Bookshelf: “Hippie” by Paulo Coelho

I declared Paulo Coelho my favorite author after having read an abundance of his books and loving them. He is most recognized for his novels “The Alchemist” and “Eleven Minutes,” but all of his books are worth the read. Therefore, when he released his new novel, “Hippie,” translated to English on Sept. 25, 2018, I knew it would be a great read. Upon finishing it, I am glad to say I loved it and was not disappointed. 


“Hippie” tells the story of a “skinny Brazilian kid” traveling the world in search of himself, spirituality and love in the 1970s. Paulo Coelho drew inspiration for this novel from his own past experiences, and all the events that occur throughout the story actually happened to him or the people who were also on the journey with him. Although we get a closer look into the lives of many characters introduced in the novel, our two main characters are Paulo, the author, and Karla, a young Dutch woman who convinces Paulo to join her on her journey to Nepal on the “Magic Bus,” a bus advertised for adventurous individuals that travels through Europe and Asia to get to Kathmandu. 


The majority of the novel takes place on this “Magic Bus” and the countries they visit while getting to Kathmandu. Through the characters and their experiences and adventures, readers are able to learn about the importance of loving yourself, stepping out of your comfort zone, experiencing the world and learning all you can from it. Paulo Coelho also includes images of his own travels in the novel, which further help connect the reader to the experiences he went through during this time in his life. 


Similar stories include “The Alchemist,” also by Paulo Coelho, and “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse. These novels are about travel, spirituality and finding yourself. As a New York Times bestselling author, Paulo Coelho stated, “If you want to learn about yourself, start by exploring the world around you,” and in that spirit,“Hippie” is a great book to dive into.

Photo: P. Tomass

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