Monday, 24 February 2014

"The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho - Review

Share it Please
Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paul Coelho
First Published: 1988
Original Language: Portugese

Publisher: Harper San Francisco
Pages: 197 (including bookclub guide, interview etc.)   
Genere: Adventure/Bildungsroman

"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better." - The Seer

The Andalusian sheperd boy Satiago dreams of a treasure that lies under the great pyramids. A man who claims to be the king of Salomon gives him two stones that should tell his faith and advises him to follow his personal legend, his destiny. The next day the boy sells all his sheep and sets out from Spain to Egypt to find his treasure. On his way he encounters an Englishman, his true love, a few thieves and an alchemist who teaches him that everything on this world is the same and everyhing speaks one language, the "language of the world".

My father recommended this book to me and since this book is pretty short, only abou170 pages actual story, I decided to squeeze it into the last two days of January (that worked pretty well).

 First off, the writing style in this book is very peculiar, not like something that was planned out and constructed, but rather like Coelho had just written down a story or rather a legend he had heard, that was already passed on for quite a while orally. Quite something else.

Another thing I found rather uncommon is that it, isn't really about the story so much but about the lessons Santiago draws and which you can also draw from it. It is a very wise book and it teaches you to follow your dream and listen to your heart and that you will always be happier doing that than doing what your mind thinks is best for you. Aside from that, it teaches to be observant, to not be afraid of new experiences. It teaches that you will have to make sacrifices for your dream but in the end it will always be worth it.

For me, it held a personal meaning; right in the beginning, the king tells a story about a baker in town. He always had the desire to travel but decided it would be better to start a family and build enough fortune first. He lived like this until he was an old man, then spent a month in Africa and that month was the happiest in his live. 
At the moment I'm in my last two years of school and I slowly need to decide what I want to do in my life. The first time I flew in a plane I was six months old and through many travels in my childhood I was practically raised into perpetual wanderlust. I was planning on becoming a teacher, a professor or do researching and I'd really love to do that now I know I can't. I need to see the world or I won't be happy. Now I'm opting on first studying (with plenty of semesters abroad) and then applying for foreign service as plan A, so I can work in many different countries and travel around and see new things and stuff.

A very wise book that isn't so much about the plot but about following you dreams which will probably give you the desire to travel and explore. It is thought provoking and probably not the right thing if you just want to wash over something but otherwise I liked it and would recommend.
Rating: 4/5 

Buy on Barnes and Noble / Waterstones / Hugendubel

No comments:

Post a Comment


Follow The Author