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Invading Spaces: the Warrior Way

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This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact the author [see below] for re-print rights.


The Story of a Great Storyteller


457 pages, written by yet another great storyteller Fernando Morais, is the biography of storytelling phenomenon none other than the Magical and Mystical Paulo Coelho. Released last month, “A Warrior’s Life” is the authorized biography which took Fernando Morais three years to complete. And what an amazing three years those must have been for Fernando who spent six weeks at Paulo’s side, eight months in Rio de Jenairo, the birthplace of Paulo Coelho, walking through his footsteps, and the rest digging into a treasure chest full of Paulo Coelho’s written and recorded diaries spanning forty years of his intimate life. I can just imagine how exciting it must have been for Fernando, like a kid opening presents on Christmas. Needless to say, this is exactly how I felt reading “A Warrior’s Life” in which I broke my own record, reading 457 pages in less than two days.


Paulo Coelho was born dead and lived to experience his first miracle within a miracle. Many more miracles follow in the life of Paulo and his story is intriguing and amazing to say the least. The biography tells detailed accounts from his childhood, the Jesuit schooling, his first and subsequent loves, the mental institutions, electric shock treatments, to sex drugs and rock and roll, to his days as songwriter, the secret and alternative societies, the arrests and tortures, the return of his faith in Catholicism all the way to selling 100,000,000 copies of his books. Reading his story I see more than one lifetime worth of experiences and achievements. Coyly I confess my favorite parts were reading excerpts of his diaries. I especially enjoyed reading his thoughts from his childhood, such a sweet intelligent young man and a talented writer he was, and what a strong will and determination and passion he has. He is dynamite, in a perpetual love affair with life.


A lot of people may find many things shocking about Paulo’s life, the sex life, the secret societies or his behavior at times. What was most shocking to me was the reaction of the critics. How do we tell a great story? Are there criteria we must follow in order to make a story great? What rules and regulations do we need to adhere to, to tell a great story or to satisfy the critics? What might be a great story for you might not be the least interesting for me, true enough, as many people as there are that many opinions exist. But when a book sells millions and millions of copies, there exists a consensus that yes, it is a Great story. Even with the worldwide success Paulo has had, and having graced the bestseller lists throughout the world, the critics still refused to accept a simple fact, and even went as far as insulting his millions of readers… wow, such bitterness and jealousy. To top off the ridiculousness of the situation, one even stated he has not read his books and does not like them, hm… case closed.


If you have not read any of Paulo’s books, I recommend starting with ‘The Alchemist,’ take an amazing journey with Santiago and discover the magic and the many treasures hiding in and between the lines. ‘The Alchemist’ is a modern classic and of course you are free to form your own opinion, but please, do read it before stating one. If you have read Paulo Coelho’s stories or not, you don’t want to miss the juicy details in the biography of one of the Greatest storytellers of our time. “A Warrior’s Life” depicts the life of, as Fernando Morais says, an “extraordinary individual.”


The first few pages are available to read here.


Carolena Sabah welcomes any comments or questions.