Adultery: A Novel by Paulo CoelhoAdultery: A Novel by Paulo Coelhosticker-burst

Adultery: A Novel

byPaulo CoelhoTranslated byMargaret Jull Costa, Zoë Perry

Hardcover | August 19, 2014

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about

I want to change. I need to change. I'm gradually losing touch with myself.

Adultery, the provocative new novel by Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, explores the question of what it means to live life fully and happily, finding the balance between life's routine and the desire for something new.
One of the most influential writers of our time, Paulo Coelho is the author of many international best sellers, including The Alchemist, Aleph, Eleven Minutes, and Manuscript Found in Accra. Translated into 80 languages, his books have sold more than 165 million copies in more than 170 countries. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy...
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Title:Adultery: A NovelFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:272 pages, 8.57 × 5.97 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:8.57 × 5.97 × 1.1 inPublished:August 19, 2014Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1101874082

ISBN - 13:9781101874080

Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible I've never written a review for anything but I couldn't let this go. I had super high hopes for this book but was extremely disappointed. I got nothing out of reading this, biggest waste of 20$. Do not buy this. This should not be a Heather's pick
Date published: 2019-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting book Interesting book, easy to read like Coelho's other work. Main character seems to spiral further and further so you can't wait to see what happens next
Date published: 2018-10-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not his best work The book describe the life of a unhappy, married wife and mother, her cheating ways and beyond. Although her life (in my opinion) was more than satisfying, she was not happy nor excited. She complained about everything. The book was okay
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very different style for Paulo Coelho I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I don't know if I would recommend it to a single person... as it's specific to what women go through in their mid life after kids... and marriage.... I enjoyed it as it was as usual beautifully written and insightful... i found the ending a bit bland...
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST BOOK EVER I bought this book a long time ago and let me tell you, it made me cry. The very first book that made me cry.. At some point, I couldn't help but relate to the main character during her worst times and the words Paulo Coelho wrote made me feel so much better. There are a lot of "adult" scenes (like the title suggests) so whoever is not comfortable with it, shouldn't read it! BUT I TOTALLY RECOMMEND if you don't mind those parts haha! It is a book who makes you reflect on yourself a lot and learn a lot about yourself as well. Paulo Coelho never disappoints! <3
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST BOOK EVER I bought this book a long time ago and let me tell you, it made me cry. The very first book that made me cry.. At some point, I couldn't help but relate to the main character during her worst times and the words Paulo Coelho wrote made me feel so much better. There are a lot of "adult" scenes (like the title suggests) so whoever is not comfortable with it, shouldn't read it! BUT I TOTALLY RECOMMEND if you don't mind those parts haha! It is a book who makes you reflect on yourself a lot and learn a lot about yourself as well. Paulo Coelho never disappoints! <3
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST BOOK EVER I bought this book a long time ago and let me tell you, it made me cry. The very first book that made me cry.. At some point, I couldn't help but relate to the main character during her worst times and the words Paulo Coelho wrote made me feel so much better. There are a lot of "adult" scenes (like the title suggests) so whoever is not comfortable with it, shouldn't read it! BUT I TOTALLY RECOMMEND if you don't mind those parts haha! It is a book who makes you reflect on yourself a lot and learn a lot about yourself as well. Paulo Coelho never disappoints! <3
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST BOOK EVER I bought this book a long time ago and let me tell you, it made me cry. The very first book that made me cry.. At some point, I couldn't help but relate to the main character during her worst times and the words Paulo Coelho wrote made me feel so much better. There are a lot of "adult" scenes (like the title suggests) so whoever is not comfortable with it, shouldn't read it! BUT I TOTALLY RECOMMEND if you don't mind those parts haha! It is a book who makes you reflect on yourself a lot and learn a lot about yourself as well. Paulo Coelho never disappoints! <3
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST BOOK EVER I bought this book a long time ago and let me tell you, it made me cry. The very first book that made me cry.. At some point, I couldn't help but relate to the main character during her worst times and the words Paulo Coelho wrote made me feel so much better. There are a lot of "adult" scenes (like the title suggests) so whoever is not comfortable with it, shouldn't read it! BUT I TOTALLY RECOMMEND if you don't mind those parts haha! It is a book who makes you reflect on yourself a lot and learn a lot about yourself as well. Paulo Coelho never disappoints! <3
