Book Review: Manuscript found in Accra
Publisher: Harper Collins
Author: Paulo Coelho
Published in: 2013
Now, if you find the name familiar, then it is because this Portuguese writer hailing from Brazil is the man who wrote the bestselling book titled “Alchemist”. For those who have read the book, I do not need to mention anything more. I’m sure you are either looking up the book on an online portal or getting ready to head to your nearest bookshop to get your hands on Paulo’s latest baby (yes, for him, his books are his baby). It was a coincidence that the Alchemist fell in my lap, and it might be the only book I read in a single go. I just couldn’t put it down. Ever since I’m an ardent Paulo Coelho guy, and have every book about or written by this guy. So it was an obvious choice for me to buy this one the minute it landed in the book store.
Before we go ahead, let me mention that one should not compare any of Paulo’s books to the Alchemist. The Manuscript of Accra is set in the backdrop of a city that is at war. The narrator of the book is a the son of an English archaeologist, who is translating an ancient document. The document he says, was found in a cave in Cairo. It seems to be a recording of the words of a wise man, which had been recorded faithfully by one of his audience.
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. What follows is a series of questions from citizens of the town, and the Copt answers each one of them.
Each chapter is small and makes it good to read, especially when you do not find much time to read the book. The book is not too fat (so for you non-readers, it shouldn’t be much of a hassle). The language as always is very simple and relatable to our spoken English. Though I did find a few errors in the book (grammatical ones. I would have definitely missed them had I not aquired the Editor’s eye. PS I spelt acquired wrong, if you missed that you won’t notice the mistakes in the book either.) However, one can’t blame Paulo here. He’s a Portuguese writer and all his books which most of us read in English are translated versions. The book is a must read for the message and the wide variety of questions it answers, relatable to each one of us.
Pick up the book for its simple storytelling and wonderful life lessons. If you’re not into spirituality much, this book can either lead to a start or you will be bored in sometime. If you ask my personal opinion, a Paulo Coelho book can never go wrong. If it does, either we are not ready for it (happened to me with The Pilgrimage. When I first read it, I put it down finding it too boring. Years later, I read it and enjoyed it). This book is not as serious and doesn’t dwell too much into spirituality, thus it can be recommended for the average reader as well as an ardent Paulo fan.