Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Author: Paulo Coelho
My Rating: 4/5
My Favourite Quote: “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
The Alchemist is a book I have almost bought many times, but each time I hesitated and placed it back on the shelf. A few weeks ago I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy it and I’m glad I did. This book is quite unlike anything I have every read, as it reads more like poetry than a novel.
This story is essentially a fable encouraging following one’s heart and dreams, which is a sentiment I think everyone can enjoy. I think that this moral is done well as there were many moments where I paused in my reading to reflect on the writing. In addition to this, there are so many lovely quotes throughout this novel that I will stick with me.
This is a book to read if you are looking to reflect on personal dreams, or if you are in the mood for a charming tale. I also have to mention that the edition that I picked up is a 25th anniversary book and every few pages there are small illustrations which I really appreciated. I thought that added so much charm and magic to the story, but I’m unsure if every edition will have these.
The writing is beautiful and very simple, though as this book is a translation I can’t help but wonder if some of the prose or nuances of language were lost. This would be my one critique as it was the only real thing that removed me from the story, though it very well could have been a stylistic choice rather than an issue with translation.
After I finished this book I took a look at some other reviews and it seems as though The Alchemist is a very divisive book. People really seem to either love it or hate it. I think that this might be a problem of expectations. I personally think if you start reading this book knowing what it is, a poetic fable, rather than a more standard narrative you will enjoy it.
Overall, I thought this was a lovely book and I would recommend it.
If anyone else has read it too I’d love to hear your thoughts!