It’s hard not to be blown away by Paulo Coelho. Unlike most of the literature these days, his books are just not preachy! They are simple stories trying to touch you when you are engrossed in them. I have always admired the author’s way of putting forth a narrative. He takes you to a tour in a different world altogether with all his books, introduces you to every element- one at a time to give you the space to be familiar with them, only to end up thinking if you have known them forever. I’m glad that this book is no less.
Four years after Coelho’s last book, Hippie comes out with a completely new vibe. The book has many levels. It’s a love story set in the hippie era of the 60s, which eventually unfolds the individual journey of each character. The book is loosely based on the real-life experiences of Paulo and his encounters with different situations in the said era. Hippie tells the story of a character named Paulo, a young Brazilian hippie who flaunts his goatee and long hair, an aspiring writer who sets off to learn the deeper meaning of life through an astonishing journey. He hitchhikes on his way, travels with people who wear vibrant clothes, meditate, burn incense, talk about sexual liberation and spirituality, skinny dip and search for inner truth. He leaves behind his family and friends who think there is something wrong with the chap who is quite different compared to his counterparts. The feeling of disappointment and despair, that he thinks he evokes, is left far behind when he embarks the journey to discover himself, unbothered by the expectations of the perfect world. He further learns from these experiences and ends up becoming what he has been aspiring for so long- a writer.
The story also beautifully portrays his relationship with Karla who is quite older to Paulo and her determination to find a companion for a journey on a hippie trail to Nepal. The magic bus travels from Europe to Central Asia to Kathmandu, revealing the stories of the fellow travelers and how they help them undergo personal transformation.
I suggest you save yourself from the regret of not reading this one. It’s completely worth every minute you put into reading it.