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




This guest post was 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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