The Alchemist by Paul Coelho: Book Review

By Asia Daggs
Assistant Web Content Manager

This review is for all of my fellow, beloved bookworms.

The Alchemist is a perfectly written story by Paulo Coelho that allows you to dip into a spiritual adventure through the Egyptian deserts. The main character, Santiago, is a young boy who is making his living as a shepherd before he decides to follow the quest his recurrent dreams revealed to him. He embarks on the search for his life’s spiritual purpose, his Personal Legend, with the help of an assortment of people that he meets along the way. Santiago runs into danger on several occasions, but manages to con his way out each time and even ends up finding love along the desert. On this journey, he is led by omens that fall before him, taught of the magical beauty behind the Soul of the World and how everything in creation is linked together by the hand of the Soul of God. This novel will leave you feeling accomplished just as Santiago does as he trudges further and further into his Personal Legend.

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author and lyricist who currently resides in Switzerland with his wife. He originally published this award winning book in 1988 in his native country, Brazil. It took six months to barely sell two copies; by the end of the year, Coelho’s publishing company cut their ties and gave the rights of the book back to him. “I never lost faith in my book or ever wavered in my vision,” Coelho wrote on the novel’s 25th anniversary. After some time, a tourist found his work and offered help to get the book translated and published in America. The global agency, HarperCollins, agreed to publish it and advertised it in television ads, magazines and radio interviews. As of today, The Alchemist has sold over 65 million copies and has been translated to 80 different languages. Coelho happened to also break the world record of having the most translated book by any living author.

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The Alchemist has sold over 65 million copies and has been translated in 80 different languages. Photo by Alisa Pierce

The feeling I got after finishing The Alchemist drew me back to the very time I fell in love with reading. I have been an avid reader ever since I read So B. It for the first time in elementary. I was so taken back with the powerful message it held in such a simple, lighthearted book; just the same as Coelho did with this story. Being in college put a hold on my hobby until I forced myself to squeeze it into my messy schedule. That being said, I am always on the prowl for a good book to dive in and I could not have came across a greater book at this time. I absolutely loved it. I hope this review sparked your interests and you’ll give it a try as well.

Featured image by Alisa Pierce

James Jordan II

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