HippiePosted: November 29, 2018
Knopf (September 25, 2018), 304 pages
Kindle edition $12.99, Amazon hardcover $16.25
I somehow managed to snag this title when the Kindle edition was briefly on sale for $2.99
I have known Paulo Coelho’s work for some time. I read his novel By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept quite a few years ago. Terry read his more recent novel, The Alchemist.
This book is something of a departure for Coelho. It is autobiographical, but he tells the story in the third person, referring to himself as Paulo. He writes about his younger days and a bus journey he takes across Europe headed for Nepal. Before he gets deep into that story, however, he describes his unjust abduction and torture by a paramilitary organization in Brazil. That incident informs his encounters with authority throughout the book.
The main narrative begins in Amsterdam where he encounters Karla, who convinces him to join her on a trip on the “magic bus” headed for Nepal. Said magic bus is in fact a rickety school bus filled mostly with young hippie types seeking enlightenment. Interestingly, Coelho describes what he believes to be Karla’s thoughts, even though the book is supposed to be entirely factual.
The book ends before the bus arrives in Nepal because Paulo does not stay on it. But how that comes about and what happens to Paulo and Karla’s relationship I will leave to you to discover when you read the book.