11 best books by Paulo Coelho

Review of the best according to the editorial board. About selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian writer who causes a lot of controversy with his work. Critics consider it cheap and commercial literature. And readers call him a real talent and genius, and read his works with pleasure. Only a small percentage of people are not familiar with at least one of his books.

Since childhood, Coelho dreamed of becoming a writer, but, as in most cases, his family was against it. And so that he did not make such a mistake, he was placed in a psychiatric hospital for three years, where he was treated with electric shock. In the future, he will place his experiences and the very essence of the hospital in one of his books, which we will talk about in our rating. After Paulo entered law school, he could only stay there for a year. Then he went with hippies to travel to Europe and America. The entire difficult life path of the writer was reflected in his books. In them, you can catch his experiences and sensations.

It is difficult to choose the best among his books, but we did it especially for you. The rating is based on reviews, opinions and personal readings.

Rating of the best books by Paulo Coelho

Nomination a place composition rating
Rating of the best books by Paulo Coelho 1 Alchemist 4.9
2 Veronica decides to die 4.8
3 Eleven minutes 4.8
4 Devil and Senorita Prim 4.7
5 The magician's diary 4.7
6 Valkyries 4.7
7 Fifth mountain 4.6
8 I sat down on the banks of the Rio Piedra and cried 4.6
9 Zaire 4.5
10 Manuscript found in Akko 4.5
11 The winner remains alone 4.5


Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.9


Our destiny walks somewhere nearby. But we are not always ready to give in and follow it. We have fears and doubts. The novel “Alchemist” will reveal the secrets of fate and the ways of knowing it. It was published in 1988, and almost immediately brought recognition and popularity to the author. Critics did not appreciate the novel, but readers admired it. It has been translated into 67 languages ​​in 117 countries. It is the most popular book ever written in Portuguese and recognized as a bestseller.

At first glance, a real fantastic adventure is expected. But above all, the book is built on the topic of finding yourself. What is fate, how important it is to know yourself, to find the right solution. Coelho's novel The Alchemist shows that a thorny path is an ordinary life, and the reward is worth any obstacle. It is emphasized that there will always be not only problems on the way, but also ways to solve them. This work can change the life of the reader, which is why we put it first.

In the center of the action is the ordinary shepherd Santiago. He lived quietly in Spain and grazed sheep until the moment he had a dream: Egypt, pyramids and treasures. The shepherd was so excited that he went to the gypsy woman for an interpretation of the dream. After that, he decided that it was there, in Egypt, that real life and treasures awaited him. And he dropped practically everything and went to an unknown country. There he looks for work, survives, gets to know people in search of his treasure and meets love. And finally he finds a real treasure. The novel is named after the minor character Alchemist, whom you will meet in the book. And, perhaps, he will turn your life around too.

Veronica decides to die

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.8


Death is something strange, it can be close at one moment, at another – far away. The question is whether to consider it a gift or a punishment. Coelho speaks of death in his novel 'Veronica Decides to Die'. He writes about what life is and its value. It is worth highlighting this book against the background of the rest due to the resonance that it caused. Most of the reviews are opposite to each other. Some call the work a masterpiece, others do not understand its meaning. The book made a lot of noise and it attracts new readers. In addition, she was filmed twice and created a rock opera based on.

A reflection of Coelho's personality and personal experience can be found in Edward, a minor character with the author's story. His personality allows you to look deeper into the experiences of Coelho and understand what it is like to lose your dream. It is worth highlighting each character in the book, from Veronica herself to the nurses. Everyone the heroine meets has their own story and dramas. A new look at society is formed from the stories of the heroes. The book allows you to evaluate any person individually and as part of society.

Veronica is a girl who has everything. Nice job, boyfriend, finances and family. But still something is wrong. The world seems gloomy to her. And so Veronica finds nothing better than committing suicide. It's easy for her: to swallow sleeping pills – and that's it, the end is near. But fate is not such an easy lady, so the girl is saved. She is placed in a psychiatric hospital. Veronica still dreams of finishing what she started, but the doctors make a terrible diagnosis: she has a week to live. And then she realizes that this time must be lived for real. She finds friends, falls in love, and an understanding of the value of life comes to her.

Eleven minutes

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.8


Appreciating another person seems to be no problem. His behavior and actions speak for themselves. But can he become different? About this and not only Coelho reflects in his novel 'Eleven Minutes'. The work was published in 2003 and continues the 'feminine theme' which the author touched upon in previous books. The novel may seem a little scandalous and vulgar. Therefore, the qualification for it is from 16 years.

