The Alchemist Review
The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.
Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." --Gail Hudson
- Courtesy of Amazon.com
My Personal Review:
The Alchemist is cleverly written for all ages to read, enjoy and benefit from. It is especially enjoyable and useful if you're at a confused point in your life as it provides a sense of hope. It is constructed as a combination of both an adventurous novel and a motivational tale made to inspire readers. The breath taking journey Santiago experiences, is not entirely to entertain but to reveal a concealed message.
The Alchemist is like a simple, motivational, yet exciting novel that bursts with optimism; it is the kind of novel that tells you that everything is possible as long as you really want it to happen. The main message I guess that is transmitted to readers is that "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true". This is the core of the novel's philosophy and a motif that echoes behind Coelho's writing all through The Alchemist.
Overall The Alchemist itself is written in a brilliant manner which through Paulo’s effective writing techniques, is able to capture readers and hurl them to another world where they experience Santiago’s journey as if it were their own.
In tone, the book vaguely evokes Kahlil Gibran's ‘The Prophet’ but without being neither nearly as directly meaningful nor as poetic. Regardless of how fine the book is written, I personally do not think the book was as inspiring as it was intended to be. As a reader, I did not feel the motivational force that Paulo anticipated to present. The Alchemist seemed to revolve more around the actual journey that was taking place instead of highlighting the importance of people sticking to their goals (or dreams) and striving to achieve them.
As a short novel, I think the book is wonderful. The journey contains aspects of motivation and inspires readers to a certain level. However, if looking for a book that is more revolved about being encouraging and inspiring, then this might not be the one for you.
Mark Machaalani is the founder of the best online Self Help website. Mark has an ardent interest in Self Help and Personal Development and aids people all over the globe through personal and private self help coaching at no cost at all. Mark can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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