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Like Paulo's Other Books I couldn't bear to give it 3 stars because I do love Paulo Coelho's works, but this is definitely not his best. I feel as though the book was a written dialogue of an unhappy wife's thoughts as she goes day to day, pondering on the idea of an adulterous relationship. A little rambling but I did appreciate the fact that it was written from a woman's perspective.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Perspective A big fan of Coelho and his writing! This book is different from what he usually writes, but I personally enjoyed reading as it show's women's perspective on adultery and that sometimes having everything (status, family, a loving husband, a career, etc) is just not enough.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad writing I have to admit I usually pick up a book because the cover intrigues me. I loved the cover of this book however when I started to read it I was very disappointed. The author makes women seem stupid and unable to make a decision. I found this very difficult to get into and the story line I thought was horribly boring.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Intriguing yet not the writers best! Good read but not as memorable as some of the other books from Paulo Coelho
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good book, nice meaning I thought this book was very well done. Although I have a very new marriage, I think it really gave me strong insight into some of the feelings that can happen later in life when a marriage starts to go a bit stale. I think it really showed adultery in a different way and had a very nice message at the end.
Date published: 2015-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adultery In my opinion,one of the best books i read lately.Love the author,read many of his books.This one,terrific study of human emotions and soul.
Date published: 2015-05-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Couldn't Finish the Book Did not enjoy this book, couldn't finish it, didn't like the writing style or characters.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A play on emotions This book awakened my emotions in so many different ways - i pitied, envied, hated and eventually admired her in the end.
Date published: 2015-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! The thing I love about this book is the message it gives about romantic relationships because it all comes together at the end so well. It gives a great perspective on something a lot of people are very close minded to in our society. At least the ending does.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from "Heather's pick", really? I read The Alchemist by Coelho and enjoyed it. That and the fact that 'Adultery' was a 'Heather's pick' made me think I was in for another good read. I kept reading, right up to the end, expecting to discover why it was selected as a 'Heather's Pick' but it never happened. I couldn't sympathize at all with the main character and it was poorly written. Perhaps something was lost in the translation?? Thankfully it was a quick read. I would definitely not recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Can't believe this is a Heather's Pick Absolutely the WORST book I have ever tried to read - I can't even finish it - this one will be returned for sure! Doesn't even deserve one star!
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from BORING/RAMBLING. I BOUGHT THIS BOOK A FEW DAYS AGO. I FOUND IT TO BE RAMBLING AND THE AUTHOR WENT OFF IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS OFTEN. MOST OFTEN TO EXPLAIN ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT OF GENEVA. IF I WAS INTERESTED IN THAT I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT A BOOK ON GEOGRAPHY. I PAID AT LEAST 10 DOLLARS MORE THAN THE LISTED ONLINE PRICE. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING BOOK.
Date published: 2014-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intriguing and very well written! It took me 4 days to finish this book and I work full time and study part time. I love Paulo Coelho, one of the very best writers out there. His way of writing and pulling you inside the story is magnificent, that's why I never hesitate to read his books. This one in particular is impressive.
Date published: 2014-11-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not a page turner This was my first time reading this author's work. I found this book rather boring. There was too much thinking and not enough action.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Adultery Coelho takes the reader on one hell of a ride through the depths of self loathing to the heights of self awakening.
Date published: 2014-09-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Left wondering As much as I really enjoyed this book, I feel more confused than ever about the idea of monogamy. I'm in my twenties and already know many people who are having affairs which always ends badly. Everyone seems in a rush to get married and have children but for me I feel like in North America we don't have the tools for successful marriages and it's more about the actual wedding day that lures couples into getting married. I am a very spiritual person and have read many of Paulo coelhos books but not a single person from my work knows who he is; and no one ever speaks of spiritual enlightenment. It seems like we continue to make the same mistakes over and over and end up leaving our partners. I wish this book was longer because as of right now I have a hard time believing that Linda and her husband will be ok.
Date published: 2014-09-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Liked it but can't compare with the alchemist or the manuscrits of accra
Date published: 2014-08-22

