Santiago is an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of finding treasure near the Pyramids in Egypt. After speaking to a Gypsy woman and an old king who both encourage Santiago to pursue his dream, he sets off for the deserts of Egypt. Along the way he faces obstacles and diversions in his quest to find his “Personal Legend”.
The Alchemist is a fable of the human condition that is universally translatable. It is a story of one young boy’s journey to find himself, to overcome his fears and doubts and to trust in his heart while seeking out his destiny.
The Alchemist sucked me in from the Introduction. Part of the reason is that the author, Paulo Coehlo spoke about callings and how as humans we feel guilt and self-doubt and other obstacles on the way to achieving our dream. It just resonated with me on so many levels.
It’s a very small book, only one hundred and sixty-six pages, but it packs a powerful punch. What makes this book so beautiful, so heart-felt is the truth of it and its simplicity. Every page is filled with great quotes and some universal truth so that you find yourself stopping literally at every page, to reflect on what you’ve just read.
“At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” One of the truths the book is conveying is the capacity in each of us to accomplish something great and at the same time nothing at all. It’s our choice.
It definitely has an undertone of self-help and I don’t usually like these types of books and there were parts that could have been sped along but if you read the introduction by the author, he lays it out pretty simply what he is trying to accomplish within the pages of the novel. I think he does a great job of getting the point across in such a simplistic style and he hits home with the message he is delivering, it’s up to us as the reader whether we choose to listen or not.
I took away so much from such a small book. Always listen to your heart. You are never too old to learn, or too young. If we truly love and are loved, we can accomplish anything. Follow your dreams and though you may be tested, you will also be greatly rewarded. And sometimes we find what we were searching for in the place we least suspect.
I don’t know if I will always like this book the way I do now. I know for me it was just the right time to be reading this as about a month ago I took a leap and started writing, not caring anymore whether I was good or bad, just needing to finally do it. The message impacted me and made me feel I was on the right path, but it may not affect another the same way. Take from the book what you can – or not. The choice is yours.