Mahmoud Salem
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I always said he sucked. I would even offer to summarize his book, the alchemist, in 4 sentences. 1) A boy is chilling in the desert with nothing to do, so he decides to go look for the treasure in Egypt, 2) Upon arriving there, he meets the wise man and asks him about the treasure, 3) The wise man tells him that the treasure is real, and it's inside of him, 4) so the boy realizes what the old man says to be true, and that the treasure is really inside him! The end!

I have to admit I didn't hear about this guy until my cousin mentioned him to me, which aroused my suspcions greatly since the girl doesn't read and wouldn't know a good book if I hit her on the head with it! But then I found out that all of AUC was reading it, which confirmed its status to me as a pile of crap, but decided to read it anyway. The first day I slept after reaching page 5. I couldn't take it. It was so blehh! The man can't write, and the people who like him must not be big readers. He is the Britney Spears of modern fiction writers, for the lack of a better description!

Anyway, I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. Roobs, this is why me and you are friends woman! 

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60 thoughts on “Paulo Coelho sucks…

  1. “The man can’t write, and the people who like him must not be big readers”

    Well you just slammed 50,000,000+ million readers around the world.

    If you failed to see the magic in his writings that doesn’t make him a bad writer!

    1. Erhm millions of readers doesn’t equal good writing. Just look at Dan Brown.

      Millions of people use toothpaste. That doesn’t make it art.

      Paulo Coelho says incredibly superficial, obvious things and behaves like he’s some kind of sage. People like that deserve to be slapped until they shut up.

    2. There is no magic here, sorry. I was given ‘Veronika’ by a friend to read. It was painful! I wasn’t sure if something was lost in the translation, but I saw the ‘gimmick’ coming a mile off. Reminded me of a school kid trying to be Roald Dahl. New Agers seem to gobble him up. Spastics swim with dolphins.

  2. These reviews remind me of my reaction to “Das Kapital.” I was left wondering how such a puerile book could have inspired a world-wide movement. I have since learned that many, many people who comment on, or claim to be inspired by, a writing — haven’t read it at all. Non-readers are non-readers.

  3. I had to read this book for school. It was very boring and the only time I think I could ever read it and enjoy it was if it was the last book left in the world.

  4. dunno if PG sucks, the “Alchimist” fall off my hands when I started reading it ; I think the man is living by now in south west of France and is very appreciated as a neighbourg

  5. for someone who’s critisizing paulo coelho you all seem to have trouble expressing yourselves… why can’t he write? what does bleh mean? its ok you can use actual words and be specific…
    if your only problem is the plot then maybe you should read mystery books or thrillers…
    i mean look at what happens in the catcher in the rye… pretty much nothing.. but its still a great book

    i mean he has reached and touched… hold on… 50 million readers, so he’s gotta be doing something right…
    to get so many people to actually read a book..
    just because something is mainstream, doesn’t mean its bad
    and don’t get me started on the comparison to music…
    literature and music are two just completely different things…

    1. I have read hundreds of very good books before Paulo Coelho’s book-or shall I say fantastic Czech audio version of it-literally fell into my lap unknowing of its grand message. I don’t want to offend anyone, my mother, for example, is one of you. One, who cannot understand the mystical things, things beyond explanation, occurences out of this superficial world. I thought the Alchemist was a very, very simple book that conveyed a whole lot of truth in a truly easy way of writing. I heard/read the story when he wasn’t mainstream. I also read plenty of his other books before he became so popular. And you know what? It is damn good stuff!!!!!!!! You just have to possess an open, imaginative and free mind to understand what he is writing about. Otherwise, you are limited. I find his work extraordinary!

