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This was the first book written by Paulo Coelho that I have read. After I got half way through it, someone told me that you're supposed to start with The Alchemist, or none of his other books will make sense, but it was to late to stop and go back to that one as at that point I was nearly finished anyway, so I just carried on reading. Besides I thought I understood it OK.
The book is about Paulo and his wife Chris, and their adventure to the desert. They go there because they are trying to find out more about their guardian angels. Although Chris doesn't believe in angels as much as her husband does, in this book she begins to believe in them a little bit more. Or as Paulo puts it she begins to understand more about their existence.
I'll be honest I wasn't too impressed by the plot of this book. I expected to be really impressed by it, because I have heard so many great things about Paulo Coelho as a writer. But for me the story was just a bit, well stupid. I don't want to sound cynical or anything, and I enjoy the occassional bit of fantasy (I'm the Harry Potter series's no1 fan) but for me this was just a bit far fetched. The idea of a couple going out into the middle of nowhere to learn about angels isn't my really my cup of tea.
Other than this I thought the book was written excellently. It was very easy to understand and I enjoyed it reading it. I just didn't enjoy what I was reading about, if that makes any sense.
Basically I thought it was well written but it just isn't for me. I love learning about religion and all that kind of thing, so I expected to love this. But I just thought it was stupid. Maybe he should have written books for children as I think they would enjoy it more than adults. Actually no thats what I think this is, a kind of children's book for adults.
I won't read this again but I will recommend it - a few people might enjoy this but personally I just think it is far too overrated.
The Valkyries is a true account of Paulo Coelho's quest to see and speak with his guardian angel. It is written through both the eyes of himself and his wife, Chris. I feel that Chris's perception is partly included so that the reader is able to gain more of an insight into the mystic of which Coelho reveals carefully in each of his books.
The book is a chronicle of his journey through the Mojave desert inwhich he seeks the Valkyries, an obscure group of spiritual women who travel the desert on motorbikes occassionally aiding people who are worthy to speak with their angels.
The book had all the elements of Paulo Coelho: magic , spirituality, self realisation, religious exploration shrouded with an element of mystery. However somehow it failed for me. It did not quite read right, perhaps the translation did not do the author's thoughts justice. Whatever the case I felt that much of this book came across as mere ramblings and portrayed Coelho in a rather self absorbed light. Even his dialogue with his wife seemed somewhat ugly, perhaps I just did not like reading his wifes thoughts come through his pen without any explanation how he could know exactly what she had been thinking. All in all I was unfortunately quite dissapointed with this novel, particularly as I have enjoyed many of his other books. However it will not stop me from reading more Coelho and I hope that it doesn't stop anyone else either!
This is a modern-day adventure story featuring Paulo's supernatural encounter with angels -- who appear as warrior women and travel through the Mojave desert on their motorbikes. Haunted by a devastating curse, Paulo is instructed by his mysterious spiritual master to embark upon a journey -- to find and speak to his guardian angel in an attempt to confront and overcome his dark past. The Valkyries is a compelling account of this forty day quest into the searing heat of the Mojave Desert, where Paulo and his wife, Chris, encounter the Valkyries -- warrior women who travel the desert on motorcycles, spreading the word of angels. This exotic spiritual odyssey is a rare combination of truth, myth, imagination and inspiration. Ultimately it is a story about being able to forgive our past and believe in our future.