Quick Book Review: “Hippie” by Paulo Coelho
An autobiographical novel that recounts the days when a generation of young people dared to dream of a better world, and sought that world by throwing their stuff in a backpack and traveling the world, with the journey being more important than the destination. In this book, the author recounts the story of how he met the beautiful Karla in Dam Square in Amsterdam, and on a whim, agrees to join her on a weeks-long bus trek through Europe and Asia, to Kathmandu. Although the main focus is on Paulo and Karla, there are interesting digressions about the interesting lives of some others on the bus. I was expecting more music, drugs, and politics, but I suppose that’s a more American view of the hippie era. In this European view, the focus was more about the spiritual journey, and there was a bit more vague mumbo-jumbo about God than I really cared to read about, especially because they book ties their ideals of peace and love and community strongly to religion, something that I don’t typically tie to the hippie ideal, in America, at least. The book is autobiographical and it is clear that the author has led an interesting life, and he conveys it well. I was hoping for a more general book about the times, rather than this very personal account, but it was engaging nonetheless.