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  • Writer's pictureChrissy's Books

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

Rating- 8/10

I’ve always heard about this book from various people since it was like mega famous back in the day, but never actually knew what it was about. When I saw it in my mom’s handbag I knew I had to read it simply because it was available to me. Turns out she started reading this book in June and she’s barely halfway through, it’s December now, well basically 2019 in a minute and she still hasn’t finished it. I borrowed it and read it in 4 hours. Jus sayin...finish the book mom.

Anywhoodles, The Alchemist, by the very well known Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho, is a novel about a young shepherd on his journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream about finding his treasure. The young shepherd’s name is Santiago, early in his journey, he meets an old king who tells him to sell his sheep so he can make his trip to the pyramids. The old king also introduces this idea of a Personal Legend. Your Personal Legend is what you’ve always wanted to accomplish in life, and when everyone is young, they know what their Personal Legend is. The story shapes form with Santiago going on this epic journey in search of his Personal Legend as well as his treasure that is awaiting him at the pyramids of Egypt. Along the way onto this unpredictable journey, Santiago also meets an Englishman, who has come from far and wide in search of an alchemist, and continues his travels with his new companion’s company. Later on, Santiago encounters the famous alchemist and together they have this crazy journey in the desert where Santiago discovers a lot about himself, and life and what our purpose is in this life where he eventually reaches the pyramids of Egypt to hopefully ‘find his treasure’. Don’t want to be a spoiler, so I’ll leave the plot at that.

I actually wasn’t expecting this book to be as spiritual as it was, I was expecting more of a adventure story, it was interesting to read. I would say the main theme of this book is to sort of find your own destiny in life and the journeys one must partake to do so. I actually kinda dug the whole "Personal Legend" theme too. I thought that was kinda cool. It’s quite a good ‘self help’, ‘feel good’ book. You definitely felt warm and enlightened inside after finishing it. I knew quite a bit about this author, in terms of how big he is. This book was a huge bestseller in the 90s, everyone from Madonna and President Clinton were reading it, so I can defo see what all the hype was about. Even though it’s quite a spiritual book, what I liked about it is that you can take what you want out of it, there are many good elements that you can take away from it. Even if you don’t agree with most of the things the author is writing about, or if your not particularly religious, it’s still worth a read. Also it was a very quick and easy read. Very gripping in a sense of I wanted to know what Santiago was up to! Which is always good to have in a book. Apparently, it only took Coehlo 2 weeks to write this book!! Crazy eh? He said the book was “already written in [his] soul” Wild.

Personally, I enjoyed this book, at times it almost felt like I was reading a children’s book, or the bible. Lol but once you got over that it definitely picked up towards the middle and I simply was enjoying the story and the whole ‘Personal Legend’ stuff. It had some pretty epic lines too!

See below;

The alchemist to Santiago;

“You already know about alchemy. It is about penetrating to the Soul of the World, and discovering the treasure that has been reserved for you”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

This book is about following your dream, the risks you have to take to do so, searching for what makes you happy, and finding your own purpose in life. As a feminist, I definitely did not agree with the way this book portrays women, but I tried to overlook that and focus on the story itself. Some may find it a tad cheesy, and sort of old school and preachy, but if you are into spiritual books, philosophy, self help books, or even adventure books then defo read this classic gem. It is after all an international best seller! I liked it.

To purchase on Amazon Books, CLICK HERE

To purchase on Book Depository, CLICK HERE

Genre; Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Classics, Philosophy

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