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Book Review; Manuscript Found in Accra

Who forgets SRK’s dialogue in OM Shanti Om!: ‘agar tum kuch bhi haasil karna chahtey ho toh saari kaynat usey haasil karne mein lag jaati hain’

“And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
These famous lines were originally written by the famous Portuguese writer in his book, the Alchemist.
Yes, Paul Coelho of course!

Hailing from Brazil, fans will now be delighted to know that Paulo Coelho has now taken another cat out of the bag and named it ‘Manuscript Found in Accra’.

Written in simple and easy English, the book ‘Manuscript Found in Accra’ is an easy read that I bet you’ll finish in one go. Provided you got the time! Difficult to put down until finished, the novel holds a gripping and powerful tale.

Starting on July 14, 1099, the book talks about an ancient manuscript found in Accra that unearths questions and answers with day-to-day themes. Set in the city of Jerusalem, citizens of all ages have gathered inside the city’s walls to hear a wise man named ‘Copt’ give out sermons. The city awaits invasion and people talk about their fears and worries, hoping to get some comfort from the talk. Divided in easy-to-read chapters, the book covers topics such as courage, solitude, loyalty, helping others, loss, sex, love, duty and defeat.

Citizens ask questions and the Copt answers them with wisdom, love and joy.

On being asked about defeat, the Copt answers, “Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious.” He tells citizens to take pride in scars as he says, “Scars speak more loudly than the sword that caused them”.

He further says that “Defeat is for the valiant. Only they will know the honor of losing and the joy of winning”.

The book contains other such chapters, each with a meaning, words of wisdom and joy all said in a gripping and interesting manner.

On being asked to summarize his book in one sentence, Coelho says, “Accept your contradictions. Learn how to live with them. Because they aren’t curses – they are blessings.”

Definitely a must read. However, it’s not really interesting for those who are not spiritual at large. But considering the easy and simple use of words, even first time readers might find it an interesting read. Well, the book does hold some grammatical errors, but only an avid editor can spot them. That can be excused considering it’s an adaptation into English from Portugal. Read it to find timeless answers to questions we face in our daily life.

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