilliance.
Author : Paulo Coelho
Publication : Harper Collins Publishers
Pages : 272 pages (paperback)
Price : Rs. 295.00 (INR)