Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran + Free Book


The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
First published in America by Alfred A Knopf in 1923.

My 1920s read for my 2017-18 Decade Challenge

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK FREE

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery


How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'The prophet, Almustafa, has lived in the foreign city of Orphalese for 12 years and is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He is stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses topics such as life and the human condition. The book is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

Translated into forty languages and never out of print since its 1923 publication, The Prophet is one of those books that I 'should' have read years ago. I'm not sure if I would have appreciated it so much in my twenties though as I do in my forties. Gibran's name has cropped up relatively frequently in other novels I have read over the past couple of years so I thought it was time to give his writing a try. To be honest, I expected to be underwhelmed, reading as if this was a school-chosen book. I did not expect his words and ideas to be so easily accessible, to feel how relevant this book is to my own life, or to enjoy the gorgeous prose and imagery so much.

The Prophet is essentially a religious book so, as an atheist, I made assumptions before the first page. In reality, while Gibran assumes the existence of God, he does not hammer home any particular faith as 'the true way', but rather addresses various aspects of life - love, work, marriage, food - and has his Prophet offer ideas regarding simple and humane ways of living in harmony with our communities. The simple question and answer structure is concise and effective. I am happy that I will now have a much greater level of understanding when I see Gibran's name dropped elsewhere and I found much food for thought in his philosophy. I can quite see why The Prophet has such widespread appeal. It's a beautiful book.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Khalil Gibran / Philosophy / Books from Lebanon

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