Book Review – The Alchemist
I finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo over the weekend. I know, I know – where have I been?
I was surprised to see that it was first published in 1988.
The story is about a young Andalusian shepherd, Santiago, who goes in search of his Personal Legend after a series of recurring dreams. Throughout the book, the story is infused with Biblical motifs and allusions, wise sayings and humanity’s search for meaning.
That’s it in a nutshell.
The language is simple, but beautiful. Kudos to Alan C. Clarke for a great translation job!
I can imagine a parent reading this to a child (or children) and everyone getting something out of it. Many times, while reading the book, I stopped and said to my kids, “You have to read this,” or, “We need to read this together.” If everything in this world has a purpose to fulfill, then I think this is the type of story that finds its Personal Legend by being read out loud many times by many people.
Some have criticised it, saying that the language is too simple and the plot too formulaic. They have a point, but simplicity is sometimes the best way to put forward deep ideas and, if a formula works, why mess with it?
Wonderful book and highly recommended!
(I started this right after Trusting Doubt, so it felt weird at times, but still very beautiful.)