The first question is, how could a man write that? The whole truth is that the story is real, recorded from the words of the same prostitute. The novel broadcasts about many aspects that a person does not think about in ordinary life. 'Eleven minutes' is how much a person spends on sex a day. But is it worth the attention? This question is asked by the main character. The book raises questions about how scary labels are and how wrong they can be, as well as what love and sex are.

The young girl Maria wants to improve her life. She is tired of working in a shop and wants a stable and prosperous life. To fulfill her dream, she flies to Switzerland. But there life throws up a new surprise – the promised job does not bring money. To survive, Mary has to engage in prostitution. In a new job, she discovers sex, its possibilities. The girl becomes wealthy and realizes that she does not want to return home. She has money, she is engaged in self-education, but her life is not yet complete. And then Maria meets the artist and finally learns something more than sex.

Devil and Senorita Prim

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.7

Devil and Senorita Prim

There is an old parable that there are two wolves in a man – black and white. And the one we feed takes over in life. The question is – are there purely bad people or not? Coelho discusses this in the novel The Devil and Senorita Prim, published in 2000. The book ends the trilogy 'And on the seventh day'. It also includes: 'Veronica decides to die' and 'On the banks of the Rio Piedra I sat down and cried'. The essence of all three novels boils down to the fact that human life can change dramatically in just a week.

The novel may seem like light fiction, but it has deep meaning, it raises important topics and asks serious questions. In this book, Paulo Coelho is more of a philosopher than a novelist. 'The Devil and Senorita Prim' includes such important issues as responsibility for oneself, temptations, fears, the choice between good and evil. And each reader himself must find the answer whether there are bad people.

The distant, ordinary and boring village of Viskos. Nothing happens in it, everything is calm and quiet. Only old Bertha is still waiting for the devil to come, as her husband assured her before his death. And then one day a stranger comes to the village. He meets Chantal Prim, who dreams of leaving, and tells her that he buried eleven bars of gold in the forest. The man says that she can take one of them, and says where it lies. In return, the stranger asks Prim to tell the villagers that they will receive ten ingots if someone is killed. She says, and here already the residents have a choice, whether someone's life is worth gold.

The magician's diary

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.7


To understand yourself often requires you to walk a certain path, ask questions, find answers and reflect. Diary of a Magician (1986) is practically Coelho's autobiography and the first book ever published. In it, he talks about his pilgrimage along the Way of Santiago. The novel made a great impression on readers: before its release, only 400 people made such a pilgrimage, and after – almost half a million.

The book is not as famous as The Alchemist, but deeper. The 'fantasy' genre is only partially applicable to it, but on the whole it is philosophical. Throughout the story, we see how a person changes – he gains wisdom, learns himself and the unknown. Begins to understand how the world works. And anyone who wants to can walk the Path of Santiago. To which the work 'The Diary of a Magician' pushes. Paulo Coelho went through this himself, and the book contains his personal example, feelings and experiences.

On the Way of Santiago there is a new person who wants to understand himself and the world. In his wandering, he asks many questions: how the planet and the sun are arranged, what are the real laws of being. Mystical guides help to come to understanding and move on. Together with them, he learns the nature of truth, studies mysterious rituals and receives the Power. With every step he takes, he learns ancient wisdom.


Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.7


Questions of faith and our own views remain open throughout our lives. We are looking for answers and patrons. The autobiographical novel Valkyries was first published in 1992. It tells about an important period in the formation of Coelho. This was the time when he was involved in the organization 'Alternative Society', which was against capitalism, supported self-expression and practiced black magic. In another way, they liked to call the organization 'anarchist haven'.

The book 'Valkyries' is the real path and story of the author. In his autobiography, he touches on the issues of religion, society, faith, mysticism. Coelho not only talks about the 'Alternative Society', but also about the human soul. Perhaps in this book someone will find their way to faith. According to the author, Valkyrie is a real character, but he is not ready to give her name. Coelho revealed that she had shown him the way to Catholicism.

The main character of the work is confused. His soul is filled with doubts, he struggles with his fears. And for this, he begins to look for a guardian angel. He believes that he will show him the way and give him an understanding of life. Together with his wife, they go to the Mojave Desert. There they meet the warriors and their leader, a woman named Valkyrie. And the hero decides to go with them in search of peace of mind. Thus, for forty days, travelers get rid of their past in order to enter into a new future.

Fifth mountain

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.6


In 1996, the Fifth Mountain novel was published, dealing with a sensitive religious issue. It is written based on the true story of the prophet Elijah. The original can be read in the Third and Fourth Books of Kings. The same work examines the problems of the coexistence of several religions together and the personal experiences of the hero.

