The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

the_alchemist2“The Alchemist” was recommended to me a few years ago but I never got to it. This year it was my book club’s selection and I was thrilled to get to it. Our book club had varied opinions about the book and most of them viewed it the same way I did.

The book is an average read considering the fable like fashion in which it was written. The beginning was captivating and had the promises of an exciting, interesting self-help book (maybe even more). The story is of a shepherd who lives a simple life; taking care of his sheep and selling their fleece to fulfill his basic needs. He is deeply infatuated with the daughter of a businessman in the nearby town and is excited to meet her again this year in the pretext of selling the fleece. This is when he starts dreaming of a treasure. The gypsy woman he meets tells him that he will get his treasure but he will have to share 10% of it with him. An old king, gives him direction and teaches him how to read omens in exchange for 10% of his sheep. His travel from there on gets interesting, he loses his money, works for year at a crystal shop and then starts his journey again. This is when he meets the Alchemist who can transmute common metal into gold; can change into wind and has great wisdom. The Alchemist helps him to get to his treasure literally through a vast desert (numerous hardships).

The book was poorly written. It did have a lot of interesting lessons that were shared at various phases of his journey but not one of them gave me the ‘ah-ha’ feeling. Instances like when he turned himself into the wind annoyed me as there appeared to be a big disconnect between the reality in the beginning of the book and the magic / fantasy afterwards. In spite of the numerous flaws; the message was clear (at least to me) in that if you have a goal and are determined to reach it; the whole world will conspire in your favor. So yes, “The Alchemist” was mildly inspirational not in a spiritual or self-help kind of way; but in a more subtle “read between the lines” way.

3 smiley faces is all it gets
HappyFaceHappyFaceHappyFace


 

kavyen

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3 Responses

  1. […] The Alchemist by Paul Coelho2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. […]

  2. Kavie

    This book is a translation, you have to pardon simplicty or discontinuity which shows up in writing when translated.

    Language apart, to write up that plot, on has to be extremely knowledgeable, even spritual and must have great capabilty to express immense knowledge in simple language.

    I give it a like on my fb profile which no other book has got (others dont have fb pages).

    Yush

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