The Alchemist

Book review by Deane Barker tags: fuction

This is a fable. It was written by a Brazilian author in 1988, and has something of a cult following. A friend recommended it.

It’s a story that’s also intended as self-improvement (I think…?).

It’s about an ancient Spanish shepherd who travels into Africa to find his destiny. He has a dream about treasure, and goes looking for it in Egypt.

It’s fairly episodic. The boy encounters people all along the way (including, towards the end, and alchemist, though I can’t figure out why he rated the title of the book – he didn’t seem like a major character). He has adventures and setbacks, but keeps pressing forward.

The book isn’t written in a modern style. It’s written as if it was produced 100 years earlier.

Honestly, I didn’t really get it. The story doesn’t seem to have a point, other than something really hackneyed like, “follow your dreams” or “the real treasure was the people we met along the way” or…something.

I managed to get the illustrated hardcover version, which is lovely. Wonderful color paintings and heavy paper.

Book Info

Paulo Coelho

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