The Alchemist – Book Review



The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

What an amazing book.  I cannot believe it has taken me this long to read this treasure.  5 stars!  This is going straight to my all time favourite book list, for sure.

When I said I was reading this book, I was told “really, doesn’t an alchemist turn things into gold?”  Yes, that is what an alchemist does in mythology.  But why does alchemy exist?

So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life.

So what is this book about?  Really, it is about following your dreams.

Where your treasure is, there will also be your heart.

Coelho reminds us that if we follow our dreams and do what is true to us, things will work out. This requires deep trust.

To me, in part, it reminded me of a grown up version of Oh, the Places You Will Go by Dr Suess. Not quite the same, but certainly common themes of following your destiny and not being afraid.

If a person is living out his destiny, he knows everything he needs to know.  There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve:  the fear of failure.

Sometimes, it’s easy to be afraid that we might make a wrong decision, but the shepherd boy listens to his heart, just as we must listen to ours, and trust.

There is also the challenge to do what builds people and the world up, not tear it down.  I’m going to say that it fits with the Christian theme of “building the kingdom of God here on earth.”  A little bit of R&S 3/4!

Yet this is not a Christian book; it is not a self-help book, but it is the tale of a shepherd boy who wants more from the world and seeks out his adventures. You should definitely read it if the words of Robert Frost have ever rung true for you.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost

Check out The Alchemist and give it a read.


Guest post contributed by Can I Do 52?, a blogger who aspires to read 52 books in a year and discuss them. Check out more of her posts and reviews on her blog.

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13 thoughts on “The Alchemist – Book Review”

  1. I remember when I was reading it for the first time… whatever page I turned I wanted to write down some thoughts… then I realized I’d have to copy the whole book… :D loved it too!


  2. Yes, like you, it took me a long time to get to this book. I read it for the first time last year, when I received a third “nudge” – someone next to me in a salon reading the book, and then telling me all about it. So I thought, ok, ok, I’m going to read it! It basically confirms the path I’ve chosen at this stage in my life – the I’d wanted to take earlier in my life, but diverged.


  3. The reason why I like this book is that it talks about spirituality and religion without any bias for one. One of the most inspirational books there is


  4. I have just recently finished reading this book and it was amazing. It really gives you food for thought. I love how Coelho manages to weave religion and spirituality into his main character’s journey. A very good read for those who have not read it yet!


  5. That’s it. I’m going to finally read this book- maybe it should be my Book of the Month for May? My daughter loved “The Alchemist” and has been bugging me to read it too. I love how you tied it to one of my favorite Frost poems. Nice touch!


  6. On my last day of high school I’d finished one of my tests and had about an hour left. My teacher noticed I was bored and handed me that book (somehow I’d forgotten my own in my study frenzy the night before). She told me to keep it with me all day and make sure I read it. I am so glad I did. I’ve never re-read it, but it had a lot of meaning to me at that moment in time when I felt like I was about to launch off, discover all my dreams, and be who I’m supposed to be. :)


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