by Paulo Coelho

Read time: about 4 minutes

Paulo Coelho is one of the authors that I have come to love over the course of reads. “One does not understand his book in the first read,” someone said to me. And there I began reading “The Alchemist” the second time. And it did make some sense finally. Adultery is the second book that I have read by the author and it reminded me of the first time I picked up his book!

After a few reads here is what I thought of the book.

Cover page

The cover page is very subtle and to the point. It depicts the lust part of the adultery but also keeps it classy. People who are well aware of Paulo Coelho’s writing are going to ignore the subtle approach and pick the book anyway. Like they say - some names do sell!

All the people in the office have commented that “the poor thing needs someone to look after him.” I reckon he knows this and is happy merely being an object of desire, nothing more. Perhaps, like me, he has a terrible fear of taking a false step and ruining everything - his job, his family, his past and future life.

### Characters

As many who have read Paulo Coelho earlier will already know the style, the author does not write about a person in specific. He addresses the mankind when writing about a character in his book. In this book, he has chosen Linda to put together his thoughts on adultery.

Linda is a married woman with two kids and a rich and loving husband. She also has a successful job. In spite of all this Linda misses the thrill in her life and looks for an adventure outside of marriage.

Speaking of the character as such, I felt she is stereotyped. Some would also argue in the favor since he writes about a woman who is tired of the monotony of her life. Linda is not afraid to admit her deepest and ugliest truths. Therefore, it makes her perfect for the book!

And I rejected almost everyone because I knew that if anyone ever managed to enter my world, they would find nothing of interest. It was best to maintain an air of mystery with a hint of unattainable pleasures.


The story beings when Linda has to conduct an interview of a politician who is also her ex-boyfriend. She is confused initially but walks out of the meeting room surviving a thrill. And the story is set in motion. One thing leads to another and she gets completely involved with the politician. The book is a memoir on that particular phase in her life where she keeps going back and forth and reflecting on her life.

There are many personifications and third person passages which take the lead character back in time.


The language of the book is the one thing that will keep you hooked on to the book like a fish in the bait. The book shifts from a philosophical narrative to a story quite often which breaks the monotony of the book. Those into philosophy are going to enjoy the narration. Paulo Coelho takes a sensitive take on the matter of adultery and that is reflected in the book. He does not choose sides. He portrays as it is.

For men it is just a “stupid mistake”. For women, it feels like a spiritual crime against all those who surround her with affection and support her as mother and wife.

Good points

The good point definitely includes the concept. The author has chosen a very difficult subject to write about and he probably knows it. Many are going to inspect the book with a magnifying eye.

The narrative is the cherry on the cake. I have got plenty of quotes in the book that goes into my collection. for me the narration is more important than the story itself. Everyone who dreams can write. But it takes art to narrate.

Bad points

The cover is too subtle. If it were not for the author it may just go unnoticed on the shelf. The story in all was clichéd. The end definitely could have been better.

If anyone could see me right now, they wouldn’t know who I am, because I am light, space and time. I’m in another world.


Overall, if you love philosophy then they book is definitely for you. If not then it may just bore you. You also need to be very open to scandals because this book is full of it!

Who do I recommend this to

this book is definitely for the souls who search for an inner meaning in each stanza. they are extremely good at reading between the lines and do not mind a boring story if it is told very well. Of course, Paulo Coelho fans are going to love this one too. Go for it!

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH