Monday, August 15, 2011

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Reading Hammock’s Rating:
5 out of 5
Fiction Genre:
Literary Fiction
Paulo Coelho
Author Website:
Publication Date:
April, 1993
Paperback | Hardcover | Digital | Audio


           Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world, and this tenth anniversary edition, with a new introduction from the author, will only increase that following. 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 treasures 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 review:

            I would recommend The Alchemist to readers who love old fables, retold from a modern perspective.  Someone who enjoys listening to the author’s hidden meanings might also find this novel interesting.  I not only enjoyed Coelho’s whimsical plot, containing alchemists, magic, and realistic situations, but also appreciated the life lessons he weaved into Santiago’s journey.  This is one of the few books that affected my life in a greater way and after finishing the story, Coelho’s poetic quotes refined my perspective of life as an ongoing adventure.

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