The Alchemist [Book Review]

The Alchemist [Book Review]
Hello everyone!
Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Translated by: Alan R. Clarke
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published Date: 1988
Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis: 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 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 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.
Review: The Alchemist was a book I had wanted to
read for a long time… It’s one of those novels you hear so much about, and can
easily forget to read because the recommendations continuously pass you by. But
when I was sick one day, wrapped up in bed, I started to read the novel. I
loved it and read half of the book before I fell asleep. I don’t know why it
took me a few weeks to get back to it again, but then I picked it up and
consumed it until I finished it.
What I loved most about this book was the amount of
wisdom every page held. I felt like whenever I turned the page, I was learning
a different life lesson. There are so many quotes that I highlighted which will
be carried with me for a long while in the future (I hope). If you want to read
something which will help motivate you to achieve your goals, help yourself
believe in who you are again and to remind you about the beauty of humanity and
how we are all, in essence, just people. It made me think about how simple
everything really is, and how humans overcomplicate things. It made me think
about how some things are complicated, and that’s just the way it is. All in
all, this was a very thought-provoking book.
The novels pace is slow and steady. It never lags to me
and gets boring, but it isn’t a fast paced read and that’s because it leans
more on the philosophical and deep side of things than anything else. I liked
the steady pace and it matched all the lessons the main character is learning
throughout the novel.
This is a very character driven read. There isn’t really
much action because it just doesn’t fall under that genre. So be prepared for
that if you’re going to be going into this one. When it comes to the main
character, I did like him. I never felt a deep connection with the character
himself. Mostly because the tale is told in third person and we don’t really
get to know much of his interests and hobbies outside of the ‘quest’ or
‘journey’ he has been given to undertake. But as the novel goes on, you get to
steadily connect to the journey he is going through. And in making a connection
to that, you get to feel a bit for him within that context. So I never felt too
close to the character, but more so everything that was happening to him.
I hope that makes sense.
I felt like this was a perfect translation of the novel.
In fact, I don’t know why I assumed English was the first language that this
novel was written in. It was only when writing this review and researching for
the book details I include at the top of the review, did I notice that this was
actually a translated work. So if translated works usually scare you off
because of worrying about something being lost in translation, you don’t have
to fear that here.
I loved the writing style. The imagery and the
descriptions of everything was beautiful. I felt like I was in the desert right
along with the main character. I liked the descriptions and depictions of all
the various characters he came across.
When discussing this novel with a friend, I learned that
where she came from this novel was looked down on as ‘cheap philosophy’. And
even though I would strongly disagree, I can see where she is coming from. I
guess from a different perspective, the wisdom and life lessons I felt like I
was learning could be labeled so. However, I more so see it as an accessible,
and understandable philosophy. Whenever I read philosophy, it always seems so
over-complicated and I have to spend a lot of time thinking and decoding to
find the true meaning. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s also nice to
have something a bit easier to read and understand as well. While incurring the
same kind of messages from the text.
All in all, I have to say I recommend this one a lot!


Gif Summary:

Quotes: “People
need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and
“When you want something with all your heart, that’s when
you’re closest to the Soul of the World.”
“Everyone has his or her own ways of learning things.”
“Listen to your heart. It knows all things.”
Links: Goodreads and Amazon!


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