Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

How I Came to Know About This Book: I borrowed it from a friend.

Format of The Book: Paperback

Genre: Philosophy/ Spirituality/ Inspirational.

Length of The Book: 197 pages (Paperback).

A Short Synopsis: The Alchemist follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Santiago, believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, decides to travel to a Romani in a nearby town to discover its meaning. The gypsy tells him that there is a treasure in the Pyramids in Egypt.
Early into his journey, he meets an old king, Melchizedek, who tells him to sell his sheep to travel to Egypt and introduces the idea of a Personal Legend (which is always capitalized in the book). Your Personal Legend "is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is". He adds that "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it". This is the core theme of the book.
Along the way, he encounters love, danger, opportunity, disaster and learns a lot about himself and the ways of the world. During his travels, he meets a beautiful Arabian woman named Fatima, who explains to him that if he follows his heart, he shall find what it is he seeks.
Santiago then encounters a lone alchemist who also teaches him about personal legends. He says that people want to find only the treasure of their personal legends but not the personal legend itself. Santiago feels unsure about himself as he listens to the alchemist's teachings. The alchemist states: "Those who don't understand their personal legends will fail to comprehend its teachings". It also states that treasure is more worthy than gold.(Wikipedia Page).

Characters of The Book: 

  • Santiago
  • Melchizedek
  • The Shopkeeper
  • The Englishman
  • Fatima
  • The Alchemist
  • The Coptic Monk

My Review
"when you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it"

This book has crossed the boundaries of books, and has taken a life of its own, creating a movement all around the globe.

Santiago's journey and spiritual quest, the people he meets, the dreams he has, the omens he encounters, and the nature he speaks to, are all things that we can relate to..things that we've either forgotten about or simply dismissed as childhood fantasies. It is all about finding your Personal Legend and pursuing your dream regardless of any hurdles, and about being spiritually connected to the universe, which is part of us, and part of God. we are all one.

Reading this book always sets me back on the right path towards achieving the dreams I have put on hold. We always try to do what everyone expects of us like pursuing a career that you hate just because that is what everyone does. Recognizing my personal legend, being able to talk to the trees, sky, ants, the core of the earth, the air particles, and to my heart, feeling a deeper spiritual connection with everything/everyone that is around me, feeling God inside me, and not being afraid of failing or facing challenges are just some of the few things this book has given me.

It is maktub that Coelho writes this book, shares it with the world, and affect so many lives. This masterwork is a legend and a precious treasure.


My Reaction: 


  1. Just found you on Book Blogs. I loved the Alchemist, I only wish I could have read it sooner. New follower :)

    1. I love it too. :)
      It was for The Alchemist that I started reading Paulo's books and eventually he turned out to be one of my favourite author.
      And it's beautiful how I discover new things about the story every time I re-read it. I think, no matter how many times I read it, it'll always have a fresh impact on me.
      Thank you for following. :)

  2. Love that quote, Vinny! Grand review! Your follower Mina @ Mina's Bookshelf

    1. That's a beautiful quote indeed, Mina.
      And there are several others in this book.
      If you haven't already read the book, I hope you'll read it soon.
      It's an amazing book.