Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Alchemist

By: Paulo Coelho

This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of 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 meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is art eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts. (from Goodreads.com)

When you want something, the whole Universe conspires to help you realize your dream.

Santiago, the hero of the novel, already forms part of a select gallery of illustrious characters and leads us through his story to experience a remarkable adventure.

“When I wrote The Alchemist, I was trying to understand the reason for the existence of life. Instead of writing a philosophical treatise, I decided to converse with the child inside my soul.

To my surprise, this child was living inside millions of people around the world. With this book I wanted to share with my readers the questions which, precisely because they don't have an answer, make life a great adventure”. - Paulo Coelho (from Paulocoelho.com)


I loved this book and I can't believe I didn't pick it up sooner. This is one of those great coming of age, personal journal, hero quest kind of books that kind of sucks you in and leaves you wishing you had a quest to go on too. Really enjoyed the main charecter, Santiago, and the way he chooses to follow a dream (literally) in the hopes of finding a treasure. I loved the message that you can succeed at being anything, so long as you are willing to work at it and even when things do not seem to be going your way, they may be working to get you to that end goal, to that destiny. There are religious tones to the story, but it's done in a way that makes you want to believe that there is something bigger out there and not in "preachy" manner. Coelho really takes you on the journey with Santiago and you want him to succeed in finding his treasure.

I think anyone who hasn't read this book should go grab it. It's well worth the read and has a great message.

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