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Hippie
Cover of Hippie
Hippie
Borrow Borrow
From South America to Holland to Nepal—a new journey in the company of Paulo Coelho, bestselling author of The Alchemist.

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. In Hippie, he tells the story of Paulo, a young, skinny Brazilian man with a goatee and long, flowing hair, who dreams of becoming a writer, and Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties who has been waiting to find a companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal.
After meeting each other in Amsterdam, she convinces Paulo to join her on a trip aboard the Magic Bus that travels from Amsterdam to Istanbul and across Central Asia to Kathmandu. As they embark on this journey together, Paulo and Karla explore a love affair that awakens them on every level and leads to choices and decisions that will set the course for their lives thereafter.
From South America to Holland to Nepal—a new journey in the company of Paulo Coelho, bestselling author of The Alchemist.

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. In Hippie, he tells the story of Paulo, a young, skinny Brazilian man with a goatee and long, flowing hair, who dreams of becoming a writer, and Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties who has been waiting to find a companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal.
After meeting each other in Amsterdam, she convinces Paulo to join her on a trip aboard the Magic Bus that travels from Amsterdam to Istanbul and across Central Asia to Kathmandu. As they embark on this journey together, Paulo and Karla explore a love affair that awakens them on every level and leads to choices and decisions that will set the course for their lives thereafter.
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  • From the book

    The stories that follow come from my personal experiences. I've altered the order, names, and details of the people here, I was forced to condense some scenes, but everything that follows truly happened to me. I've used the third person because this allowed me to give characters unique voices with which to describe their lives.

    ***

    In September 1970, two sites squared off for the title of the center of the world: Piccadilly Circus, in London, and Dam Square, in Amsterdam. But not everyone knew this: if you asked most people, they'd have told you: "The White House, in the US, and the Kremlin in the USSR." These people tended to get their information from newspapers, television, radio, media that were already entirely outdated and that would never regain the relevance they had when first invented.

    In September 1970, airplane tickets were outrageously expensive, which meant only the rich could travel. OK, that wasn't entirely true for an enormous number of young people whom these outdated media outlets could see only for their outward appearance: they wore their hair long, dressed in bright-colored clothing never took a bath (which was a lie, but these young kids didn't read the newspaper, and the older generation believed any news item that served to denigrate those they considered "a danger to society and common decency"). They were a danger to an entire generation of diligent young boys and girls trying to succeed in life, with their horrible example of lewdness and "free love," as their detractors liked to say with disdain. Well, this ever-growing number of kids had a system for spreading news that no one, absolutely no one, ever managed to detect.

    The "Invisible Post" couldn't be bothered to discuss the latest Volkswagen or the new powdered soaps that had just been launched around the globe. It limited its news to the next great trail awaiting explorationby those insolent, dirty kids practicing "free love" and wearing clothes no one with any taste would ever put on. The girls with their braided hair covered in flowers, their long dresses, bright-colored shirts and no bras, necklaces of all shapes and sizes; the boys with their hair and beards that hadn't been cut for months. They wore faded jeans with tears from overuse because jeans were expensive everywhere in the world—except for the US, where they'd emerged from the ghetto of factory workers and were worn at all the major open-air shows in and around San Francisco.

    The "Invisible Post" existed because people were always going to these concerts, swapping ideas about where they ought to meet next, how they could explore the world without jumping aboard one of those tourist buses where a guide described the sights while the younger people grew bored and the old people dozed. And so, thanks to word of mouth, everyone knew where the next concert was to take place or where to find the next great trail to be explored. No one had any financial restrictions because, in this community, everyone's favorite author wasn't Plato or Aristotle or comics from some artist who'd attained celebrity status,the big book, which almost no one who traveled to the Old Continent did so without, went by the name Europe on 5 Dollars a Day. With this book, everyone could find out where to stay, what to see, where to eat, where to meet, and where to catch live music while hardly spending a thing.

    Frommer's only error at the time was having limited his guide to Europe. Were there not perhaps other interesting places to see? Weren't there those who would rather go to India than to Paris? Frommer would address this failing a few years later, but until such time the...

