Beware Selfish Help books

I love The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I like the Fifth Mountain, Eleven Minutes, and I kind of like The Pilgrimage. But I felt compelled to buy all his books, and even though i stopped enjoying them I felt I had to own them all, just in case…

The fault was fine, not his.

Maybe books should come with a traffic light warning like nutritional data on food packaging …. red: over 25% of your daily saturated fat, amber: one third of daily salt levels, green: a source of fibre.

Coelho would be green on intellect, amber on believability (possessed dogs?), and red on selfish help.

Self help books are one of mankind’s modern curses. Spiritual self help books make my toes curl, and anyone professing to be a medium and in touch with those who have passed on before us should be viewed as the snake-oil salespeople they really are.

Magi, magicians, arcane rituals with swords in secret castles… I think not.

But did I learn something from his books, yes I did. But like a new drug I just couldn’t let go… I needed my hypericum perforatum.

The problem with authors is they need to write, the next book is on the production line. And we consumers are waiting at the end with out mouths wide open.

These days I stick to the two Alans: Garner and Moore. They publish a book when they have something to say. I love Thursbitch, even though there is despair inside the sentient landscape. I love Jerusalem even though it is an arse to read. The two Alans are not trying to help me or teach me. They don’t give a fuck.

Paulo does give a fuck.

And therein lies the problem.


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