Review: The Alchemist

The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a very simple book. It is also a very brilliant tale, a mesmerizing concoction of the many elements that make a great story- there’s passion, there’s love, there’s danger and adventure. But that alone doesn’t explain why the book has sole more than 65 million copies, why it has been lauded by critics, famous people, teenagers and adults alike, or why, after being first published in 1993 (English edition), it still sells as many copies.

The book’s message lies in its most famous line- “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Now do you see the power behind the book?

Coelho takes your dreams and desires and gives you the hope, the power to believe and the faith that all that you wish will come to you. And it will come to you with the aid of the entire universe, nature and men conspiring with each other to help you fulfill your dreams. Such promises, or the fulfillment of some such in a story can seem immensely attractive. And that is what makes the book such a huge success.

It is in essence a self help book, told beautifully through the story of an Andulasian shepherd who goes on to unravel his destiny and find his treasure studying signs that nature and fate throws at him. Isn’t that how all of our lives run- on signs and indications, on risks and opportunities, on means and ends? And what do we all want while we chase our dreams- a little bit of help and hope. And this book gives you exactly that.

Critics and cynics alike will call this a novel chasing lofty fairytale ideas, but what is life if not chasing fairytale ideas? Optimists and dreamers would definitely love this book. So drop the cynicism and pick up this book for a thrilling journey with Santiago and his dreams.

Read the complete review here.

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