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The Fifth Mountain

The Fifth Mountain

The Fifth Mountain

Author
Coelho, Paulo; Landers, Clifford E.;  
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Catalog
Fiction > Literary
Publisher
Harpercollins
ISBN-13
9780061729256
ISBN-10
0061729256
Publish
2009-02
Pages
276
Unit
Size
20.32 * 1.27 * 13.97
Format
Paperback
Version

Product Description

In the ninth century b.c., the Phoenician princess Jezebel orders the execution of all the prophets who refuse to worship the pagan god Baal. Commanded by an angel of God to flee Israel, Elijah seeks safety in the land of Zarephath, where he unexpectedly finds true love with a young widow. But this newfound rapture is to be cut short, and Elijah sees all of his hopes and dreams irrevocably erased as he is swept into a whirlwind of events that threatens his very existence.

Written with the same masterful prose and clarity of vision that made The Alchemist an international phenomenon, The Fifth Mountain is a quietly moving account of a man touched by the hand of God who must triumph over his frustrations in a soul-shattering trial of faith.

About the Author

Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, and The Winner Stands Alone, among others, have sold 115 million copies in more than 160 countries.


Paulo Coelho naciÓ en Brasil en 1947 y es uno de los autores con mÁs influencia de hoy dÍa. Conocido mundialmente por el bestseller internacional El Alquimista, Coelho ha vendido mÁs de 100 millones de libros en todo el mundo, los cuales han sido traducidos a 68 idiomas y publicados en 150 paÍses. Paulo Coelho escribe una columna semanal que se publica en los periÓdicos mÁs importantes del mundo.

Amazon.com Review

With The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho turns his talent for spiritual fiction to the story of the Biblical prophet Elijah. Like a blossoming flower, Coelho opens up the brief account of Elijah's flight from Gilead and his time in Zarephath. He deepens the prophet's character by revealing the thoughts, doubts, and discoveries that Elijah must have experienced as he struggled to find his course in life amidst the confusion of war and political turmoil. When being a prophet of the God of the Israelites is like a warrant for your death, concerns about your chosen path are sure to arise. Perhaps it is this believability in Coelho's retelling that makes it so evocative, or it may be the bit of Old Testament wisdom he brings to popular literature of the 20th century: "the words of the lord are written in the world around us. Merely be attentive to what happens in your life, and you will discover where." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"More ambitious...that The Alchemist, it is lightened by Coelho's appropriately spare writing style...A thought-provoking personal tale." -- Time magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Portugese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The popular Brazilian New Age novelist offers his take on the prophet Elijah's time of exile with a widow in the Phoenician city of Zarephath. He greatly expands upon the biblical account, which says no more of the episode after Elijah resurrects the widow's son. Convincingly reimagining that miracle, Coelho then portrays Elijah becoming a respected citizen, partly because he can be held as an ace in the hole for anticipated dealings with Israel, whose Phoenician queen, Jezebel, wants him dead. Love blooms between Elijah and the widow, although both resist it, knowing that Elijah is destined to return to Israel and expel Jezebel. When the Assyrians besiege, attack, and burn the town, Elijah leads its rebuilding and becomes the new governor. Finally, he departs for Israel when the angel of the Lord tells him he must. Half of Coelho's effort is good enough, but then New Age mannerisms overwhelm it. Elijah's tendency to make banal pronouncements increases, the angels who speak to him step up their (inconsistent) faux^-King James patois, and during a ritual of renaming that Elijah conducts for the rebuilt town, with townspeople adopting the likes of Wisdom and Reencounter as new personal names, an Enja soundtrack swells in the mind's ear. Fans of Coelho's best-selling Alchemist (1993) will want to partake of this offering, but for better biblical fiction, try Shulamith Hareven's development of Exodus, Thirst (1996). Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A huge improvement over Brazilian author Coelho's last, the gucky religious romance By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1996). The carpenter Elijah, at age 23, knows he's a prophet because an angel keeps visiting him and giving him orders on what to do with his life. The Israelites and their One God live under the heels of the Phoenicians and of the slinky Jezebel of Samaria, worshipper of Baal. Jezebel sends her troops and priests out to slay all Israelite prophets, of whom there are many, and so Elijah's angel tells him to flee to the desert, where a crow will feed him daily. Indeed, the crow not only feeds him but talks to him as well, although Elijah insists that he's really talking only with himself. Then the angel appears again, this time telling Elijah that he must avenge the Lord--a plan that includes his going to Akbar and living with a widow. The widow at first resists taking him in. And when her boy dies, the townsfolk take the Israelite's presence as a curse and the cause of the child's death. The priests send Elijah up on Baal's Fifth Mountain, where they assume he'll be consumed by fire. Instead, of course, his angel appears and tells him to return to the widow and raise her boy from the dead. This he does, though the priests don't accept the miracle. In a later test of faith, Elijah, triumphing over these same priests, sets in motion a series of events leading both to Jezebel's death and Baal's humbling. Eventually, Elijah--still alive--is carried off to heaven in a chariot of fire. Compellingly, everyone keeps keen score on the gods as if they are strangely real rival sports teams. Coelho meanwhile handles religion, politics, battles, plagues, the earthshaking arrival of the alphabet, and the destruction and rebuilding of Akbar with realism, suspense, and down-to-earth dialogue. Surprisingly persuasive storytelling. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


I have served a Lord who now abandons me into the hands of my enemies,"said Elijah.

