2011: #32 – The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

alchemistBook #32 was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The back of the book reads:

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

I thought this was a sweet fable, but not exactly life-changing, as so many other reviews would have you believe. Maybe it’s because the lesson you’re supposed to take from it, essentially “Pay attention and follow your heart”, is nothing new. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

I did think it was well-written, if repetitive at times, and I was interested in Santiago’s journey. But all-in-all, nothing about it surprised me. I’m glad I finally read it.

"I’m like everyone else–I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does."

Other reviews:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and a Confession | Maw Books
Book Review – THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho | Books Love Me – Reviews
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho « Savidge Reads
Musings of a Bookish Kitty: Review of the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Page count: 208 (’11 total: 8,969) | Approximate word count: 62,400 (’11 total: 3,066,802)

2010: Definitely Dead (Charlaine Harris)
2009: For a Few Demons More (Kim Harrison)
2008: Exit Music (Ian Rankin)
2007: Dark Angels (Karleen Koen)
2006: Survivor in Death (J.D. Robb)
2005: We’ll Meet Again (Mary Higgins Clark)

Used in these Challenges: 2011 E-Book Reading Challenge; New Author Challenge 2011; Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011;

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