About the Author-
  • Paulo Coelho's life remains the primary source of inspiration for his books. He has flirted with death, escaped madness, dallied with drugs, withstood torture, experimented with magic and alchemy, studied philosophy and religion, read voraciously, lost and recovered his faith, and experienced the pain and pleasure of love. In searching for his own place in the world, he has discovered answers for the challenges that everyone faces. He believes that within ourselves we have the necessary strength to find our own destiny.
    Paulo Coelho's books have been translated into 80 languages and have sold more than 225 million copies in more than 170 countries. His 1988 novel, The Alchemist, has sold more than 65 million copies and has been cited as an inspiration by people as diverse as Malala Yousafzai and Pharrell Williams.
    He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and has received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur. In 2007, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2018
    Prolific Brazilian author Coelho is back with another novel, loosely based on his experiences growing up (a problematic phrase) in the psychedelic 1960s and '70s.The novel reads rather like a series of impressions clustered around a trip (no pun intended) through Europe and toward Kathmandu. While the narrative is written in the third person, it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to identify some aspects of a character named "Paulo" (also referred to as "the Brazilian") with the author. This character has linked up with Karla in Amsterdam in September 1970. They meet, appropriately enough, in Dam Square, perhaps the hippie center of the cosmos. Karla is Dutch and a Protestant, and she yearns to see the world from a wider perspective. She's at peace with solitude, and her dream involves "traveling to Nepal...to find a cave and remain there alone until her teeth fell out, [and] her hair became white." Meeting Paulo complicates both of their lives, however, for she would like him to be her travel companion on a bus trip from Amsterdam to Kathmandu, through Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and beyond. There are 20 people on the bus, including a Frenchman and his daughter (occasionally mistaken for man and wife) as well as Rayan, a charismatic Irishman, and his stunning girlfriend, Mirthe. They all tend to behave as we imagine hippies are supposed to behave--they take drugs, skinny dip in a river, and show an interest in ecstatic experiences. When they arrive for an extended stay in Istanbul, Karla and Paulo's relationship becomes even more complicated, as she feels drawn to him in a way he can't reciprocate.A nostalgic immersion in the mind-blowing 1960s.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 1, 2018
    Drawing on his own past experiences, Coelho (The Alchemist) tells the story of a young man named Paulo exploring love, spirituality, and the world during the 1960s in this uninspired novel. Paulo, an aspiring writer born in Brazil, hitchhikes his way through Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina before deciding to head for Amsterdam, where he has heard of a new movement of love and sexual liberation. There Paulo meets Karla, and they begin the first tentative steps toward the lasting love that Karla desperately seeks. Karla, meanwhile, is planning a trip to Nepal to pursue her own spiritual liberation. After Paulo agrees to go with her, they set out on a bus with like-minded travelers and meet a variety of personalities—all of whom have a story to tell and life lessons to impart—leading to long tangents about life, love, and the spiritual motivations that inspired his years of traveling. Coelho never quite brings the reader in to the main characters’ experiences and lives, but some of the narrative side trips are worth taking. The author’s most ardent fans will enjoy this, but readers looking for an immersive tale with fully formed characters will be disappointed.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2018
    It is September 1970. A twentysomething aspiring Brazilian writer named Paulo finds himself in one of the two acknowledged hippie cultural centers of the world, Amsterdam's Dam Square. He has already survived a harrowing stint in a Bolivian prison, led astray by his lover, a woman 11 years older but not necessarily wiser. Karla, a beautiful young Dutch woman, also finds herself in Dam Square, searching for a man willing and worthy enough to accompany her on a Magic Bus trip to Nepal. With nothing more than their mutual quest for enlightenment to bind them, Karla and Paulo begin their trek across Europe, each dubious border crossing bringing them closer to their goal and, potentially, to each other. Less an homage to the sex-drugs-and-rock ?n' roll mantra of the time and more a celebration of the spiritual longing that inspired a generation to abandon norms and pursue an unconventional path to the truth, this metafiction by the revered Coelho (The Spy?, 2016) lyrically fuses authenticity and illusion, art and fact. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The global appeal of this megaselling storyteller remains extraordinary, and his latest autobiographically inspired novel will bring in the fans.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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