The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist written by Paulo Coelho is a story about dreams, omens, adventure and following your destiny. This novel is considered to be one of the best selling novels of all time. I was a bit unsure about reading this at first because I expected this book to have complicated ideas and thoughts which the author alone can understand. I’m happy to say  I was wrong. The book is so much better than I expected it to be. The story is more like a fable. The ideas are simple and you don’t have to search for what the author intends to say. Its something you can read with a relaxed mind and finish with a good feeling.

The novel follows the life of a Shepard boy named Santiago from Andalusia, who sets out in pursuit of his destiny. After having a recurring dream the boy decides to visit a gypsy woman who tells him that the meaning of the dream is that he will find a treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt. On the suggestion of an old king he decides to sell his sheep and use the money to go to Egypt. He faces obstacles  but finds the strength to follow his chosen path. He learns to find meaning in everyday happenings which other people treat as coincidences. On the way Santiago meets another man on his way to learn the science of Alchemy and learns from him about the everything in this world is connected. The rest of the story follows his journey where he meets new people, falls in love and learns to understand the world through new eyes.

The novel speaks about having the courage to take the risk to achieve what you want and not to give up even when  the the way looks hard. The motto of the novel can be explained in the words used by the Alchemist When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The authour talks about how to achieve success in life through this work of  fiction, so it’s not in any way a boring self-help book that never helps.

Its evident from the number of copies sold that it’s a wonderful book. I believe that a “classic novel “is one that can reach out to its readers with a beautiful message and continue to do so year after year. That is exactly the reason for which I choose this book as my “20th Century Classic” for the ‘Back to Classics Challenge’.

I highly recommend that you give this book a try. I’m sure you will like it.

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11 thoughts on “The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

  1. adrianduque89 says:

    Thanks for sharing! Before I read this post, I had an interest in reading the book but have always declined it because I thought it would be hard to understand. Now I just might give it a try!

  2. ruchi says:

    thanx for the review
    i will definitely try it

  3. Sounds wonderful, will definitely have to pop this on my tbr list, can’t believe I’ve not heard anything about it before!

  4. Danielle says:

    I read this book a couple years ago, and I don’t remember all of the details, but I do remember thoroughly enjoying it. Great review! 🙂

  5. Very interesting… I doctor I used to work with had recommended this to me a couple years ago, but I’ll admit that it scared me a bit. Thanks for reassuring me!

  6. Subhan Zein says:

    I read the book twice, yes, that’s how much I loved it! 🙂 A friend of mine called The Alchemist “lame”, but I totally disagree with her. It’s not grandiloquent as much as Rushdie or Joyce, but surely there are many things to learn from the book. And besides, every writer is different! For me, Coelho stands out.. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

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