Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Written in 1988, the struggling Brazilian writer could not have imagined what this book would become. He holds the Guinness record for most languages translated by any living author. It is short, only 150 pages, and can easily be read in a couple sittings.

The Alchemist is an allegorical novel that tells of the journey of a boy.  The reader follows Santiago on his quest to find his Personal Legend, or his purpose for life.  The book explains that, as children, we know exactly what we want to do, but through the years, we lose that knowledge and the world succeeds in convincing us to do something else- something less dangerous.

This is a book filled with intrigue and character. You are immediately captivated by Santiago, and the story development never lets go of you.  Paulo Coelho is catholic in background, but he talks of some mystical experiences that might give reason for pause for some. Though, if you take the story as it is- an allegory for life- you will find that there is much truth to be offered and accepted as to how we could live instead of how we so often choose to live.

I highly recommend this book to others; especially if you are struggling to find the courage to follow through with a dream that you have always had, but were never able to muster that first step.


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