Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Synopsis in a Sentence: A boy begins a quest to find out who he truly is in the desert of Eygpt.

Greetings! :) I enjoyed The Alchemist for the most part, but am giving it two keys because I couldn't get into it the way I usually do with books. It was a short read (only 167 pages) and I felt as if I just didn't have enough time to really get to know and connect with the characters. Not that a book has to be long to be good, but I just felt that this particular book skimmed the surface with a lot of things and I was left wanting more.

Having said that though, there were definitely good and intriguing aspects to this story! The main character, Santiago is a shepherd who has a dream about finding a treasure that will change his life. He first meets an old man who claims to be a king and this man gives him valuable advice about how he needs to start the journey to find this treasure. This "king" struck me as being a God like "stand-in" similar to Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia. Even though this king doesn't make another appearance in the book, you get the sense that he's always there, watching and helping the boy along his way.

Santiago ends up finding his treasure in an unlikely place which is interesting, but the message of the whole book is a little abstract. Basically this book is about finding out who you are and using that knowledge to connect to the world. The Alchemist definitely reads more like a legend or a fable than a novel.

What I liked the most: The love story between Santiago and Fatima is touching and sweet. Also, the author's descriptions of the desert really bring it to life.

What I liked the least: As I mentioned above, the message of this book is a little abstract. If you are in the mood for a reflective, deep book though, definitely check this out!


  1. I really enjoyed this book. I read it about three years ago and found myself touched by it, especially the ending. I do think it was a tad too short, but I can't say that I didn't get into it. I think the best part about it was Coelho's writing. It was lyrical and beautiful.

  2. This book is on my book shelf. I believe someone gave it to me because I refused to buy it--I thought it was too short.

  3. Like your blog, new follower here!

    I've always meant to read this book but never gotten around to it. I know friends that have really liked it but honestly I never heard what the book was actually about until now.

  4. I have not read this book by Paulo but recently started another one of his books and could not reach the end. I felt it got too boring for me to continue reading it. Maybe I don't like the way he writes. Anyways, Good review ..i like tht u put both gud n bad points of book across.

    Check out my blog too: