Book Reviews

Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 3/5

6tag_090516-103939Blurb: Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about 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. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.


I went into this read with high expectations. Many people have recommended it to me, but I was also aware of the many who detested it. I think that’s part and parcel of a bestseller, right? I like to judge for myself, so I got myself a copy.

What side am I on? Well… I liked it. It was well written, the prose beautiful, but the story was slow. I know, I know, the narrative is full of statement, life lessons, and an overriding message to ‘follow your dreams/destiny’, but it was preachy.

I wasn’t interested in the religious side of the narrative, but liked that Coelho managed to write it like a long fable, quoting tales and adding metaphors to get his point across. The morals could be applied whether you are religious, spiritual, or other.

The ending was rounded, and Santiago had travelled full circle with his personality and wisdom following suit. I would have liked to have seen him reunited with Fatima, but the narrative suggests all along that if he follows his heart he’ll get to where he needs to be.

The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.

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