Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Title: The Alchemist, 25th Anniversary Edition
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: HarperOne, 2014
Edition: Paperback, 171 pages



Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring 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 near 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 in his path. 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.



I’ve been hearing so much about Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist for so many years and finally got a copy to read it. And I’m not going to lie – it kind of let me down. I’m not sure if it’s because my expectations were too high or the story itself just didn’t connect with me.

The story follows Santiago as he goes on his adventures to find treasure. And along the way, he discovers his Personal Legend. According to this, once you know what your Personal Legend is, the universe conspires to help you reach and achieve your Personal Legend.

Which is all nice and special. Truly, the idea that we all have personal dreams and aspirations. And how if we only work to achieve it, it will happen. And while there is a certain beauty to that simplistic idea, I’m not sure I buy into that idea that it can be so simple.


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