Drawing on the rich experience of his own life, bestselling author Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to relive the dreams of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order. In HIPPIE, he tells the story of Paulo, a skinny Brazilian with a goatee and long hair, setting off on a journey in search of a deeper meaning for his life.
He travels on the famous ‘Death Train to Bolivia’, then on to Peru, later hitchhiking through Chile and Argentina. In the famous Dam Square in Amsterdam, he finds young people playing music while discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness and the search for an inner truth. There he meets Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties who has been waiting to find the ideal companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal. Together with their fellow travellers, they embark on a trip aboard the Magic Bus, heading across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu.
For everyone, the journey is transformative. For Paulo and Karla, it is a life-defining love story that leads to choices that will set the course of the rest of their lives.
About the Book
In Hippie, the most autobiographical novel to date, Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to re-live the dream of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order – authoritarian politics, conservative modes of behaviour, excessive consumerism, and an unbalanced concentration of wealth and power.
Following the “three days of peace and music” at Woodstock, the 1969 gathering in Bethel, NY that would change the world forever, hippie paradises began to emerge all around the world. In the Dam Square in Amsterdam, long-haired young people wearing vibrant clothes and burning incense could be found meditating, playing music and discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness and the search for an inner truth. They were a generation refusing to live the robotic and unquestioning life that their parents had known.
At this time, Paulo is a young, skinny Brazilian with a goatee and long, flowing hair who wants to become a writer. He sets off on a journey in search of freedom and a deeper meaning for his life: first, with a girlfriend, on the famous “Death Train to Bolivia,” then on to Peru and later hitchhiking through Chile and Argentina.
His travels take him further, to the famous square in Amsterdam, where Paulo meets Karla, a Dutch woman also in her 20s. She convinces Paulo to join her on a trip to Nepal, board the Magic Bus that travels across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu. They embark on a journey in the company of fascinating fellow travellers, each of whom has a story to tell, and each of whom will undergo a transformation, changing their priorities and values, along the way. As they travel together, Paulo and Karla explore their own relationship, an awakening on every level that brings each of them to a choice and a decision that sets the course for their lives thereafter.
My Take on the Book
I love Paulo Coelho, I love his works, I mean, who doesn't?. Right from his first book, till the book which I read today, I have nothing, but only good thing to say about him. And, like every year, I anticipate and wait for his new releases so that I can devour his beautifully written art and sing the praise of his work. I am also glad that the last time he noticed me was because of the book review I wrote on his then-new release book ‘The Spy.' And I was overwhelmed when he retweeted the same on his profile. (Surreal). And, just like a school girl lost in a candy store, I was beyond excited when he announced his latest book, ‘Hippie’ which I am going to review today. Obviously, I am going to give an honest and unbiased review.
Hippie is unlike any book which Paulo wrote before. The book is all about drawing experience based on his own life. And, just like how it is mentioned in the blurb, Hippie is his most autobiographical novel to date. The bestselling author “take us back in time to relive the dreams of a generation who longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order.” The book is written in a third person perspective, and it tells us the story of Paulo a skinny Brazilian boy with long hair and a goatee. He set off on a journey in search of a deeper meaning of his life. The story is based purely on a personal experience, just that he has changed the names and details slightly. The book delves on Paulo deciding to travel on the famous “Death Train to Bolivia, then on to Peru, thereafter, hitchhiking through Argentina and Chile. He then met Karla, a twenty-something Dutch Woman who was waiting for an ideal companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trip to Nepal. They both embarked on a journey made on the Magic bus from Amsterdam to Nepal, heading across Europe and central Asia to Kathmandu.
I genuinely enjoyed reading and understanding more about the cultures of Hippie (Although I couldn't relate with it). The famous Dam square in Amsterdam where he finds young people playing music, discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness and the search for inner truth. The emotional journey of Paulo in search of meaning was expressive. However, since I am not from the Hippie era (like I mentioned), it was lil difficult for me to understand the philosophy, but Paulo being an exceptional storytelling, defined it beautifully. This book is about the journey embarked in the company of fascinating fellow travellers where everyone has a story to share, where each undergoes a transformation, changing their values and priorities on the way.
For everyone, the journey is transformative, at least for us. But for Paulo and Karla, it is a life-defining love story that leads to choices that will set the course of the rest of their lives.
Author: Paulo Coelho
Price: Rs 212 (Hardcopy)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
My Rating: 4/5