The Alchemist

The AlchemistThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Alan R. Clarke
Published by HarperCollins on May 1st 1993
Pages: 197
My Rating: four-stars

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.

This book was on the “always available” list at my library so I grabbed it. I didn’t know anything about it when I started to read it.

After I read the book I saw all the polarizing reviews on Goodreads. There were condemning 1 star reviews and lauding 5 star reviews. I can see why there is such a divide and I think the problem with either side of the review spectrum is they want to apply the book as a blueprint to their lives.

I didn’t read the book as a self-help manual, but just as a story. Santiago’s story is interesting and there are some parts to be inspired by and some parts that are eye-roll worthy. I do see the hints of other stories showing throughout.

Overall I’m glad I read it, and I enjoyed the experience, but I won’t be highlighting and memorizing any passages to apply to my life anytime soon. I get that type of inspiration in other places.

This was book number 27 of 52 for 2017.