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Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything -- youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does -- at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.

Inspired by events in Coelho's own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

Topics: Love, Spirituality , Death, Mental Illness, Depression, Suicide, Hope, Music, Courage, Slovenia, Dark, and Philosophical

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061835438
List price: $10.99
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For me this book was about conforming to social norms and how we act and feel in our day to day lives to fit into what society prescribes. Veronika, a librarian (an awesome job I would imagine!), decides to commit suicide but luckily fails and ends up in an institution for the mentally ill. As she is 'treated' by the hospital's head physician she encounters other patients who are all looking for, but seldom finding, their place in the world.

I loved the dialogue and the opportunity that her 'illness' allowed for her to finally find and express her true self. Viewed as an unstable person allowed for her to voice and act out in ways she (and we as 'normal' individuals) would otherwise never have done.

"If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy. Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don't know they're crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to."

With this (and an on-going experiment by said head physician) Veronika finds love, acceptance and her true voice.more
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you live differently? Would you regret the things you did, thinking you shouldn't have done this or that?

And to this, Coelho writes, why wait until you're dying? We're born to die , isn't that the saying? Certainly we'll die, and we don't know when. It could be tomorrow, it could be 50 years later. So why waste our lives? For a book titled as such, it talks a lot about the value of living.

I guess I really like this book because it's full of crazy people, people who don't conform, and I'm a little crazy myself. It's taught me to embrace my madness, to look at every day as if it's different from the day before it, to live like who I am, and how I want it.

When faced by your own mortality, I don't think you have a choice but to live your life to the fullest.more
Who the heck decided that this book - out of the hundreds of millions of books out there - belonged on the 1001 books to read before you die list? Seriously, I don't understand. I do not like Coelho's style at all. The upside: it was a quick read.

Two back to back 2 star books do not make me a happy camper. Jane Austen, I'm counting on you to get me out of this reading slump.

ETA: I have decided that this book must have been commissioned by Hallmark. Are all of Coelho's books like this?more
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Reviews

For me this book was about conforming to social norms and how we act and feel in our day to day lives to fit into what society prescribes. Veronika, a librarian (an awesome job I would imagine!), decides to commit suicide but luckily fails and ends up in an institution for the mentally ill. As she is 'treated' by the hospital's head physician she encounters other patients who are all looking for, but seldom finding, their place in the world.

I loved the dialogue and the opportunity that her 'illness' allowed for her to finally find and express her true self. Viewed as an unstable person allowed for her to voice and act out in ways she (and we as 'normal' individuals) would otherwise never have done.

"If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy. Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don't know they're crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to."

With this (and an on-going experiment by said head physician) Veronika finds love, acceptance and her true voice.more
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you live differently? Would you regret the things you did, thinking you shouldn't have done this or that?

And to this, Coelho writes, why wait until you're dying? We're born to die , isn't that the saying? Certainly we'll die, and we don't know when. It could be tomorrow, it could be 50 years later. So why waste our lives? For a book titled as such, it talks a lot about the value of living.

I guess I really like this book because it's full of crazy people, people who don't conform, and I'm a little crazy myself. It's taught me to embrace my madness, to look at every day as if it's different from the day before it, to live like who I am, and how I want it.

When faced by your own mortality, I don't think you have a choice but to live your life to the fullest.more
Who the heck decided that this book - out of the hundreds of millions of books out there - belonged on the 1001 books to read before you die list? Seriously, I don't understand. I do not like Coelho's style at all. The upside: it was a quick read.

Two back to back 2 star books do not make me a happy camper. Jane Austen, I'm counting on you to get me out of this reading slump.

ETA: I have decided that this book must have been commissioned by Hallmark. Are all of Coelho's books like this?more
This is one of the most WTF books I have read in a while.

I had read some of "The Alchemist" also by Paulo Coelho and gave up on it after I couldn't stand his preachy attempts at philosophizing, but this was recommended to me by a friend. Because I know so few people who read, I latch on to any book they mention in the hopes that I can actually talk about books with someone in real life. I need to learn my lesson already.

The plot and characters could've been anything, and were probably underdeveloped as a result, because they were really just a vehicle for his message that madness is all relative. Perhaps there are some kernels of truth there, but I think it's much a more nuanced idea than how he writes it, and it certainly doesn't have to be so obvious and heavy-handed. I can only be told what to think for so long without resenting you and your unlikeable, illogical characters. And, by the way, that argument is not exactly supported by having a character fall instantly in love with a man who just sits there as she plays piano for hours and then silently watches while she furiously masturbates. That makes sense. But who am I to judge? Maybe I'm the mad one!more
Mr Cohelo's books are extremely popular and having read "The Alchemist" I gave ths one a chance. It was better but still patronizing. All his books seem to say much about nothing. They assume the reader will be taken in by trying to sound mystical and that there is something behind it but you are left thinking "What was all that about"more
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