"God is God," the Levite replied. "He did not tell Moseswhether He was good or evil; He simply said: I am. He is everything thatexists under the sun--the lightning bolt that destroys a house, and thehand of man that rebuilds it."

Talking was the only way to ward off fear; at any moment, soldiers wouldopen the door to the stable where they were hiding, discover them both,and offer the only choice possible: worship Baal, the Phoenician god, orbe executed. They were searching house by house, converting the prophetsor executing them.

Perhaps the Levite would convert and escape death. But for Elijah therewas no choice: everything was happening through his own fault, and Jezebelwanted his head under all circumstances.

"It was an angel of the Lord who obliged me to speak to King Ahab andwarn him that it would not rain so long as Baal was worshiped in Israel,"he said, almost in a plea for absolution for having heeded what the angelhad told him. "But God acts slowly; when the drought begins to takehold, Princess Jezebel will already have destroyed all who remain loyalto the Lord."

The Levite said nothing. He was reflecting on whether he should convertto Baal or die in the name of the Lord.

"Who is God?" Elijah continued. "Is it He who holds the swordof the soldier, the sword that executes those who will not betray the faithof our patriarchs? Was it He who placed a foreign princess on our country'sthrone, so that all this misfortune could befall our generation? Does Godkill the faithful, the innocent, those who follow the law of Moses?"

The Levite made his decision: he preferred to die. Then he began to laugh,for the idea of death frightened him no longer. He turned to the young prophetbeside him and attempted to calm him. "Ask God, since you doubt Hisdecisions," he said. "I have accepted my fate."

"The Lord cannot wish us to be massacred without mercy," insistedElijah.

"God is all-powerful. If He limited Himself to doing only that whichwe call good, we could not call Him the Almighty; he would command onlyone part of the universe, and there would exist someone more powerful thanHe, watching and judging His acts. In that case, I would worship that morepowerful someone."

"If He is all-powerful, why doesn't He spare the suffering of thosewho love Him? Why doesn't He save them, instead of giving might and gloryto His enemies?"

"I don't know," said the Levite. "But a reason exists, andI hope to learn it soon."

"You have no answer to this question."

"No."

The two men fell silent. Elijah felt a cold sweat.

"You are terrified, but I have already accepted my fate," theLevite said. "I am going out, to bring an end to this agony. Each timeI hear a scream out there, I suffer, imagining how it will be when my timecomes. Since we've been locked in here, I have died a hundredfold, whileI could have died just once. If I am to be beheaded, let it be as quicklyas possible."

He was right. Elijah had heard the same screams, and he had suffered beyondhis ability to withstand.

"I'm going with you. I weary of fighting for a few more hours of life."

He rose and opened the stable door, allowing the sun to enter and exposethe two men hiding there.

The Levite took him by the arm, and they began to walk. If not for one thenanother scream, it would have seemed a normal day in a city like any other--asun that barely tingled the skin, the breeze coming from a distant oceanto moderate the temperature, the dusty streets, the houses built of a mixtureof clay and straw.

"Our souls are prisoners of the terror of death, and the day is beautiful,"said the Levite. "Many times before, when I felt at peace with Godand the world, the temperature was horrible, the desert wind filled my eyeswith sand and did not permit me to see a hand's span before me. Not alwaysdoes His plan agree with what we are or what we feel, but be assured thatHe has a reason for all of this."

"I admire your faith."

The Levite looked at the sky, as if reflecting briefly. Then he turned toElijah. "Do not admire, and do not believe so much; it was a wagerI made with myself. I wagered that God exists."

"You're a prophet," answered Elijah. "You too hear voicesand know that there is a world beyond this world."

"It could be my imagination."

"You have seen God's signs," Elijah insisted, beginning to feelanxiety at his companion's words.

"It could be my imagination," was again the answer. "In actuality,the only concrete thing I have is my wager: I have told myself that everythingcomes from the Most High."

The street was deserted. Inside their houses, the people waited for Ahab'ssoldiers to complete the task that the foreign princess had demanded: executingthe prophets of Israel. Elijah walked beside the Levite, feeling that behindeach door and window was someone watching him--and blaming him for whathad happened.

"I did not ask to be a prophet. Perhaps everything is merely the fruitof my own imagination," thought Elijah.

But, after what had occurred in the carpenter's shop, he knew it was not.


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This fascinating retelling of the biblical story of the prophet Elijah by Brazilian novelist Coelho is smoothly translated to read like a modern novel. The fleshed-out tale follows Elijah as he flees his homeland of Israel, where Jezebel, Phoenician wife of the king, had ordered the murder of all who reject the pagan god Baal, to Zarephath (Akbar). Elijah's spiritual crises continue after he is taken in by a widow and her son, following his direction from an angel, and ultimately falls in love with the widow. The movement of the novel comes from Elijah's introspective struggle with faith as he confronts his troubles, but the result is neither dull nor preachy and should find a niche among readers of popular fiction.
-?Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.