Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Alchemist

The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho 


Paperback, 167 pages
Published on:  May 1st 1993 (first published 1988)
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0061122416

The Alchemist
 Blurb:  The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.

"Big things come in small packages" - this is how The Alchemist can be defined in a sentence. From the bestselling author of The Zahir and Eleven Minutes, this is a novel that will cast a spell on you as you go on reading every single line. I feel privileged that I got to write the review of this book.
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

This novel has not only changed perspectives but has changed and will continue to change lives. It is one of the best books I have ever read. An inspirational masterpiece by Coelho, it is a magnificent tale of 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.
The book will teach you lessons for life as you leaf through each page. These are the lessons you will carry with yourself at each step on the path called life. It has one basic message that we should follow our dreams come what may. Even if we have to risk something very important, very valuable, we should not hesitate at all and should strive towards that dream till the end. Hopelessness is the worst thing in life.
This is not just about a journey from Spain to Egypt but it is about the journey to the soul. With fantastic metaphors, this book inspires you the way nothing else ever can. There are parts of this book you will fall in love with. You'd want to read them over and over again.
Remember the line from Om Shanti Om (I hated that movie, though) that If you really want something in your life, the entire universe conspires in your favour? Yes, this line is repeated several times in The Alchemist and is taken from this book.
This book tells something that I have believed ever since: that everything is destined although we make our own decisions. Maktub, it says. The larger than life character, Santiago, also shows that omens are the language of the world. Omens tell us what Destiny has in store for us. It tells us that there is always a purpose for which we are here in the world.
I loved the way everyone can relate to the events happening in the book, be it Santiago leaving his sheep, meeting the girl at the shop, being in the caravan, making tea, searching for the alchemist, meeting the alchemist, falling in love with Fathima, leaving his love, getting to know what his dream actually was, getting back at prodding the sheep or remembering his promise to Fathima.
I found the book flawless. Absolutely flawless. There is not a thing I disliked about the book.
If you are a philosophy lover and love any of the things about which Coelho writes in the book, then, it is a must read for you.
PS: I plan to read it once more and fall in love with the wonderful story again. It is really worth it.

Review originally published on:  http://vaultofbooks.com/aplus/review-the-alchemist
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