Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

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Veronica Decides to Die
by Paulo Coelho
Do you value your life? Do you accept it for what it is? Do you think you have done anything in your life, and don't know what to do more? Paulo Coelho has the answer for it.

Veronica decides to die - Paulo Coelho bestseller

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho is something more than a mere psychological thriller. It touches the conscience, and directs the thoughts and concepts of humans about their life. It has a profound influence on human race especially on the generation titled as “New Generation”; bearing a fragile mind in their sound body. When life fails to bring in home the colors, merry and jubilation which the young people of today expect, they readily reach at a conclusion that their life is boring and leading a life of this sort is completely absurd. They are living in the world of technology where everything is at their finger tip. The role of science and technology in the human life has shifted the entire concept about human beings and human life.

Of course, Veronica Decides to Die won't show you what to do with your life, but will show you why you should value it, why there is always something to it that you haven't explored, a Gem...

As morbid and depressing as the title seems, this Coelho book takes the usual turn for understanding of the universe and an inspiration for readers to strive not to settle into the kind of routine they don’t wish to be in.

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything she could wish for—: youth and beauty, pleny of attractive boyfriends, a fulfilling job, and a loving family. Yet something is lacking in her life. Inside her is a void so deep that nothing could possibly ever fill it. So, on the morning of November 11, 1997, Veronika decides to die. She takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up .

Naturally Veronika is stunned when she does wake up— at Villete, a local mental hospital, where the staff informs her that she has, in fact, partially succeeded in achieving her goal. While the overdose didn't kill Veronika immediately, the medication has damaged her heart so severely that she has only days to live.


Fantastic read! Awesome! I could not put the book down!

“Veronika Decides to Die” – just read the title again….decides to die…
How many times have you said to yourself, at least I have, “Ahh…I don’t care, I don’t really want to live anymore”, without even thinking about the meaning of it.

So Veronika said the same thing and decided to do something about it. Why?
Nothing bad had happened to Veronika, she was beautiful, had a regular life…very ordinary though ... but normal
She decided that it was not exciting enough, and decided to die!
But her suicide attempt didn’t succeed and she ended up in the mental hospital. The pills ruined her heart and she had one more week to live before she dies – or so she was told.

"An awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely." Having only week to live, Veronika re-discovers herself sexually and emotionally, falls in love, and starts having this eagerness to live.

In addition, her suicide touched lives of other people in the mental hospital, who started cherish every day of their lives.

"Basically everything that happens in our life is our fault, and our fault alone."

So when the next time you say to yourself, “Ahh…I don’t care, I don’t really want to live anymore” - think twice.

2014 Update:
I re-read this book this year for my book club... 6 years since I read it first. I agree with all points after my first read but want to add some additional points on issues that Coelho discusses:

- Conformity, society norms and its danger
- Madness/insanity and what they really mean within the chains of society norms; how society norms varies from culture to culture, and how personal individuality can be affected by these “norms”
- Death and life and how knowing that death is imminent changes your perception of life: you start appreciating every moment and allow yourself to express yourself
- The book discusses other characters, Mari, Zedka, and Eduard. They were hiding inside the walls of Vilette because they were trying to escape the real world due to similar reasons related to to not being understood by their families and society. Vilette’s environment created a shield from the real world, “society”, and allowed these “insane” people to express themselves and behave the way they want without criticism. At the end… Veronika’s suicide affects them profoundly awakening in them a desire to live outside of Vilette’s walls and also making them to realize that Vilette is just another form of controlled society with its own rules and acceptance. And that at the end the true happiness lies in our own desire and believe, in our own acceptance and willingness to remove any boundaries and allow ourselves to live to the fullest, and be happy!

At about 50 pages in, it's a little frightening how much I've identified with Veronika thus far, how much I understand her rationale for wanting to die. She can only see one path unfolding for herself, and it's one she can't stomach. I get that. But unlike Veronika I haven't given up hope that my path may yet fork off in unexpected and exciting directions.

I also read and think there must be a certain kind of comfort in going truly insane. Not this garden-variety neurosis I experience, but really, disconnected-from-reality insane. We're so frightened of the idea of insanity, of not knowing what's going on around us or not being able to distinguish truth from fantasy, but what would it be like to live it? There's a part of me that thinks maybe it would be just a little liberating, and I can understand why the Fraternity (?) wants to stay in the asylum instead of returning to the world outside.


I'm settled in to read. It's drizzling rain and the sky outside is a deep, melancholy gray. I've got pillows stacked up on the couch, the cat languorously swishing his tail as he gazes out the window, and a cup of chocolate truffle coffee on the little rolling cart we use for a coffee table. Angelo Badalementi's haunting soundtrack music from Twin Peaks pours from the tinny speakers on my laptop. It's kind of a perfect day.

I just came across this passage.


The doctors said that a recently discovered substance, serotonin, was one of the compounds responsible for how human beings felt. A lack of serotonin impaired one's capacity to concentrate at work, to sleep, to eat, and to enjoy life's pleasures. When this substance was completely absent, the person experienced despair, pessimism, a sense of futility, terrible tiredness, anxiety, difficulties in making decisions, and would end up sinking into a permanent gloom, which would lead either to complete apathy or suicide.


In Zedka's case, however, the reasons were simpler than anyone suspected: there was a man hidden in her past, or rather, the fantasy she had built up about a man she had known a long time ago.

Oh, Zedka, I suspect many of us can trace the roots of depression to the fantasy of a man (or woman) hidden in our pasts.

I'm now eager to read on and discover Zedka's story.

The impossible love. The refusal to believe the impossible love is impossible. Hope itself can be a sort of madness sometimes, when it's false, when we allow it to consume us rather than uplift. Yes. I know this.

Now back to Veronika, and, holy shit, I could just as well be reading my own journal.

She had overcome her minor defects only to be defeated by matters of fundamental importance. She had managed to appear utterly independent when she was, in fact, desperately in need of company. ... She gave all her friends the impression that she was a woman to be envied, and she expended most of her energy in trying to behave in accordance with the image she had created of herself.

Because of that she had never had enough energy to be herself, a person who, like everyone in the world, needed other people in order to be happy. But other people were so difficult. They reacted in unpredictable ways, they surrounded themselves with defensive walls, they behaved just as she did, pretending they didn't care about anything. ...

She might have impressed a lot of people with her strength and determination, but where had it left her? In the void. Utterly alone.

I suspect Veronika soon will learn she's not quite as alone as she thinks. God, I hope so.

Also? I think I have to stop reproducing passages from this book or I'll end up quoting the whole damn thing.

Dr. Igor? The psychiatrist? Quite possibly the craziest character in the book. He's laughably absurd. I loved the interchange between him and Veronika's mother -- the jumping back and forth between points-of-view and the mother's puzzlement at the things Igor was saying.

Oh. Here's another snippet.

"Haven't you learned anything, not even with the approach of death? Stop thinking all the time that you're in the way, that you're bothering the person next to you. If people don't like it, they can complain. And if they don't have the courage to complain, that's their problem."

The supposedly insane people in this novel are all ones who are challenging and rejecting these unspoken rules we all live by, that hold us down and hold us back. These ideas that we should follow certain expected paths and behave in certain ways and suppress our true selves. These lunatics are calling bullshit on society, and it's wonderful.


And now I'm done, and I feel like I've gone on a journey with this book and come out the other side much like Veronika, Mari, Eduard and Zedka -- ready to embrace my life and my capacity for love.


1 comment:

  1. wow holy sh, thanks, i can even read it online...... thank yooouuuu