top of page

The Archer by Paulo Coelho goes beyond being just a novella: Book Review

The Archer by Paulo Coelho

This happened to be reading Paulo Coelho after a gap of almost 3 years. Reading this book was like putting a fresh coat of paint on the canvas all over again. I try to stay away from the hype surrounded a particular author especially if I am about to read the book because somehow it tends to influence my views and mind while reading and I fail to absorb the message that the author wants to say.

The archer by Paulo Coelho is a short novella based on an old archer turned into a carpenter and a young inquisitive boy, iff (if and only if the concept of algebra) we go by the blurb. But the book is beyond that. The tiny storyline is just a prelude to the real plot? or advice? or life lessons? One might think it’s a short book of 130 pages and can be done in little more than an hour, which is partly true given in some pages it's just 3-4 lines and filled with illustrations. I took the time to finish this book, more than I anticipated, because of the necessary pauses I had to take while reading. Here the archer, the old man, bow, arrow and target, and everything else given in the book are metaphors, one that explains larger aspects of life. It's one of those books where I want to scribble my personal thoughts and understand my own situation a bit better. Are these messages something completely new? Absolutely not but they are subtle reminders of past lessons that we have forgotten over time. Each page and each chapter can exist on its own and that’s what makes this book so beautiful for me. I can pick up any random page after an ugly day, brutal conversation, and find answers to my distress.

It's more of a spiritual book than what it portrays it to be. In no way I would consider this as a novella.

The blurb of The Archer

In The Archer, we meet Tetsuya, a man once famous for his prodigious gift with a bow and arrow but who has since retired from public life, and the boy who comes searching for him. The boy has many questions, and in answering them Tetsuya illustrates the way of the bow and the tenets of a meaningful life. Paulo Coelho's story suggests that living without a connection between action and soul cannot fulfill, that a life constricted by fear of rejection or failure is not a life worth living. Instead, one must take risks, build courage, and embrace the unexpected journey fate has to offer.

With the wisdom, generosity, simplicity, and grace that have made him an international bestseller, Paulo Coelho provides the framework for a rewarding life: hard work, passion, purpose, thoughtfulness, the willingness to fail, and the urge to make a difference.

The Archer is published by Penguin Vikings and can be purchased from here.


Paulo Coelho

The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as a theatre director and actor, lyricist, and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time._ Goodreads

bottom of page