Veronika Decide Morrer (engl. Veronika Decides to Die) | Paulo Coelho

This book makes me decide to die

After a failed suicide attempt Veronika is put into a mental hospital for supervision. But she won't be there long as doctors predict her damaged heart to fail within seven days.

After that everything goes downhill. Not for Veronika, but for the reader. Every character in the mental hospital gets a monologue where they lecture Veronika—and the reader!—about madness and sanity, and what it means to lead a good life. These page long rants never say anything actually profound, instead sticking to banalities like “Life ain't so bad” and “Maybe the so-called sane people are actually the mad ones. You ever thought about that?”

Anyone who has thought about the meaning and value of life for more than two seconds will have already generated more insight than this book could ever inspire. Also, anyone who has ever struggled with actual mental health issues will be appalled by its flat depiction in this book.

Apart from the subject matter the plot is also lacking in depth. Events in the story don't seem to follow naturally from each other and instead seem only to serve the didactic mission of the author. Characters are introduced only to monologue about their perspective and then take a backseat in the story. The ending is an unbelievable twist (as in I did not believe it) where the smugness and self-satisfaction of the author drips from in between the lines.

I derived no pleasure from reading this and felt patronized and not the least bit enriched after finishing this book.

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