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The Fifth Mountain (P.S.)


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About the Author

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.


This fascinating retelling of the biblical story of the prophet Elijah by Brazilian novelist Coelho is smoothly translated to read like a modern novel. The fleshed-out tale follows Elijah as he flees his homeland of Israel, where Jezebel, Phoenician wife of the king, had ordered the murder of all who reject the pagan god Baal, to Zarephath (Akbar). Elijah's spiritual crises continue after he is taken in by a widow and her son, following his direction from an angel, and ultimately falls in love with the widow. The movement of the novel comes from Elijah's introspective struggle with faith as he confronts his troubles, but the result is neither dull nor preachy and should find a niche among readers of popular fiction. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/97.]‘Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.

Paulo Coehlo's The Fifth Mountain is a return to The Alchemist territory of a simply told narrative full of profound philosophical and religious meaning. It tells the story of the prophet Elijah's part in the destruction and partial reconstruction of the trading city Akbar, the development of the alphabet, and hence the written word. Coehlo's simple prose shines with wisdom. This is the power of the written word, shown not told. On the one hand it is a simple tale of Elijah the prophet, but on the other it is a meditation on dealing with adversity. It is also a sharp depiction of political scheming, as Coehlo reveals both the public and private agendas of those in power. Like The Alchemist, the simple narrative invites the reader to reaffirm with joy, strength and determination their own struggle in life. This is Coehlo at his best. A fine book that is simple to read, yet embedded with wisdom, myth, knowledge and understanding. Despite being based on a biblical story, it is written from a contemporary perspective that is alive, profound and enjoyable, even for a non-Christian like me! Erica Travers is a bookseller at Einstein's Moon, Collingwood (Vic). C. 1998 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

"More ambitious...that "The Alchemist, " it is lightened by Coelho's appropriately spare writing style...A thought-provoking personal tale." -- "Time" magazine (international edition)

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