Sunday, March 2, 2008

Witch of Portobello - a review

Finished reading witch of Portobello last Saturday.
My first impression - It is different. The book is different, and really didn’t left me with the feeling usually associated with books of Coelho, but if you discount that fact, this is a fantastic book. I have heard some of my friends saying that this book didn’t measure up to the usual Coelho standard, and I have only one thing to tell them – read it with a clear mind, not with a prejudiced mind, and you will enjoy it.

I like the way the narration goes - no dialogues, no letter, not even a straightforward narrative; but a series of first person accounts - like a collection of beautiful beads connect by a carefully woven silken thread. Only by the end of the book we realize the existence of a narrator, who decides to let unfold the rather unusual story of a rather unusual heroin - Athena, through events, impressions and memories of people who knew her. These showcases more than one Athena - each person paints a picture different from the other one, and we readers are left with liberty to paint the picture with the help of our own imagination.

Read it, for it is a different experience. And don’t read it with expectations or prejudices - open the book with a clean mind, and you will be rewarded.

10 comments:

Enigma said...

looks like i will have to try and get a copy of this one...will read and tell opinion..hehe

Lena said...

you know i stopped reading Coelho long ago as his books have become very alike and somehow i expected more from a master.
Now after your review will surely read this one :)

priya said...

After your review I can look into this book now.

PREETI said...

Not a Coelho fan... but if a clear mind is wat it takes to read tis book, mayb id give it a try...

Joy said...

Will definitely pick up the book.

c e e d y said...

dude i wish i could read so much....

still have one more old one pending

will read and let you know

vEENs said...

You score, you stated reading this after I started and look you win heads on ;)

ok this is a challenge, I will finish this book!

no talking, no gossiping .. jus reading ;))

--xh-- said...

@enigma: try it and let me know...
@lena: if u read it, read it with clear mind :-D
@priya: do it da :)
@preeti: give it a try.. :-)
@joy: :) let me know after reading it.
@ceedy: dude, make some tijme to read every day. i make it a point that i read something every day - even if i come back from office by 1-2 am.
@veenz: read it and let me know da.. :)

Barath Kumar said...

"Only by the end of the book we realize the existence of a narrator"

It was a good plot to introduce the narrator at last. I havent read lot of fictions, So i think is was so better.

I support "read it with a clear mind" when i started first time after few pages something made me close the book. Next day i started with fresh mind ... If your new to Coehlo start with Alchemist...

wildflower said...

What is the usual Coelho feel?
It varies from Alchemist to Eleven Minutes...
Zahir is yet another experience!

the way he narrates Athena's story...personal accounts of the various persons about her is undoubtedly innovative...and may Paulo Coelho never lower such standards...! He just empowers ma minD!!!