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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Patron Book Review: Manuscript Found In Accra by Paulo Coelho

Posted by EPL Patron and Guest Blogger Irv S.

MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA by Paulo Coelho (2013) is the ultimate "how-to" book.  It tells how to live a meaningful and satisfying life. There is no plot. I don't mean that the story line is slim, there is none.

Copt is addressing a number of people who are gathered in Jerusalem in the square where Pontius Pilate delivered Jesus  to the mob. It is 1099, the Crusaders are at the city walls and are expected to attack the next day. Members of the crowd challenge Copt, seeking his comments about life, love, beauty, defeat, uselessness, success, elegance, miracles, anxiety, weapons, and the future.

Copts' responses are often profound, sometimes inspired, and occasionally bewildering. He draws on Shakespeare, Jesus Christ, Congreve, and no doubt others that I did not recognize. e.g.,"Man does not live by bread alone but by every word  that proceeds out of the mouth of God."(Matthew 4:4).
He emphasizes the ambiguity of defeat and solitude and the absolute necessity of selfless love, which he describes as both creative and devastating.  He believes that God's greatest gift is free will and observes,"...(E)ven if this is to be my last day on Earth, I will enjoy it to the fullest, because I will live it with the innocence of a child, as if I were doing everything for the first time."

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