  6. THANK GOD ! I thought I was the only one who felt this way, I just can’t stand so many girls that I know saying he is the best, when Paulo Coelho is not a great writer, altought he has an excelent column in many newspapers around the world, if you read you would have to admit it, but the books are a big “NO NO NO”

  7. “THANK GOD ! I thought I was the only one who felt this way”
    Ditto he does suck, it’s not a matter of opinion. The only book of his I’ve read is Veronika, it sucked. It’s full of truisms and clichés, Doctor-Phil kind of cheap psychology (I wouldn’t dare call that philosophy), narratively it’s, at best, mediocre. I’m not talking about the plot of his books, I’m talking about the writing, most people can’t read beyond a plot, maybe that’s why he’s so popular. He’s the Dan Brown of the Southern Hemisphere. Such a waste of paper.

  8. I completely agree with you. Jeezus. When I read his stuff, he completely drained out all the mirth in me.

    He must think hes the key to sole spiritual enlightenment or something.

    He’s worse than James Frey and Paul McCartney going solo put together.

  9. These books are drivel of the first order. Harry Potter looks like Shakespeare and they’re little better but at least suited for their age group.

    So what if an alledged 50 million people read them.. since when was mass the arbiter of quality? Dan Brown enjoyed equal success and he can’t write either.

  10. Some of his writings are rather interesting, the ones refering to old legends from different countries, in the sense that they reveal to us old wisdom from different cultures. But his writings are not literature in any sense and it bothers me that he promotes an image of himself as being a modern Guru, persuading and influencing many people, unfortunately. I do agree that the Alchemist is a crap, as all of his novels.

  11. The late Barbara Cartland had millions of readers all over the world, women mostly, this doesn’t mean she wrote literature!

  12. Fully agree with you. I have -managed to- read his book “o Diario de Um Mago” (“The Diary of a Magus”) (1987) republished in English as “The Pilgrimage” (1992) and it is the same sort of new age, metaphysical mumbo jumbo. Appalling!

  13. Meh, you just don’t get it because your mind is as closed as Fort Knox, and you have no affinity whatsoever for metaphysics. Yes, religion is a huge part of his writting, but you are not force to read his work; if it make you uncomfortable and you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  14. I blame society, and the modern education system. If Coelho was a singer he would be aphonous and you could all tell. But since people read less and less
    it`s no wonder to me that intelligent and so-called educated people, with university degrees can`t tell between literature and this crap.
    I’ve read the Alchemist—sucks,I expect self help books are like that.
    Veronika decides to die (don`t know the English title) now that`s romantic and it sucks. And is there anyone who didn’t see the end a mile away?! come on…
    The fifth mountain. Now this guy wrote a lot of stupid things but st Elijah thinking the Fenician ship design improved due to the hardships they encountered is stupid in so many ways it makes my mind stop.
    Of course what is most important is that the man can’t write, but the mob can’t tell. At least he gets people in the library…

  15. As we speak Paulo Coelho is publishing another—no wait, here it comes—oh its already in stores!!! And here comes another one! The man Just wont stop! Stop, God DAMN IT, STOP!

  16. If you guys want to read good cultural fiction novels with a strong social message, try Amin Maalouf instead…. start with Leo The African

  17. I´m Brazilian and I also think Paulo Coelho sucks.. He is not a writer. He is a cheater.. If you want to read good Brazilian literature, read Guimarâes Rosa/Machado de Assis/Erico Verissimo and many others..

    Best to you

  18. I’m Brazilian too. It’s a shame Paulo Coelho is called a writer. We have wonderful writers in Brazil such as those already mentioned above and Pedro Nava, Graciliano Ramos, Clarie Lispector and a lot of real writers. If people read good books they would know the difference. Paulo Coelho does not write literature at all.

  19. just finished the book, and I’m not impressed. the writing is bland, the moral is fossil old, not even an inspiring plot. IT SUCKED BALLS


      HAHA!! That’s hilarious! I’m in fits of laughter! Now THAT is better than anything Coelho ever penned!

  20. The Alchemist is a “success” in the same way as horoscopes are. People like it cause they want to hear about how “special” they are and how “easy” can be to achieve success, which is so pathetic in my opinion. The book actually sucks, and that is a fact.

