The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★ (maybe 3?)
Coelho’s The Alchemist follows a boy named Santiago in his journey to fulfill his Personal Legend (which is basically his “Destiny”). Throughout his journey he meets new people, loses his money, learns new things, and falls in love. While it starts as a journey for material riches, the novel becomes more of a discovery of wisdom and the richness within.
I finished The Alchemist in September and am posting this review in November because I am having such a difficult time reviewing it. Did I like the story? Yes. Is it a valuable story? Yes, but is it one that needs to be told? It’s kind of obvious, but at the same time telling this story with such simplicity is partly what makes it so beautiful.
I really enjoyed this short novel. It was super easy to get through and the story was undeniably uplifting. In the beginning of the novel the boy is alone with his sheep. He travels to different villages but doesn’t have a home. He dreams of finding a treasure at the great pyramids in Egypt and makes the decision to sell his sheep to go after his dreams. After many obstacles and with the constant desire to give up, the boy perseveres and meets the Alchemist whom he learns many valuable things from.
“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”
“Every second of the search is an encounter with God. When I have been searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I’ve known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”
Overall this short novel was a fast read that left me thinking about the value of pursuing one’s dreams and not abandoning them because of hardships.