The Archer by Paulo Coelho

Hello friends! I know it’s been several months since I’ve written anything on this blog – quarantine has been tougher on me than I expected mentally, and I took a pretty abrupt break from my podcast and this blog. Now that I’ve had some time to recuperate and I’m feeling better I’ve got new episodes of my podcast coming this week and I’m going to continue with my written book reviews on my blog. I’m so grateful for everyone who’s returned to keep reading this little blog of mine. I’m so excited to return to making content for you guys, and I hope you enjoy what I share with you all this year. 

The Rundown

Paulo Coelho is famous for writing the classic novel The Alchemist, which has been touted as a life-changing book by several celebrities, athletes, and CEOs. I read The Alchemist for the first time at the beginning of last year, and I was so excited to see that Coelho was publishing a new book. The Alchemist was one of my top books that I read in 2020, and I couldn’t wait to read Coelho’s newest release. The book is described as a story wherein a skilled older archer teaches a young boy about “the ways of the bow.” I was excited to read on and see how Coelho would use this story to give some great life lessons, but this book turned out to be completely different from what I expected. 

Length: 130 pages

Additional Sections: Prologue & Epilogue

Genre: Fiction/Self-help

Year Published: 2020

The Good Stuff

The Archer isn’t really a novel. I think the publisher should’ve made that clearer when the book first came out. The only parts of this book that have dialogue, a plotline, and any semblance of character development are the prologue and the epilogue. The 125 pages between those two sections are short paragraphs with pieces of advice connecting life to learning how to become a master archer. 

I loved the prologue of this book. It really got me excited to get into the story and read about how the archer was going to teach the young boy. Unfortunately, it was kind of anti-climactic to finish the prologue and realize that there was no more storyline until the last two pages of the book (the epilogue). Nevertheless, the prologue was very well-written. As for the bulk of the book, I think the advice was good – I wouldn’t call it life-changing, but it was good advice. Coelho is an expert at making the lessons clear, and it was easy to understand how everything was supposed to translate to life outside of archery. They were good messages for anyone who is passionate about something or who wants to master something. The grammar in this book was also good. 

What I Would Change

To be honest, this book disappointed me a lot. I was so hype to read this and have a great literary start to my year and it was so underwhelming. I think the publisher did everyone a disservice by marketing this book as a story when it’s really not. I was expecting something completely different, and it was hard to shake the disappointment even when I was 80% of the way through the book and I knew that it wasn’t going to change into the novel that I wanted it to be. Even though it was technically a page-turner because there’s only one piece of advice per page, the book for me was pretty uninteresting. I’m sure part of that is due to it not being the book I thought it was going to be, but that’s still how I feel about it. Hopefully 

Overall: 6.5/10

Okay, so I’ve got a secret – I’m working on a BIG project. This thing is going to take at least 2 years of reading, and that’s if I don’t read anything else that’s not directly related to this project. I want to teach a (virtual) class on black literature, a 101 class of sorts for people who want to read books by black authors but don’t know where to start. It’s going to have books from all sorts of genres – history, sci-fi, self-help, and a bunch more. Since I’m starting to read books for this project now, I will most likely be reading books from similar genres or books on similar subject matter this year. So far I know I’ll be reading some sci-fi and black history this year, so I hope you’re ready for that! I haven’t shared that I’m working on this on social media or on my podcast, so let’s just keep it between you and me. 🙂 I’ll post more details later. Again, thank you so much for sticking with me and coming back to read my reviews! It means the world to me. 

Next book: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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