#AtoZChallenge Z is for The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.


The Zahir is narrated by a best selling author, who lives in Paris and has been living the perfect life with his wife, war correspondent Esther. But now, Esther has disappeared with a friend Mikhail. It’s not known after her disappearance, if Mikhail is her lover. He may be, but then again, he may not be.

Esther’s disappearance is a mystery, as she also appears to have been living the perfect life, with her husband. Was she murdered or perhaps kidnapped. Or did she escape the confines of a life with her husband which left her feeling unfulfilled and empty.

The narrator is lost for answers. Eventually he is contacted my Mikhail, who promises to reunite him with his wife. In the process of this the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.

“…I had convinced myself that I could only be happy with her, not because I loved her more than anything and anyone in the world, but because I thought only she could understand me; she knew my likes, my eccentricities, my way of seeing the world…….I was used to seeing the world through her eyes.” – Paul Coelho, The Zahir

“…suffering occurs when we want other people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved, and not in the way that love should manifest itself – free and untrammeled, guiding us with its force and driving us on.” – Paul Coelho, The Zahir

My Thoughts

I’m a huge Paul Coelho fan, so was looking forward to reading this book. I wasn’t at all disappointed. The Zahir is a pilgrimmage of sorts and cover the themes of love, loss and obsession. I love Coelho’s writing, and this book is no exception. As is usual, in Coelho’s books, he focuses on the meaning of life, the mean of love, and finding our place in the world.

The narrator of the story annoyed me at times, and parts of the story annoyed me at times. However, I really did enjoy this book. The questions the narrator asked himself and the tiny bits of trivial information he felt that he needed, truly did captivate me. There were many literary references which I also enjoyed.

My Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the author

Paulo Coelho


Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.

His books are written in Portugese and translated into English.



Published in 2006 by Harper One. Paperback 336 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

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