Book: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 3.5/5

The Alchemist-Paulo Coelho

The novel unfolds by telling the story of a carefree shepherd boy named Santiago. Santiago sees a dream in which a boy tells him to seek a treasure hidden in the foothills of the pyramids in Egypt. To interpret the dream, Santiago consults a gypsy and is told that the dream is in the language of the world and that he must set out to find the treasure. Though Santiago ignores the gypsy’s words, he sees a recurrent dream in which an old man speaks to him regarding the treasure and tells Santiago that discovering one’s true purpose is a person’s only real obligation in this world. This time the boy takes his dream seriously and sets out for Egypt. Santiago’s journey is met with a lot of obstacles and trials, and at a point he even decides not to pursue the treasure anymore and return home. There is a fear of failure in Santiago that he might never be able to find the treasure, but during his journey he has learned to listen to his heart and believes that when you truly want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true. He continues his journey further, where he meets all kinds of people, learns a different language and even finds the love of his life. As the novel winds up Santiago finds out that the treasure isn’t what or where he thought it was but was    definitely something much more greater than he had ever imagined.

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Social/Historical context:

Though the beginning of the plot is set in Spain, the major part of the story takes place in the northern deserts of Africa. The story takes us through different cultures and beliefs. Characters in the story are superstitious and believe in omens and predict the future upon their occurrence.

 

Writing Style:

Paulo Coelho’s writing style in The Alchemist is allegorical and has used a third person mode of narration. The novel is basically a symbolic parable emphasizing on the importance following one's dreams. As in many of Paulo Coelho’s other books, this novel also has an element of philosophy and mysticism in it.

My Thoughts:

The alchemist is an enticing and inspiring novel filled with optimism. The novel instills in us a belief that anything is possible if only you could have the courage to believe in your dreams and pursue it. All of us can identify with Santiago because all of us have dreams and would have had momentary fears of failing to achieving them. I personally feel you have to be in a reflective mood to enjoy the book. If you are feeling cynical or expecting too much, you might not like it. Moreover the story has so many different layers and depths to it, that you might not get a full grasp of the book in the first read itself. All the same, the Alchemist is a combination of philosophy and wisdom making it on the whole an inspiring read.

Book Reviewed by Hala Hassan

The Alchemist-Paulo Coelho-Review#1

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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definitely Not rated yet
When my business coach asked me to read alchemist, i thought to myself; not another motivational book on how to chase one's dreams and become a millionaire …

yes Not rated yet
The book has inspired to me to write again, to compile previously written materials into my first fiction project. And to try to incorporate some of his …

Definetely Not rated yet
The book was not what I had expected at all. It showed me that everyone has their own personal legend and even though we dont see it or pursuit it, everyone …

definitely  Not rated yet
It made me see that everyone has a personal legend and even if we will not see it or pursuit the same was the young Shepard did we still have a purpose(personal …

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