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Manuscript Found in Accra
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Manuscript Found in Accra
Creators: Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
Pub. date: 04/02/2013
Lib. SRP: 45.00 USD
Ret. SRP: 15.00 USD
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
ISBN: 9780385349840
PublisherCatalogNumber: 225267
DRM Level: Adobe Content Server 4
Min. Version: Adobe Digital Editions
File size: 2010 KB
Languages:
   English
Subjects:
   Fantasy, Fiction, Literature, Historical Fiction
Keywords:
   1099, accra, anxiety, battles, beauty, bravery, cairo, copt, courage, crusades, defeat, elegance, enemies, eternal spirit, faith, fate, found manuscript, friendship, historical fiction, hope, jerusalem, love, loyalty, miracle, miracles, paulo coelho, philosophy, sacred city, sex, solitude, upper egypt, weapons, wisdom, world religions
Awards:
  The New York Times Best Seller List (The New York Times)
Short Description:
   

The latest novel from the #1 internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist.

There is nothing wrong with anxiety.
Although we cannot control God's time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.
Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear. . . .
Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it--just as we have learned to live with storms.



  • July 14, 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city's gates. There, inside the ancient city's walls, men and women of every age and every faith have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth:

    "Tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy...
  • Full Description:
       

    The latest novel from the #1 internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist.

    There is nothing wrong with anxiety.
    Although we cannot control God's time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.
    Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear. . . .
    Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it--just as we have learned to live with storms.

    * * *

    July 14, 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city's gates. There, inside the ancient city's walls, men and women of every age and every faith have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth:

    "Tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to war. . . . None of us can know what tomorrow will hold, because each day has its good and its bad moments. So, when you ask your questions, forget about the troops outside and the fear inside. Our task is not to leave a record of what happened on this date for those who will inherit the Earth; history will take care of that. Therefore, we will speak about our daily lives, about the difficulties we have had to face."

    The people begin with questions about defeat, struggle, and the nature of their enemies; they contemplate the will to change and the virtues of loyalty and solitude; and they ultimately turn to questions of beauty, love, wisdom, sex, elegance, and what the future holds. "What is success?" poses the Copt. "It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace."

    * * *

    Now, these many centuries later, the wise man's answers are a record of the human values that have endured throughout time. And, in Paulo Coelho's hands, The Manuscript Found in Accra reveals that who we are, what we fear, and what we hope for the future come from the knowledge and belief that can be found within us, and not from the adversity that surrounds us.


    This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

    Excerpts:
      From the book
         

    Excerpted from the Hardcover editionAlas, that is not true. I am only twenty-one, my parents gave me love and an education, and I married a woman I love and who loves me in return. However, tomorrow, life will undertake to separate us, and we must each set off in search of our own path, our own destiny or our own way of facing death.

    As far as our family is concerned, today is the fourteenth of July, 1099. For the family of Yakob, the childhood friend with whom I used to play in this city of Jerusalem, it is the year 4859--he always takes great pride in telling me that Judaism is a far older religion than mine. For the worthy Ibn al-Athir, who spent his life trying to record a history that is now coming to a conclusion, the year 492 is about to end. We do not agree about dates or about the best way to worship God, but in every other respect we live together in peace.

    A week ago, our commanders held a meeting. The French soldiers are infinitely superior and far better equipped than ours. We were given a choice: to abandon the city or fight to the death, because we will certainly be defeated. Most of us decided to stay.

    The Muslims are, at this moment, gathered at the Al-Aqsa mosque, while the Jews choose to assemble their soldiers in Mihrab Dawud, and the Christians, who live in various different quarters, are charged with defending the southern part of the city.

    Outside, we can already see the siege towers built from the enemy's dismantled ships. Judging from the enemy's movements, we assume that they will attack tomorrow morning, spilling our blood in the name of the Pope, the "liberation" of the city, and the "divine will."

    This evening, in the same square where, a millennium ago, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate handed Jesus over to the mob to be crucified, a group of men and women of all ages went to see the Greek, whom we all know as the Copt.

    The Copt is a strange man. As an adolescent, he decided to leave his native city of Athens to go in search of money and adventure. He ended up knocking on the doors of our city, close to starvation. When he was well received, he gradually abandoned the idea of continuing his journey and resolved to stay.

    He managed to find work in a shoemaker's shop, and--just like Ibn al-Athir--he started recording every- thing he saw and heard for posterity. He did not seek to join any particular religion, and no one tried to persuade him otherwise. As far as he is concerned, we are not in the years 1099 or 4859, much less at the end of 492. The Copt believes only in the present moment and what he calls Moira--the unknown god, the Divine Energy, responsible for a single law, which, if ever broken, will bring about the end of the world.

