Book Review: The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho

This book settled into quite a comfy niche on my bookshelf before I actually got around to reading it, which is sort of ridiculous considering how short it is. Seriously quick read. It felt more like a parable than a novel.

Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd sets off on a quest to find treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. He stumbles upon a hidden king, a beautiful desert woman, a crystal store, and an alchemist. These people help him continue his journey to the treasure, but it’s not without obstacles. Santiago listens to the world and his heart and follows his dreams to complete his quest.

So, I’ve confessed my back-logged list of books to review, and this is one of them. I read it a couple weeks ago. Cue the tomato throwing. But, the thing is, I remember this book very clearly because it was beautiful and during the time I spent reading it I had quotes running up and down my arm. Do you know the weird thing, though? I can only vaguely remember the ending; I can’t even tell you what the treasure is or isn’t. The beauty of this book, fortunately, lies in the cliche: it’s about the journey, not the destination.

If you ever need a quotable book, it’s this one. There’s so man beautiful lines and philosophical questions that caused me to stop reading and seriously think about the topic.

There’s two ways to read this book. You can read it very literally– a poor, young shepherd goes on a long journey to find treasure, meeting interesting characters and having mini adventures along the way. Or you can read it metaphorically. You can read about the magic and secret of happiness and listening to your heart and the universe and take a step back and look at your own life. I decided to read it as more of a lesson, and it has definitely resided in me.

The writing style is simplistic and focusing on the content of the words rather than the syntax. Basically anyone could read it and understand the basis. It’s short and sweet and to the point and emphasizes the main themes.

When I was reading it, I had quotes lining my arms and smearing into my skin. Every other page held another little bit of wisdom.

The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never forget about the drops of oil on the spoon.

I don’t think there’s much else to say on the book. The length and style are easy, the themes are deep, and the content is gorgeous. I don’t have any major issues with the story or the characters or the book in general. And I obviously recommend it!

5 Stars

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One thought on “Book Review: The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho

  1. Pingback: Monthly Wrap Up: Free from February | Stealing Pages

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