Read from the Book

"I WAKE up and perform the usual rituals—brushing my teeth, getting dressed for work, going into the children’s bedroom to wake them up, making break- fast for everyone, smiling, and saying how good life is. In every minute and gesture I feel a weight I can’t identify, like an ani- mal who can’t quite understand how it got caught in the trap. My food has no taste. My smile, on the other hand, grows even wider so that no one will suspect, and I swallow my desire to cry. The light outside seems gray. Yesterday’s conversation did no good at all; I’m starting to think that I’m headed out of the indignant phase and straight into apathy. And does no one notice? Of course not. After all, I’m the last person in the world to admit that I need help. This is my problem; the volcano has exploded and there’s no way to put the lava back inside, plant some trees, mow the grass, and let the sheep out to graze. I don’t deserve this. I’ve always tried to meet everyone’s expectations. But now it’s happened and I can’t do anything about it except take medication. Perhaps today I’ll come up with an excuse to write an article about psychiatry and social security (the newspaper loves that kind of thing) and find a good psychiatrist to ask for help. I know that’s not ethical, but then not everything is. I don’t have an obsession to occupy my mind—for exam- ple, dieting or being OCD and finding fault with the clean- ing lady who arrives at eight in the morning and leaves at five in the afternoon, having washed and ironed the clothes, and tidied the house, and, sometimes, having even done the shopping, too. I can’t vent my frustrations by trying to be Super- mom, because my children would resent me for the rest of their lives. I go off to work and again see the neighbor polishing his car. Wasn’t he doing that yesterday? Unable to resist, I go over and ask him why. “It wasn’t quite perfect,” he says, but only after having said “Good morning,” asking about the family, and noticing what a pretty dress I’m wearing. I look at the car. It’s an Audi—one of Geneva’s nicknames is, after all, Audiland. It looks perfect, but he shows me one or two places where it isn’t as shiny as it should be. I draw out the conversation and end up asking what he thinks people are looking for in life. “Oh, that’s easy enough. Being able to pay their bills. Buying a house like yours or mine. Having a garden full of trees. Having your children or grandchildren over for Sunday lunch. Traveling the world once you’ve retired.” Is that what people want from life? Is it really? There’s something very wrong with this world, and it isn’t just the wars going on in Asia or the Middle East. Before I go to the newspaper, I have to interview Jacob, my ex-boyfriend from high school. Not even that cheers me up. I really am losing interest in things. I LISTEN to facts about government policy that I didn’t even want to know. I ask a few awkward questions, which he deftly dodges. He’s a year younger than me, but he looks five years older. I keep this thought to myself. Of course, it’s good to see him again, although he hasn’t yet asked me what’s happened in my life since we each went our own way after graduation. He’s entirely focused on himself, his career, and his future, while I find myself staring foolishly back at the past as if I were still the adolescent who, despite the braces on my teeth, was the envy of all the other girls. After a while, I stop listening and go  on autopilot. Always the same script, the same promises- reducing taxes, combating crime, keeping the French (the so-called cross-border workers who are taking jobs that Swiss workers could fill) out. Year after year, the issues are the same and the problems continue unresolved because no one really cares. After twenty minutes of conversation, I start to wonder if my lack of interest is due to my strange state of mind. No. There is nothing more tedious than interviewing politicians. It would have been better if I’d been sent to cover some crime or another. Murderers are much more real. Compared to representatives of the people anywhere else on the planet, ours are the least interesting and the most insipid. No one wants to know about their private lives. Only two things create a scandal here: corruption and drugs. Then it takes on gigantic proportions and gets wall-to-wall cover- age because there’s absolutely nothing else of interest in the newspapers. Does anyone care if they have lovers, go to brothels, or come out as gay? No. They continue doing what they were elected to do, and as long as they don’t blow the national bud- get, we all live in peace. The president of the country changes every year (yes, every year) and is chosen not by the people, but by the Federal Council, a body comprising seven ministers who serve as Switzerland’s collective head of state. Every time I walk past the museum, I see endless posters calling for more plebiscites. The Swiss love to make decisions—the color of our trash bags (black came out on top), the right (or not) to carry arms (Switzerland has one of the highest gun-ownership rates in the world), the number of minarets that can be built in the country (four), and whether or not to provide asylum for expatriates (I haven’t kept pace with this one, but I imagine the law was approved and is already in force). “Excuse me, sir.” We’ve been interrupted once already. He politely asks his assistant to postpone his next appointment. My newspaper is the most important in French-speaking Switzerland and this interview could prove crucial for the upcoming elections. He pretends to convince me and I pretend to believe him. Then I get up, thank him, and say that I have all the mate- rial I need. “You don’t need anything else?” Of course I do, but it’s not up to me to tell him what. “How about getting together after work?” I explain that I have to pick up my children from school, hoping that he sees the large gold wedding ring on my finger declaring: “Look, the past is the past.” “Of course. Well, maybe we can have lunch someday.” I agree. Easily deceived, I think: Who knows, maybe he does have something of importance to tell me, some state secret that will change the politics of the country and make the editor look at me with new eyes. He goes over to the door, locks it, then comes back and kisses me. I return his kiss, because it’s been a long time. Jacob, whom I may have once loved, is now a family man, married to a professor. And I am a family woman, married to a man who, though he inherited his wealth, is extremely hardworking. I consider pushing him away and saying that we’re not kids anymore, but I’m enjoying it. Not only did I discover a new Japanese restaurant, I’m having a bit of illicit fun as well. I’ve managed to break the rules and the world hasn’t caved in on me. I haven’t felt this happy in a long time. I feel better and better, braver, freer. Then I do something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was in school.

