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Veronika Decides to Die


Veronika Decides to Die Cover

ISBN13: 9780060955779
ISBN10: 0060955775
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything — youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning Veronika decides to die. She takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does — at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.

This poignant international bestseller by the author of The Alchemist takes readers on a quest to find meaning in a culture overshadowed by angst, soulless routine, and pervasive conformity. Based on events in Coelho's own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.


Veronika seems to have it all--youth, beauty, a good job, and loving family. But one morning she wakes up and tries to kill herself. The attempt fails, but leaves her damaged with only a few days to live. In her final days she embarks on a transforming self-discovery.

About the Author

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the city where he now lives. His own life has in many ways been as varied and unusual as the protagonists of his internationally acclaimed novels. Like them, Paulo Coelho has followed a dream in a quest for fulfillment. His own dream, to be a writer, met with frustration throughout much of his early adult life, a time in which he worked at various professions, some of them materially rewarding but spiritually unfulfilling. "I always knew," he says, "that my Personal Legend, to use a term from alchemy, was to write." He was 38 when he published his first book.

In 1970, after deciding that law school was not for him, he traveled through much of South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil after two years, he began a successful career as popular songwriter. In 1974, he was imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship then ruling in Brazil. In 1980, he experienced one of the defining moments of his life: he walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. On this ancient highway, used for centuries by pilgrims from France to get to the cathedral said to house the remains of St. James, he achieved a self-awareness and a spiritual awakening that he later described in The Pilgrimage.

Paulo Coelho once said that following your dream is like learning a foreign language; you will make mistakes but you will get there in the end. In 1988, he published The Alchemist, a novel that explores this theme, and it launched him as an international bestselling author. Specifically, Paulo Coelho is recognized for his powerful storytelling technique and the profound spiritual insights he blends seamlessly into his parables. Since then, The Alchemist has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated into some 41 languages. In addition to The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho has written luminous novels about the different streams of our lives, including By The River Piedra I Sat Down &Wept, The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, and Veronika Decides to Die. A winner of numerous literary prizes, Paulo Coelho is also a prominent speaker for humanitarian causes. In 1999, he received a Crystal Award for Artistic Achievement at the Davos Economic Forum Conference.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Joy Jorgensen, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Joy Jorgensen)
Dark and yet illuminating.
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Lauren110, July 30, 2007 (view all comments by Lauren110)
I enjoyed the story itself very much, but the writing was a bit too simplistic and not as emotionally jarring as it could have been, even in Veronica's most melancholy moments. Furthermore, there were some ethical misgivings to mental health as a science, which made aspects of the book seem too contrived.
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(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
oedipusrex12, June 10, 2007 (view all comments by oedipusrex12)
the first book of the author that i've encountered.. the story is great and you'll have lots to learn.. :)
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Coelho, Paulo
Harper Perennial
New York
Mental Illness
Young women
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
7.98x5.32x.52 in. .38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Metaphysics » Fiction

Veronika Decides to Die Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060955779 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Veronika seems to have it all--youth, beauty, a good job, and loving family. But one morning she wakes up and tries to kill herself. The attempt fails, but leaves her damaged with only a few days to live. In her final days she embarks on a transforming self-discovery.
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