The Fifth Mountain

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The Fifth Mountain
Author Paulo Coelho
Original title O Monte Cinco
Country Brazil
Language Portuguese
Genre Love, Mystery, Spiritual
Publication date

The Fifth Mountain (Portuguese: O Monte Cinco) 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 (1 Kings chapters 17-19). The focus is on Elijah's time in Zarephath (in this book named Akbar). 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 (said to be the dwelling place of Baal), 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.

Plot summary[edit]

For a considerable portion of the story Elijah is very compliant, obeying everything God's angels say. Eventually he realizes that his destiny is not being chosen by him but by God and ultimately, he decides to abide by his own desires and will. In this way Coelho suggests that Elijah was able to reach an ultimate level of spiritual awareness and have the most powerful relationship with God.


The Fifth Mountain has sold its rights to 33 languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish and Turkish.[1] Additionally, a Vietnamese translation by Ngan Xuyen was published in 2004.[2]


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  2. ^ Lê Chu Cà̂u; Ngân Xuyên (2004). Nhà giả kim. Ngọn núi thứ năm. (Tiẻ̂u thuyé̂t). Hà Nội: Nhà xuá̂t bản Công anh nhân dân. OCLC 61727110.