Sunday, April 29, 2012

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Hi readers!

I've fallen behind on my reviews (which I only noticed when realizing the stack of books on my desk is starting to take over), so I'll knock a few out over the next couple of days.

Am I the only one in the world who hasn't yet read The Alchemist? I know the book is a big deal, but I honestly hadn't even heard of it until I went away to college. I good friend of mine had read it in high school and insisted I read it. The description sounded interesting enough, but I didn't actually order the book until five years later, which was last summer.

So, I ordered this in my rather large July B&N online booksale haul. It's been sitting on my shelf ever since. I've picked it up a few times, toted it along with me as a second book on trips, etc., but never made it a priority to read. After finishing Three to Get Deadly, I did my random Goodreads search to determine my next book. It was The Alchemist, so I finally cornered myself into reading it.

For those of you who haven't had the book recommended to you, here's what Goodreads says it's all about:

PAULO COELHO'S enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring 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 in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom points 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 discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

Translated from Portuguese, The Alchemist describes a story of a young shepherd trying to find a treasure. Along the journey, he meets several interesting people. Some people rob him and others nurture him and help him along the way. Ultimately, Santiago wonders if the journey is worth it; after all, he is unclear as to what the treasure may be. In spite of these doubts, he presses on, with the help of the characters he meets.

The novel is ultimately about self-discovery and achieving one's dreams. It's an excellent read regardless of age. The 167-page novel forces the tale to be a quick-paced, exciting read. If you haven't read this already, I highly recommend you do.

Here's where The Alchemist puts me in my page goal:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 167
2012 Reading Goal: 7,669/15,000

1 comment:

  1. I have heard really good things about this. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it so much and I love a quick-paced exciting read! Lovely review!


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