Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
First published in Brazil in Portuguese in 1988. Harper English edition translated by Alan R Clarke.

One of my WorldReads from Brazil

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Borrowed from a friend

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.'

The Alchemist celebrated its 25th anniversary last year so I am definitely late to the party in only just having picked up a copy to read. The fable of Santiago's quest, retold from a tale in One Thousand And One Nights, has become a contemporary classic and is now available translated into at least eighty languages. It's easy to see why! This uplifting tale is recounted in deftly composed prose and, for me, reading it felt like stepping back in time to eras of oral community storytelling. The Alchemist layers deep philosophical thinking over a simple narrative with which I think we can all identify so the reader has the choice of how they wish to encounter the work. Yesterday I read The Alchemist as a straightforward mystical adventure story. Today I am thinking over its themes and how its calming spirituality might fit my life.

Etsy Find!
by Frolioli in
Prague, Czech Republic

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

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Books by Paulo Coelho / Fairytales / Books from Brazil


  1. I loved this one! And your review was a nice reminder. Thanks!
    Long before I started book blogging Paulo Coelho was one of my favourite authors and I read several others of his works, but as time went on and he continued to churn out a new novel virtually every year, his books began to feel ever more trivial and I gave up on him.
    LaGraziana @ Edith's Miscellany

    1. I know what you mean. I'd read one of his later books a few years ago and was underwhelmed! Glad I gave him a second chance with The Alchemist though.

  2. I just finished reading this book yesterday and I really loved it. It seemed to tie in religion, spirituality and ambitions all in one. I liked how much wisdom and life lessons were hidden away in the book, and the determination of the character to achieve what he set out to achieve. It really is so motivating!

    1. Yes, I could easily see how this is such a popular inspirational story across the world.

  3. It is great book, you can download it on PDF format here