Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genres: Quest, Adventure fiction, Fantasy literature
Publication date: Published May 1st 1993
Number of pages: 197 pages
The boy’s name is Santiago. Raised to be a priest, he aspired to travel the world. He thus chose to become a shepherd and lived his days realizing his desire. He travels from his homeland to the Egyptian desert to fulfill his “personal legend”. During his journey he meets an old woman, a king, the Alchemist and each of them guide him towards his treasure. He is faced with a series of obstacles, both personal and physical, that threaten to put a stop to his voyage. Would he be able to surmount them? Would he be able trade the familiarity of his homelands to travel the unknown plains of the Egyptian desert? What begins as a journey to uncover unimaginable riches quickly turns into a soul searching, life changing voyage. This is a book about finding ones destiny and following our heart.
To all the Dreamers,
This is a book for you. An absolute page-turner. A life changing read. This author was recommended to me by a close friend and he had said that Paulo Coelho’s books are the kind of books that alters your way of living and places a mark on your world. I must admit that I was at first hesitant to try the book out but now that I have my only regret is not having had read it sooner. This is not your conventional book but readers, please, do not let that dissuade you. Everything about this read will be worth it. I cannot even begin to express how much of an impact this has had on me.
I am very much aware that this book might not be to everyone’s liking and that different people will have varying ways of interpreting this story. Here is a tip to grasping the essence of this novel. Pay particular attention to the conversations between the boy and his confidantes. Most of them convey a powerful message that needs to be reckoned with.
I had to read this book twice before I wrote this review and I plan to read it again. This was not because I did not understand the content and had to give it another go. Oh no. It is simply because I wanted to grasp every single message conveyed by this novel. I wanted to ensure that I didn’t miss out on anything and also because it is an absolutely inspirational read. It moved me; not in the manner at which a sappy, tear-jerking romance novel would normally move me but instead this urged me forward. It reignited that burning desire to keep persevering towards my aim. It very much reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place.
Told from a third person limited perspective (through one characters perspective), the author narrates the journey of the boy, Santiago. His journey in many ways reflects our journey through life and towards achieving our purpose which is why many people would be able to connect and relate to the story. The writing method and vocabulary is quite simple and modern so any Dick, Tom or Harry can get through this book without difficulty. While scrolling through the reviews of this book I found that it got quite a bit of negative feed backs and I cannot fathom why. I loved it. Absolutely and utterly loved it. Now this is a book that I’m going to be bringing with me to university. Books like this are the reason why I read in the first place. While a good book to lose one’s self in is satisfying, reading a book that changes you and widens your vision is entirely fulfilling.
I was thinking of ways to balance out this review because hey, I’ve mentioned a bucket load of positives and no negatives but I cannot find it in me to negatively criticize this. Here’s something that must be noted though. The characters are not very well developed. Many of them do not have names and we are not given a background or an insight into their character but I believe that this was done for a reason. We as readers are not meant to focus on the characterization of each character but instead are to focus on the message being conveyed by the author. By not formulating distinctive characters we are saved from forming attachments and losing sight of the fables’ moral. I think that this aspect of the novel was brilliantly thought out. Well this is hands down a brilliant novel. I fear that my review does not do this book enough justice. You must give this a chance. Prepare to have your life set into focus. Enjoy my dear readers.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”