  21. Paulo Coelho is the proof that ignorants read bad writing. The masses are ignorant and cannot discern between literature and crappy text.
    I read The Alchemist in a single afternoon due to insistence of a brother in law that was not very educated, and decided (at that time, it was one of his first books, and he was only known as the partner of the great Brazilian rock star Raul Seixas) it was directed to twelve-year-olds. Indeed it was and is! If he is a great writer, (Hary Potter) Rowling also is… The dumb ass that used numbers to prove that he is a great writer just shows he/she does not know anything about literature…

  22. I have “Veronika Decides To Die” and it was good. I was told by a friend that “Eleven Minutes” is better. Then I was asked by another friend what gift I like and I told him I’d like to read “The Winner Stands Alone”. But I wasn’t able to get past page five. I don’t understand what he’s trying to say or do with the story. Why would a man be a serial killer just to get his ex’ attention when he’s got everything he needs. Seriously, can something else be more inspiring than that?

    That’s why so far, I’ve only read one book. But I’ll still give “Eleven Minutes” a try. I hope it won’t be a disappointment.

  23. LOL…Get a life, people! Are you really discussing whether Paulo Coelho is a good writer or not?! Who’s next? J.K. Rowling? Stephenie Meyer?
    C’mon! They’re not even worth it!

  24. WARNING !! Reading Paulo Coelho can be dangerous for your neurons.
    The NIH strongly recommends you to slam your head against the floor instead of reading Paulo Coelho
    Take all the crappy philosphy of the top 50 religions in the world, and a totally missunderstood version of the top 30 philospher’s toughts of all time, mix em together, make a cupcake, give it to a sick dog, after he puke it, grab all the remains, make the dog eat em again, after he takes a crap, take the little manure, put it in the oven, adn after 5 minutes you guys know what you get?

  25. Someone exclaimed “You haven’t read The Alchemist?!” Too which I sheepishly replied ‘No’. So, the book is reverently handed to me, and I begin reading what turns out to be the biggest sham of pop fiction in recent history. Ugh, a semi-talented 8th grader could write this religious-psychobabble nonsense.

    Badly written, dull, full of ‘the old man this, the old man that…’ Or, ‘The hawk flew overhead, it was a signal…’ NOT powerful stuff, just sentimentalized junk.

  26. You know what whatever he writes is just magic.People like u would never understand his sacred books these are the books which teach people that u should be ur trueselves and not imitate others and people over here are simly doing that.You peolple dont get out of ur attitudes and die with lots of grief.This is all because u cant see anybody talking or saying something that u dont know and they are better than u.You people think that everybody is doing something for his own profit.I please advice you taht please read his books they will turn ur life into heaven.He fills magic in his every word.

    1. Amazing…..Amazing…..

      I really do “respect” PC,… not because of his writing, but only because he is a great businnesman…You read his crap….it does not help your soul at all, only making your state of mind worse,…and he is going to his bank with a big false smile on his “religious lips”…. Free people from crap like PC. Best regards to all logigal people……Al Capone

  27. You’re absolutely right! I read The Alchimist and, recently, “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” it’s bullshit! I read over one hundred page … nothing happens at all, I barley grasped the heroine’s name, I stopped reading. He’d better invest himself in writing self-development manuals… fiction is not his craft.

  28. paulo coelho thrives on shrewd marketing skills,except for some feel good quotes here and there he pens down trash. Chetan Bhagat is hundred times better than this stupid old man

  29. I’ve tried to read his books…since there has been so much hoopla about them I really tried to enjoy his books. However, I just cant find any enjoyment in them. In fact, a lot of it sounds crazy and very odd.

  30. I wonder why a book needs to be a literature work in order to gain popularity. Paulo’s books are definitely not meant to be read as classic literature stuff. Despite the bulk of magical, religious and witchcraft stories, he wants to show us the way how we can live our lives better. Like most of you, I was initially very reluctant to read his book ‘ Aleph’ when recommended to me by my librarian. However, I was so moved by it that I went on to finish all his works. My advice is to treat your jaundiced eye before you read his work.

