Friday, August 18, 2006

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo novel tells the tale of Santiago, a boy who has a dream and the courage to follow it. After listening to "the signs" the boy ventures in his personal, Ulysses-like journey of exploration and self-discovery, symbolically searching for a hidden treasure located near the pyramids in Egypt.

when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true..

When he decides to go, his father's only advice is "Travel the world until you see that our castle is the greatest, and our women the most beautiful". In his journey, Santiago sees the greatness of the world, and meets all kinds of exciting people like kings and alchemists. However, by the end of the novel, he discovers that "treasure lies where your heart belongs", and that the treasure was the journey itself, the discoveries he made, and the wisdom he acquired.

An interesting way to look at this story is to ask the question: who is the title character? Alchemy is such a potent idea–the changing of one element into another has had a grasp on the human mind for as long as we have known about elements. But, of course, alchemy has secondary meanings–an alchemist transforms. Is the boy an alchemist, for transforming himself and the lives of those around him? Is God the alchemist, for transforming the destinies of humanity?

Described as a ‘publishing phenomena’ Paulo Coelho has a remarkable ability to teach one the age old lessons of life with a gentle reminder of the magic and wonder one believes in as a child; he makes it seem like we’re not alone at any point of time, we’re one with this world and it with us. The small things in life, like the gentle breeze and the sun have been given more purpose and magic, personalities by themselves.

The beautiful thing about the book is that the each individual reader can interpret the lessons in his own way, as Lynn Andrews says “Paulo Choelho gives you the inspiration to follow your own dreams by seeing the world through your own eyes and not someone else’s.” Need anything more be said?

"The Alchemist" is a novel that may appeal to everybody, because we can all identify with Santiago: all of us have dreams, and are dying for somebody to tell us that they may come true. The novel skillfully combines words of wisdom, philosophy, and simplicity of meaning and language, which makes it particularly readable and accounts for its bestselling status.

Everything the boy does is something you and I could do. I guess that’s the point of the book.


Hedwig Rovers said...

Excellent book. I recommend you take your time reading it (a couple of pages at at time) so the meaning of the book really sinks in.

My favorite Paulo Coelho however is: "Veronica decides to die".

Hedwig Rovers

Daniel said...

I have rarely had the misfortune to read such confused pretentious drivel.

The only reason I finished this book was because I hoped to find, eventually, some scrap of insight, wisdom or poetry. I searched in vain.

Paul Coelho has proved himself to be a true alchemist by transforming peurile half-baked nonsense into a best seller. Good luck to him.

lena said...

I wish Good luck to Daniel who's been "searching in vain" to find the meaning of this story eventually.

I will recommend to read this book with open mind.