    Alongside the Copt were the patriarchs of the three religions that had settled in Jerusalem. No government official was present during this conversation; they were too preoccupied with making the final preparations for a resistance that we believe will prove utterly pointless.

    "Many centuries ago, a man was judged and condemned in this square," the Greek said. "On the road to the right, while he was walking toward his death, he passed a group of women. When he saw them weeping, he said: 'Weep not for me, weep for Jerusalem.' He prophesied what is happening now. 'From tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to a war that will last into an unimaginably distant future.' "

    No one said anything, because none of us knew exactly why we were there. Would we have to listen to yet another sermon about these invaders calling themselves...

    Reviews:
      Daily Express
          "Coelho's writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts."
      Publisher's Weekly
         

    March 18, 2013
    A self-help sheen hangs over this book by the internationally bestselling author of The Alchemist, which reads much more like a collection of bland aphorisms than a work of fiction. It is Jerusalem, the year 1099, and as French soldiers prepare to invade, a group gathers around a trite sage known as “the Copt.” The topics broached are wide-ranging and somewhat random: a young woman asks about solitude and the Copt gives her a circuitous answer: “If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself. And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void. But the void does not exist.” A boy, worrying he may be useless, is told: “Don’t try to be useful. Try to be yourself; that is enough, and that makes all the difference.” Another woman decides that the time is right to ask about elegance and is told that elegance is more about how one wears clothes than the clothes themselves. If Coelho is attempting parody, he has failed, this being both too long and too broad. The wisdom to be found here could be found in many other, better places. Agent: Sant Jordi Asociados (Spain).

      Kirkus
         

    March 15, 2013
    Another treacly and pseudo-profound set of pronouncements, these from "the Copt," a Greek living in Jerusalem at the end of the 11th century. The conceit of the book is that, in 1974, Sir Walter Wilkinson discovered a papyrus manuscript written in Arabic, Hebrew and Latin. (Coelho is, if nothing else, eclectic in his cultural attributions.) This manuscript, purportedly revealing the wisdom of the Copt on the eve of the capture of Jerusalem by French crusaders in 1099, is in the form of call and response from various townspeople--Muslims, Christians and Jews. A sample setup: "And someone said: 'When everything looks black, we need to raise our spirits. So, talk to us about beauty.' " This is all the opening the Copt needs to pontificate in a style reminiscent of warmed-over Kahlil Gibran: "All the beings created under the sun, from birds to mountains, from flowers to rivers, reflect the miracle of creation." Or, "to those who believe that adventures are dangerous, I say, try routine; that kills you far more quickly." Or, "[e]verything is permitted, if everything is accepted." Coelho's style is terse and epigrammatic, but despite the framing device, there's really no narrative here, only a series of assertions that reflect the Copt's surprisingly New-Age sensibilities. On the other hand, perhaps this isn't so surprising since at the beginning of the manuscript, the Copt announces that he "do[es] not believe very much will change in the next thousand years." This "novel" will appeal to those who like their philosophy predigested yet served on platters.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      The Times (London)
          "His books have had a life enhancing impact on millions of people "
      The Boston Globe
          "An intriguing and playful premise."
      The International Herald Tribune
          "Full of worthy musings and quotable quotes on a variety of subjects--from solitude and love to beauty and miracles. . . . Like all Coelho's other works, the earnestness, simplicity and clarity of [Manuscript Found in Accra's] prose start touching your soul and transforming your thoughts."
      The New York Journal of Books
          "Coelho . . . shows himself again to be a cerebral and subtle writer."
      The Washington Post
          "Spiritualists and wanderlusts will eagerly devour . . . [Coelho's] search for all things meaningful."
      Portland Book Review
          "Coelho masterfully presents his points wrapped in the ... familiar guise of an ancient story."
      Bookscan (London)
          "A timeless and powerful exploration of personal growth, everyday wisdom and joy."
    Creator Marketing:
      Paulo Coelho     
          PAULO COELHO'S life remains the primary source of inspiration for his books. He has flirted with death, escaped madness, dallied with drugs, withstood torture, experimented with magic and alchemy, studied philosophy and religion, read voraciously, lost and recovered his faith, and experienced the pain and pleasure of love. In searching for his own place in the world, he has discovered answers for the challenges that everyone faces. He believes that, within ourselves, we have the necessary strength to find our own destiny. His most recent novel Adultery was a worldwide bestseller. His 1988 novel The Alchemist has sold more than 65 million copies and has been cited as an inspiration by people as diverse as Malala Yousafzai and Pharrell Williams. Paulo Coelho has sold more than 200 million books worldwide. His work is published in 81 languages, and he is the most translated living author in the world.
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