Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Adultery, among others, have sold over 175 million copies worldwide, and The Alchemist has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 360 weeks. Paulo Coelho has been a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters since 2002, and in 2007, he was appointed United Nations Messenger of Peace. He is also the most followed author on social media.
Coelho's brilliant tale of young Brida, an Irish girl who wishes to become a witch, is a compelling and vivid fantasy epic. Sadly, narrator Linda Emond's uninspired and monotonous reading is a disservice to this fantastic tale. Though the story is set in Ireland during the mid-'80s, Emond makes no attempt at a regional dialect or even the slightest shift in tone for any of the characters. Her narrative voice is dull and uninspired, read with a soft whisper that will surely put most listeners to sleep before it ignites their imaginations. The story would be much better served with a narrator more willing to put their performance skills to the test and dive into the story. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 28). (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Masterful spiritual storyteller Coelho published Brida in 1990, two years following the publication of one of his most popular works, The Alchemist. Here translated into English, Brida follows the mystical experiences of a young Irishwoman named Brida O'Fern as she enters the world of witchcraft. Traveling from Dublin to the wild woods, Brida searches for her first teacher, the Magus, a man who recognizes her as his soul mate. The Magus starts her on her spiritual path through a test of faith before passing her to another teacher, Wicca, who helps further develop her mystical skills. As Brida grapples with lessons challenging her to remember her past lives and find her true path, she must also deal with her current lover and her growing attraction for the Magus from the woods. Blending the beliefs of pagan and Christian religions, Coehlo pulls through the common threads of love, faith, and the journey of the soul. Devotees of his works will spark demand for this interesting novel. Recommended for popular fiction collections.--Joy St. John, Henderson Dist. P.L., NV Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.