Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Witch Of Portobello


Ever since i read and re-read the Alchemist, i have been wanting to read some other book by Paulo Coelho. So when i found "The Witch of Portobello" i couldn't resist picking the book up.. It had the author and a unique title. I actually liked the book..though it had all the components i dont really enjoy..religion, philosophy, inane theories, etc..
the first thing that drew me to the book was the narration.. interviews, tapes, stories etc have been complied by a narrator(whom we do not know until the end) and thats his way of writing a biography.. he feels that the author's view would give a biased biography and he decides to let different people talk and then he records their views..
the biography of athena.. the enigma, the saint, the sinner, the leader, the mother, the lover, the bank teller, the gypsy,....the witch of portobello..
one other thing that i really like about the book is when paulo brings out the current adaptation of religion.. it longer is what it was intended to be and this is brought out very strongly in this book..
from the beginning you are told that athena was murdered..and you keep turning the pages to figure out why that happened.. and the story of athena from birth to death is told by people who knew her..they either loved her or hated her or just knew her or taught her or learnt from her..
i am not a very philosophical kind of person and concepts such as that of the vertex, etc..concepts that the book is basically built on did not sit very well with me..
but i guess you dont have to completely agree with a book to totally enjoy it.. the style of writing, some kin of vague mysterious element in the story, the strength of athena's character more than made up for all the philosophies..:)
since we are not given one view, we are allowed to reach our own conclusions about athena...its refreshing to have that kind of a freedom when you are reading about a person..
if you have read or are going to read this book..i'd love to have a discussion about it.. if you can ever figure out why she had the urge to give birth , or where she got her predictive powers from, or why she discussed "diet" in her last sermon, or...(the list is kinda too big!).. let me know!!:)

1 comment:

sarba said...

Hi...just finished this book..Like I thought I ended up parts of the book. On why she decided to do what she did..i have some thougnts. would probably mail u some time. By the way what is the opinion u formed of Athena..Like u said there are people saying good as well as bad. Are children the ultimate limitation for parents. Or to make it a bit generic are relations the ultimate limitations. why did she not think so before leaving his husband years ago. Or is the author just trying to be in sync with the Mother theme...

if ur answer is long mail it to sarbashrestha@gamil.com