The 2018 novel “Hippie” is a non-fictional account of a young Paulo Coelho’s life as a long-haired Brazilian trying to see as much of the world he can, with as little money.
The book largely focuses on how the author meets a beautiful woman called Karla, who convinces him to buy a ticket for a “Magic Bus” that offers to take travelers from Amsterdam to Nepal for 70 dollars (travel cost only). Except for some of the mundane sentimental/spiritual stuff that’s peppered in, Hippie is quite an interesting read of an era that saw the rise of “free love”.
For those who enjoyed reading “The Alchemist”, they would definitely like reading this personal account of the author’s life as a man in his early 20s. Coelho’s always been good with words, however, the content’s power to hold the reader’s interest varies from title to title.
“Hippie” is written in third person and is quite fascinating, with some interesting characters, like a French father-daughter duo traveling around the world together, each with their own personal motive.
What really works for “Hippie” is how the author manages to detach himself a little and write about himself in a way most writers cannot. He does not shy away from showing us moments in his life were he would be considered “weak” or “cowardly”. Nowhere do you feel like it’s a glorified or embellished account. It’s a little too philosophical for my liking, but has enough story to hold the reader’s attention.
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