Manuscript Found in Accra
Paulo Coelho
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Buy *Manuscript Found in Accra* by Paulo Coelhoonline

Manuscript Found in Accra
Paulo Coelho
208 pages
April 2013
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Confession time: I have not read any of the 12 previously published works by famed Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. Still on the New York Times bestseller list, The Alchemist would have been a wiser choice for my initial immersion into Coelho’s brand of inspirational tales.

Manuscript Found in Accra uses the discovery of ancient texts to reveal inspirational messages delivered by a philosopher named the Copt. Answering questions posed by community members fearful of an approaching conflict, Copt answers:

“Sometimes taking part in a great battle will be the thing that will help to change the course of history. But sometimes you can do that simply by smiling, for no reason, at someone you happen to pass on the street.”
Taken as a whole, the replies to shepherds, seamstresses, soldiers, etc. provide a guide for a thoughtful, considerate existence, in past centuries as well as now. But these chapters/vignettes offer few practical points for surviving the enemy advances threatening their next day.

Manuscript Found in Accra is basically a self-help book; in fact, much of what Coelho presents will sound familiar (“Love is an act of faith, not an exchange.”). Other reviewers have called this work a “sermon,” or the product of social media since Coelho is rumored to have taken suggestions from his Twitter followers. I would recommend using this book as a morning or evening inspirational, perusing just a few pages at a time.

In addition to being an international bestselling author, Coelho was a theatre director. With just a few adaptations and dramatic scenery, this book would come alive on the stage. What seems somewhat trite to read in such a static setting could prove memorable with actors skillfully delivering and reacting to lines like these:

“Love transforms, Love heals. But sometimes it lays deadly traps and ends up destroying the person who decided to surrender himself completely. How can the force that moves the world and keeps the stars in their places be at once so creative and so devastating?”
Coelho is the author of one of the bestselling Brazilian books of all time (The Alchemist), has had works translated into 74 languages, and has sold over 140 million volumes in more than 170 countries. So please take comments about this his latest compilation of parables as more of a surprise reaction from a reader expecting traditional plot, changing venues, and subtle character development.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Leslie Raith, 2013

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