The Zahir

Written by:
Paulo Coelho
Narrated by:
Jamie Glover

Abridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2005
5 hours 16 minutes
The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn’t have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.
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The writing is wonderful and it is easy to get engrossed in the story, but in the end, I felt that the message was exceedingly unappealing. This isn't a story about loving someone and being obsessed with that person. It's a story about loving the IDEA of someone. The man who is supposedly obessed with his wonderful and interesting and delightful "Zahir" was an absent, unfaithful, cad to his wife when she was there and had a serious relationship with a woman that he didn't even care about while he was supposedly so in love and obsessed with his absent wife. Although this may be a realistic way to view how the love works for some people, I find it a sad commentary on what passes for a romantic obsession in a modern novel.

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This was an excellent book about what it means to love someone. There are some fabulous quotes which I've pulled from the book and I've written down for future consideration. I understand what it is like to have a Zahir

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