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Why do all Celebrities love Paulo Coelho? August 22, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, books, celebrities, Culture, india, People, strange, World, Writing.
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Why do all celebrities love Paulo Coelho? This is a question to which I have no answer(s). For a long time I have tried to answer this question but with no results. Let me confess, that I too have read the gentleman’s The Alchemist. I was initially swayed by the poetry and then numbed by the cloying hope, goodness, destiny themes that are a part and parcel of all his novels. In fact, I have even read the Devil and Miss Prim. I found the novels to be schmaltzy and the eternal hope and redemption postulated in his stories failed to leave an imprint on my soul.

Anyways this is not a criticism of Mr. Coelho. His plots are good but I am not the right reader. I am wondering why most Indian celebrities also like The Secret by Rhonda Bryne and Deepak Chopra’s ‘Seven Spiritual Laws of Success or the other writer who wrote ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’?

Some pop philosophy is definitely good for the soul and these guys are doing a good job for sure. But to be reminded time and again of the same books belies a lack of taste on the part of the Celeb (who it seems doesn’t know of any other book so as even to give a different example) and also the editor. I am sure the airports of the country are stacked with enough titles to enable you read the jacket, not buy them, remember the names and lie to the blinkered reporters.

How come all of them read the SAME books? If anybody does a survey of the last year on celebrity book recommendations then you must have already guessed the list.

Are these guys members of a secret cult – they all read the same books and peddle them to others?

Are they more evolved that such books come only to them – again destiny playing its cruel role?

Are they only imitating each other – how could I not have read when everybody seems to have read them?



1. deadcatshead - August 22, 2008

I think it’s simple. Well, not just about celebrities, about other people who want to put an “x” in the checkbox of “yes, I have read at least one book in past 10 years”.
If you’re not in the habit of reading and you’re not going to be, it’s quite natural to choose something you can be fairly sure you’ll know how to evaluate. If “everybody” says Koelhu is good, then he’s a safe choice to read and to admire. As he is fairly easy to read (and to admire) this works for them.
It’s just like if people who are inept in art (like me) had to choose one painting to observe would go see Mona Lisa and admire her mysterious smile instead of doing some research and find something else.

2. Wulfgar - August 22, 2008

I’m with you on this one. I’ve read the Alchemist, and some of his other books, and came away with the “did I miss something?” feeling. I actually think he’s got his head on straight, but the books and popularity are just pure marketing genuis, which in the end, apparently left some of us readers feeling hollow.
Peace to you,

3. myangel23 - August 22, 2008

I think part of it is word of mouth. You hear a book is good so you go and read it. I think perhaps celebrities are scared of being controversial – it takes a brave person to criticise a book/author that thousands of other people have loved.

Or I could take a slightly more cynical approach and say they quote Coelho as a favourite author because they wish to be seen as intelligent and perhaps slightly deeper than their public persona would indicate.

Personally, I enjoy Coelho’s books because they make me think about things in a different way to my usual stance. It’s not to say I agree with them – at times I am put off my the sickly messages (particularly in The Alchemist) but you cannot say that his books don’t make you think.

4. astralwicks - August 22, 2008

@deadcatshead that’s a considered analysis, but imagine ALL of them…i think one more reason is that they have to be politically or culturally correct…very few will speak about a good pulp novel because it is so ‘out of depth’. their responses are designed to evoke in us a semblance of the higher qualities of life…truth, compassion, love and grace in infinite struggle…that reflects their souls own purity etc.
@wulfgar this is where your thought – the marketing people making an inroad comes into play – their image managers decide what to say – coelho and such are in so…say it say it

5. astralwicks - August 22, 2008

@myangel 123 – you are bang on

6. megaslim ego - August 22, 2008

they travel a lot, and most airport bookshops are owned by Mr. koylo

7. myexpression - August 23, 2008

i love coelho’s books… and i’ve a very strnog feeling that celebrities do not even read him; they probably just drop name and maybe if asks them about the content of the book other than blurb they will not have much to say…

8. astralwicks - August 23, 2008

it’s a wonder they read anything or am i being too critical? @megaslim ego…are you joking or is there a grain of…i won’t be surprised if it is

9. parulsondh - October 2, 2008

Enjoyed reading it.

10. astralwicks - October 2, 2008

hey parul thanks for dropping

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