Paulo Coelho. I had heard of him several years ago. About two years ago my eldest sister became a fan. She bought most of his books. I then gave in to my curiosity and read one of his books, The Alchemist. I did not understand it at all, so I put him out of my mind.
Lately, for want of something light to read, I read the same sister's collection. I had read three more of his books, The Winner Stands Alone, Eleven Minutes and Veronica Decides to Die.
I had been uneasy this last two weeks because I thought I ought to agree or at least understand his thesis. Today, while mulling about this, it occurred to me, I have been happier reading Albert Camus's Exile and the Kingdom. I had been reading it in between two Coelho’s.
Camus's short stories and Coelho's books actually are similar, the search for meaning, love, passion, freedom, redemption. What made me happier about reading Camus though is the absence of the overt mention of love, the romantic kind and the conscious or unconscious or subconscious but none the less blatant search for it.
But I've decided to like Coelho only on the basis of what he said about clothes and clothing. In Eleven Minutes he said (I am paraphrasing here) "the rich wear clothes like they are rich, and the millionaires dress like they are poor. And in The Winner Stands Alone, he said "the world has now a new order, high fashion is now outdated because the new and young billionaires in the Silicon Valley wear ratty jeans and t-shirts"...