Bookclub Guide

I want to change. I need to change. I'm gradually losing touch with myself.Adultery, the provocative new novel by Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, explores the question of what it means to live life fully and happily, finding the balance between life's routine and the desire for something new.1. In the beginning of the novel, Linda describes herself as risk-averse. How does the concept of risk taking factor into the protagonist’s actions throughout the novel? By the end of the novel, do you think that she associates risk with reward?2. How is love defined throughout Adultery? On page 90, Linda contemplates requited versus unrequited love. Which type of love do you believe is more transformative in the novel?3. Throughout the novel, the protagonist attempts to articulate what her unhappiness feels like: “an animal who can’t quite understand how it got caught in the trap,” a “spongy black hole.” How did these analogies help to shape your understanding of her mental state? Did you feel sympathy for the character throughout your reading experience?4. On page 131, Linda claims she feels “comfortable in my madness.” Are there points where you feel that she is losing touch with reality or giving in to delusional thinking?5. Why is Jacob so attractive to Linda? Is it the illicitness of their affair that excites her, or does she have a genuine appreciation for his personality? What aspects of his personality ­­are most appealing to her?6. On page 125, the protagonist emphasizes the importance of “keeping up appearances.[PE1] ” How does that need to exhibit a normal, happy life arise throughout Adultery? Where in the novel do the boundaries between public and private personas become blurred? [PE1]Please verify that this is the page citation meant.7. Discuss the significance of the novel Frankenstein throughout Adultery. How is the scientist/monster dichotomy reflected in the Linda’s own personality and actions?8. On page 158, the protagonist laments that all she feels is “insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing.” Why do you think the author chose to direct that sentiment toward the reader? Are there other places in the novel wherein the protagonist assumes the reader feels the same way she does?9. Examine the scene in which Marianne and Jacob dine with Linda and her husband. Based on what was said, do you think that Marianne had any suspicion about her husband’s affair? Or did Linda’s anxiety about the situation color her perception of Marianne’s words?10. Discussions regarding drug usage in Switzerland occur several times in the book. Before going to meet the drug dealer, Linda notes that the Swiss “both prohibit and tolerate” drugs at the same time (page 116). What does this contradiction say about Swiss culture?11. Adultery is set in Switzerland, and mentions of Swiss culture pepper the narrative. Discuss what you learned about Geneva and Swiss culture. Did anything surprise you? Are there any connections to be made between the discussion of cultural norms in Swiss culture and the protagonist’s actions?12. As her affair progresses, Linda’s actions and thoughts take a darker, more obsessive tone. Did your perception of her change throughout the novel? How did you react to her decision to “destroy” Marianne?13. Adultery is a novel that explores the line between morality and immorality. How does Linda define morality? How does her husband? What actions—if any—would you deem immoral?14.  It could be argued that Adultery is about examining selfhood. How does Linda’s understanding of herself and her desires change by the end of the novel? What does her affair teach her about herself? About her relationship with her husband? Do you think she regrets her affair?15. Discuss the scene in which the protagonist and her husband go paragliding (page 241). How does that experience transform her? Why do you think she cries after she lands?

Editorial Reviews

"Propulsive.... A compelling tale of existential angst, marital betrayal and sexual sin." --The Chicago Tribune