The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho




Goodread Description:

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.






My Thoughts:

***2 stars***

The Alchemist was recommended to me by a friend, who had been put on to it by another friend, who thought it was magic. This book will change our lives… apparently. Well, my friend hasn’t finished it yet, and I can see why.

I actually feel like I should give this 2 ratings/reviews.One based on its feel good quality, because that’s probably why people pass it on to friends. You read this book and it makes you feel fantastic, the entire universe cares about you, the universe cares about your dreams, wants you to chase them, and will help you achieve them. I should have read this in high school! The morals on the surface are pretty sound, if you want to achieve something, go for it. There will be obstacles in the way, that’s life. There are other cultures out there well worth experiencing, travel. So yeah, 5 stars for making people feel good, and think about their own lives.

Two based on the idea that this is somehow meant to show us how to live. You know, ‘The transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts’ easy on the cheese please!

Spoiler: The boy in this book has no real responsibility, so it makes sense that he could get up and leave on a whim. But what about people with responsibilities? Are parents or carers losers for not abandoning their loved ones in search of their personal legends?

On his journey he meets a girl he falls for (based solely on her looks), she seems to want him too. Now, apparently the role of women in this world is to sit and wait while men go to follow their dreams. No. Nope. Not for me, thanks. With absolutely no timescale on his return, she is meant to wait blindly till he comes back for her? What if he meets someone else along these travels? Afterall he actually ‘loved’ a different girl while he was home. Forget it mate. The women in this story don’t have their own personal legends, they can apparently only be part of a mans! Even though the minerals, like copper, have personal legends. Yeah, that’s not OK.

Spoiler: The boy is working towards finding his treasure. I kind of hoped the treasures would end up not including any material possessions. But it did, and he found it. Suggesting that all you have to do is work towards one massive jackpot, your big break,  like winning the x-factor or something. When in reality, much of life’s successes are built over time, with hard work and perseverance. This wouldn’t be such a problem if this was just a story, but The Alchemist to me is marketed as a sort of self-help, this is the way to live your life book. It’s suggested that by following your dream (whatever it may be) you’ll actually make the world a better place… but in reality, just because you have a dream doesn’t make it good and worth chasing, I mean, some people have awful dreams! Sometimes your heart is wrong, your brain needs to step in, ask you to use logic, sit down and shut up. Sometimes you have doubts, and they are well founded, refusing to self-doubt can be problematic and breeds ignorance.

This book basically tells you to be selfish, to do exactly what you want, regardless of who you might hurt or leave behind. That money is in fact the treasure we all seek, not love, not family, just gold that we didn’t particularly earn.

Basically, if this is read to be some sort of life mantra… maybe think twice about it. Otherwise its a cute story of a boy who followed his heart back home.

Happy Reading ❤

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