The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This book has sold over 65 million copies, and it is widely touted as a classic.
When I posted a picture of this book on my Instagram, things went a bit crazy! Everyone told me that I was going to love the book, and when you look on the back of it, you find quotes from sources such as The Times, Madonna, and even Wil Smith who says that this is one of his favorite books!
I’ve read the book. And, although I didn’t hate it, I don’t get what’s so great about it.
It certainly wasn’t a 10/10 from me.
What’s it all about?
The Alchemist is a fable about a boy who follows his dream to try to find treasure at the Pyramids.
The book details the boy’s journey and the trials and tribulations that he experiences along the way.
What I liked about the book
Firstly, I enjoyed the way that the story took the boy full circle, finally returning him to his starting point. This gave me a sense of closure at the end of the book and it was a very clever twist to the tale.
Secondly, I like that the book encourages you to go after what you really want out of life and to reach for those desires and dreams that may seem out of reach.
And lastly, one of the most important lessons that I got from the book, was that when bad things happened to the boy, those things happened for a reason. Although they might have seemed as though they were pushing the boy off-course and creating obstacles for him, instead, they were actually pushing him onto the right course.
Still don’t get the hype
Although I did enjoy the book and some of the life lessons that it contains, overall, I’m rather disappointed. It simply didn’t have the impact on me that I expected, possibly because I was expecting so much, having seen all the hype around the book before I read it.
At the back of the book there’s a question and answer section with the author and I read that section too thinking that it might contain some extra lessons and key takeaways. However, I didn’t find anything like that in that section either.
After posting my video on YouTube a few people noted that this book is quite old now. When it was first released, there was nothing else like it, and therefore it was having a huge effect on people. Nowadays, it’s not so new and therefore leaving people a bit indifferent. A valid point!
My favorite quote
Regardless of that fact that I found the book to be somewhat underwhelming, there was a quote in the book that stood out to me, which I will share below.
“Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without noticing, eats away at our soul, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.”
Now that’s a pretty intense quote, but if you’ve been watching my last few videos (or reading my last few posts), then you can see that those sentiments tie in with other books that I have reviewed.
One of my previous favorite quotes was:
“Short term pain for long-term gain.”
And there were two quotes from the book “Man’s Search For Meaning” which were:
“Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.”
“Once a man knows his why, he can overcome almost any how.”
So, all those quotes combine to tell us that suffering, pain, blood, sweat, and tears, when used positively, do equal progress and if we want to improve and become better, we need to step outside of that comfort zone and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It’s a cliche, but it’s true!
My overall thoughts
The Alchemist was an entertaining fable entwined with life-lessons.
Although it didn’t have the same impact on me as the thousands of other readers who love this book, I did still enjoy the read and took a few lessons away with me.
Have you read this book?
This review is my own personal opinion of “The Alchemist.”
If you’ve read this book, please give the book your score by using the Reader Rating bar above, and let me know what you thought of the book in the comments box below.