  31. if Paulo Coelho is not good, then who is? You? yoU? Or maybe YOU? Then nobody is ever good… If u were angry that you wasted 5-10 minutes of your life that you cant get back bcoz of trying to read his book, that teaches u a lesson: READ REVIEWS first, then if u have read the reviews and still insisted to read it…wait, wait, why did u read it? Well if u all know that his writings doesnt appeal to your taste, you can stop bashing the man and shut up.Stop destroying other people, you wont get any better either nor ur lives will get better. Now u feel a lot better by destroying his rep? Does he even care? NO. 🙂 People, grow up. lets just be glad for him, peace!!!

  32. He sucks i am required to read this book for English 2 there is a boring plot and it makes me wonder how people rate books as good or great and in this case it is considered a classic????? R U kidding me? what is wrong with society? The teacher is wanting us to waste part of our summer reading this book and then do a 12 page scrapbook. Then on the first day of school we will be tested. Also the teacher mandates that we read Things Fall Apart, another crappy choice. We will be tested the first week of school and we have to answer six questions about the book with at least 645 words per response. I’ll tell you what is falling apart the Pinellas County School Board, they have the worst people in charge of everything in that county. I totally agree with the fact that good education is great for your future just not the approach that PCS is, boring your students to death, What the heck.

    Please reply if you agree with at least one thing I just posted.

    1. I agree that Paulo Coelho is a hack and a poor excuse for an author, but I personally think Things Fall Apart is a great novel. It’s not really appropriate for high school though because it requires the reader to understand the historical and cultural context in order to really appreciate it. I read it (Things Fall Apart) in high school and hated it, but in college I took an African lit course and reread it, and the context really made a difference. Anyway, totally off topic.

      I tried to read Coelho’s The Alchemist ages ago but couldn’t get past the first few pages. I was only mildly surprised to discover that such a “highly regarded” novel was in fact a bunch of bullshit. I also tried to read his novel Brida, which it turns out is even worse than The Alchemist, if you can believe that. I think one of the things I hate the most about his writing is the way he capitalizes Important Words, as if to tell the reader, “hey, in case you didn’t know, this is Important.” Really? Either he thinks his readers are complete morons who can’t follow his Deep Insights (which could very well be the case), or he doesn’t understand that a truly good author should be able convey the Importance of something without using Capital Letters. I dunno, it just really irritated me.

  33. its allegorical is it or not? sounds like pseudo-spiritual truisms and clichés. It’s pure hokum with so many in need to feel good about themselves. wake up sleeping beauty. fairy god mother won’t be flyin in to your window tonight. the self-help/motivation is on the other shelf… *redirect readers at bookstore to other authors*

  34. I don’t think Paulo Coelho is a worse writer.. You just need to look from the other side and that’s not the religious side. It’s completely beautiful , energic, and i can feel the writer’s spirit while writing every single sentences..

    And he’s the first one who made me fall in love to his genre..

  35. This article really makes me laugh! Why don’t you try and open your mind instead of being a miserable asshole……….
    Paulo Coelho inspires old, young and all in between….if he was so crap, why is he so bloody successful! shut your mouth when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  36. Guys you speak of 50 million fans, look at gangnam style it currently has 1,748,719,160 viewers so you can make a presumption that gangnam style is an intelligent music, but clearly its not. In fact, majority didn’t read classics and when they read Coelho they are astonished.

  37. What David says is correct. Just because there are 50 million fans only means that that “thing” has a certain “value” to those people. Reality TV, twitter, facebook and so many “things” in this world have fans. This just means that these “things” have a certain “value” to those fans.

    Unfortunately the “value” that those 50 million fans place on Coelho’s books is not shared by me. I find them largely filler and lacking in insight.

    I feel the same way about Gangnam, Justin Bieber music and other “things” that have many more fans than Coehlo.

    Each to their own and if you gain from Coehlo then good for you however to equate the popularity of any “thing” with wisdom, Spiritual insight or intelligence is lacking in wisdom, insight and intelligence.

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