The Fifth Mountain

by Paulo Coelho
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The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho was published in 1996 and was his fourth major publication.
The story is based on the story of Elijah from the Hebrew Bible. The focus is on Elijah's time in Zarephath. Much has been added to the simple Bible story by Coelho, including Elijah witnessing the sacking of Akbar by the Assyrians, Elijah's journey up the Fifth Mountain itself, and Elijah's falling in love with the widow to whom God sent him.
This story may be considered religious in focus, despite a strong focus on the theme of rebellion against God. In this book, Coelho has explored the manner in which the prophetic questioning of authority, rebellion and liberation, and 'thinking for oneself' are important in one's relationship with God and one's life work.
At the same time the novel is a powerful metaphor of human self-confidence and strong desire for self-fulfillment by helping other humans. The protagonist finds ultimately the strength to overcome all misfortunes in himself - in his deeply human desire to help the others and to be creative. And he finds out that God is in his own heart.

First Published


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