By Paulo Coelho
Author Website: paulocoelhoblog(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
Hippie takes place in the seventies, a time when young bohemian people were trying to find inner peace and answers through connections with the universe and nature. As Paulo travels through Europe, he reminisces on previous events in his life spent traveling with his former girlfriend. He remembers the wonderful time he spent with her in Machu Picchu, but becomes anxious as he starts remembering their return back to Brazil, a dark time in Paulo’s past.
He eventually finds himself traveling to Europe and ending alone in Amsterdam, where a young girl is waiting to meet the right person to travel as her companion on a Magic Bus to Nepal. Karla seems strong and independent, but has trouble establishing long term relationships and is becoming bored of the monotonous life. As she spots Paulo, she assesses him and determines that he is the person she’s been looking for, and convinces him to go on an adventure with her.
Paulo is young, shy and with dreams of becoming a writer. His way of seeing the world is different from Karla’s, and she soon realizes it. On their trip they meet several groups of people, such as a father and daughter, a couple returning to Nepal, a pair of best friend girls, and two interesting bus drivers. Throughout their journey they spend brief moments in several countries where they experience prejudice against their beliefs and being young free hippie souls.
By the time they reach Istanbul, Paulo and Karla establish an interesting relationship. But while Karla begins to understand herself and get answers to her questions, Paulo is full of questions and intrigued by the wonders of the world.
Hippie is such a great book full of interesting facts about the hippie culture, the seventies, the way people perceived hippies, and facts in general about the world during that time period. I always feel refreshed and inspired when I read Coehlo’s books. He writes from experience and understands people. His stories have a combination of reality with a little of fiction that capture the reader’s attention till the end, and this book represents it well.
It was interesting to read about the other people in the Magic Bus, their different backgrounds and what made them take on the adventure. You learn what ordinary people consider a hippie to be, and what hippies thought the term meant to them. It was also interesting to read of events happening during the hippie period that led to some later movements.
With Coehlo’s book you always take some sort of advice from them, a new view of life and how to implement the reading to your everyday. This time Hippie gave me new advice and showed me a glimpse of a subculture that not many people understood in its initial stages. If you’re a fan of Coehlo and his work, this book is a good read I recommend.
“As though everything truly had to be faced without fear, as a mere fact of life―we don’t choose the things that happen to us, but we can choose how we react to them.”