Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review : Adultery (by Paulo Coelho)

'An attractive woman in her mid thirties is terrified of her humdrum but rather privileged existence. She keeps sinking into the abyss of depression till she meets an ex-boyfriend who is super successful. Predictably a torrid affair follows and then she is possessed by guilt. But it ends on a placid note when she gets back to her husband who accepts her with open arms (and heart). '

The above paragraph is a short summary of what the book is all about. While it opens with a great setting which sets off the mood for the affair that is to follow, it actually fails to strike the right chords with the reader. Not what I would expect from an author who gave us something unforgettable like 'The Alchemist'.

The opening lines certainly raised my expectations (and that of my female friends too). 'Every morning, when I open my eyes to the so-called "new day", I feel like closing them again, staying in bed, and not getting up. But I can't do that.' Then we are exposed to the turning point in Linda's (main protagonist) life. It is a question that changed her life. You feel good at that point as quite a few of us would have experienced that kind of a moment.

But then the story progresses to her first meeting with her ex-boyfriend (Jacob) where she transforms herself into some kind of a porn star. It gets a little jarring because at this point you realize that it is not emotional security that she is after. It is the sheer thrill of living on the edge that drives her. From then it is one crazy roller coaster of emotions which gets to a point where she devises of a scheme to plant drugs to get Jacob's wife out of her way.

It is a little incredulous when she finally attains enlightenment during a paragliding expedition( why of all things in this world ??). The ending of the story is quite lame and certainly very disappointing. It is a little too convenient as if the author just decided to finish the book one fine day and gave it a "lived happily ever after" kinda climax.

Rating 2.5/5 (only for the sake of those awesome opening lines). Read at your own peril.

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