The clash of religions has been happening since the beginning of time. The novel can be viewed from three sides. The first is the experience of the protagonist and how he sees his faith, what he feels and how he cannot imagine himself without it. The second, favorite theme of Coelho is about fate. Whatever troubles await a person, he will return to the path allotted to him. And the third is philosophy, where the author expresses his ideas, interprets them. A quick tip: to some, the book may seem a bit lengthy. Therefore, in order to better understand it, we recommend using the audio version.

In the ninth century BC, Israel was ruled by the princess Jezebel. She despised traditional religion and wanted everyone to worship her idol, the deity Baal. And she doesn't need the prophets of other religions. Therefore, she decided to execute everyone who would not accept her deity. The main character Elijah, the prophet of God, does not want to convert to another faith. So he has to run. He found his love, but he lost it. Elijah had to endure the war, but his faith remained with him. He returns to his hometown and shows miracles, thereby proving the truth of his religion.

I sat down on the banks of the Rio Piedra and cried

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.6


Love is the engine of our world. There is a moment for her in any story. But can love for faith and for man be together? The book appeared in 1994. It is included in the trilogy On Day Seven, in which a week is enough to start a new life – we have already described other books in the series. The novel is about how love is intertwined with faith and how they find a compromise.

Love and religion are similar, but so different. The heroes will have a difficult choice. For each of them, these are two important parts of life, two rays of light. Paulo Coelho shows how life changes easily and simply. One small choice can turn everything around. And it is not so difficult to make it – it is only important not to be afraid.

Pilar's girlfriend fell in love with her best friend as a child. They are completely inseparable and happy. But time passes and they grow up. And everyone has their own way. He goes to the big world, she studies to find a stable job. Many years later, he invites Pilar to attend his lecture, and after that they go together to France. Pilar learns of his gift to heal people. She understands that her dream is not the stability of life, but love for him and the joint spread of faith. But he does not know about it and gives up his gift in order to love her. Upon learning this, Pilar runs away, and the man cannot find her.


Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.5


An obsessive thought can haunt more than one day. But a different story when it is associated with love. The book 'Zaire' was published in 2005. Coelho borrowed the name from the story of the same name by Jorge Borges. In Islam, it means 'an image that displaces everything else', a thought so intrusive that nothing else exists for a person. Like advanced obsessive-compulsive disorder. Zaire ends with either enlightenment or madness.

The book caused controversial reviews among readers, including negative ones. The book does not have the same depth as in The Alchemist or The Diary of a Magician. But there is a specific topic here. We recommend it to those who want to spend the evening with light reading with a touch of thought.

The main character is a happy married writer. His wife Esther is a military journalist, so she is often not at home. One day she disappears. The husband is at a loss, he begins to suspect anything: she could have been killed, kidnapped, and so on. He begins to look for her, and the further he goes, the more he loves and more and more zealously searches. Esther is his goal, obsession. But one day he realizes – she left him herself.

Manuscript found in Akko

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.5


To get an answer, you need to ask a question. To this end, in 2012, Paulo Coelho published the book 'The Manuscript Found in Acre'. There is practically no plot in the book, each part is an answer to a question. Most of the statements do not lose their relevance today.

The old hero tells about what is inside each person: fears, expectations, hopes. The novel can be called a collection of motivations. The entire book can be easily decomposed into quotes and mottos. The work will appeal to those who want to delve into themselves and find a purpose in life.

July 14, 1099. The crusaders are preparing to storm Jerusalem. On this tragic day, almost all the inhabitants gathered in the square and listened to the elder Copt. Everyone can ask their own question. Among those gathered there are people of different faiths, ages, statuses. But they all listen carefully to the old man's answers. After all, for that age, he speaks truths that become a revelation to many.

The winner remains alone

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 4.5


What can't you do for love. And I want to know what is behind the screen of this feeling among rich people. The style of writing the book is familiar, but the genre is unexpected: a detective thriller with an added glamor. Against the background of other works by Coelho, this may seem like something unusual, incomprehensible and strange.

The novel closes our rating of the best books by Paulo Coelho. In his work, he stands out from other genres and manner of storytelling. The book 'The winner remains alone' is a chance to look at another world: at the souls of rich people and their problems. No amount of money will save you if your feelings are poisoned by something. Coelho has surpassed himself – in the book, everything changes not even in a week, as in the trilogy On Day Seven, but in one day.

Welcome to Cannes, France. The famous film festival awaits us. Igor comes to see him. He is a Russian businessman, he has money, beauty, success. But Igor's life became gloomy: his wife Eva left him. And he came to France to bring her back. But she appeared at the festival with a new man, a fashion designer. Igor is furious – he wants to get her back, but everything goes wrong. The man is ready for anything. He starts to kill.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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