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Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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The Alchemist is a wonderfully simple story of a young shepherd who follows his dreams of treasure and encounters many experiences and people, learning wisdom and life lessons along the way. Paulo Coelho has skillfully woven many bits of truth and wisdom about life into this masterpiece, and it is a true delight to read. Just like it teaches, it is not the destination, but the journey with this book, that counts.

It doesn't matter if you're searching for buried treasure, or for love, or for the secret of turning lead into gold. It doesn't matter if you die trying, never reaching your goal. It doesn't matter if you don't find what you're looking for, once you get there. What matters is what you've brought with you on the way, and what you've learned along the way. The people you meet, the hardships and heartaches you go through, the lessons your experiences has taught you.

The Alchemist tells you how to turn lead into gold. It tells you of the wonder and the uncertainty of change and evolution, the secret of enjoying the beauty of life without becoming hardened by the harshness of reality, the art of living in the moment without worrying about the past or the future, and most importantly, the ultimate secret of the universe, that we are all interconnected. We are all one.

It has been compared to Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. I have read both, and while they both have their own beauty and teach their own wisdom, The Alchemist touches people in its own quiet way.

What I like about the book is that it teaches you to live your life well. Live every moment in the moment. Let go of anything that is an encumberance. Follow your dreams. Have fun and enjoy everything life has to offer, but don't forget the things that really matter. Let go of things that are not within your control. Live your life and let others live theirs, what works for you may not work for them and vice versa. There is something to be learnt in everything.

There is so much wisdom contained within the pages of this little book, but for me, the most important one, is to enjoy every minute of your life. We all have goals in life, we have dreams to fulfill and successes to achieve. We need to remember to stop once in a while, and smell each rose and count each star in the sky. It is not the destination, but the journey, that counts.

About Betty Wong

Betty Wong grew up studying natural health and nutrition and is now a certified Master Herbalist. She believes that the health of the body, mind, and spirit are intrinsically linked and that nurturing all aspects of the self is essential to achieving true health. She is a naturally curious person who likes to ask questions and look for creative and unusual answers. She is also an avid reader and writer, and enjoys crafting in her free time.
  • http://trainunderwater.org Anna

    Oooh, I’ve read this book years ago and immediately loved it. It’s so profound yet simple. Needless to say, Paulo Coelho had become one of my favorite authors. It’s true and I agree with you: We should all live our life as if it’s our last. Cliche but then again, if you just coast through life thinking too much of the future or thinking too much of nothing, then what’s the point? Nice! =)

  • http://aarthilal.blogspot.com Aart

    Hello, Betty Wong!
    I’m also a big Paulo Coelho fan and I don’t know if you heard about his blog I’ve started as a fan and now I’m collaborating with him and thought that you would like to enter his universe. Check the blog, if you want, or subscribe to his newsletter.

    You’ll see a community of warriors of light sharing ideas, dreams and most importantly following their personal legend.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY:
    “The search for happiness is more important than the need for pain.”

    See u there and have great day!
    Aart

  • http://justbetty.blogspot.com Betty Wong

    Anna: Thanks! I have never read any of his other books, but I think I will now. I read this book expecting to come out of it wondering what all the hype was, but I ended up loving it. =)

    Aart: It sounds interesting, thanks! I’ll check it out.

  • http://myosis.org Suphi

    Hi Betty!

    Paulo has found your blog and really liked your post.
    We will post it this week in his blog

    Thanks for sharing!
    Suphi

  • http://justbetty.blogspot.com Betty Wong

    Hi Suphi!

    Thank you so much! I’m so thrilled that Paulo liked my post, and that you actually posted it up on his blog.

    Thanks again!

  • http://HiAlicia Alicia

    From reading this passage I began to like this book. It basicly tells us to follow our dreams no matter what happens. And don’t let no-one tell you that you can’t do it. In reality they are just haten on you. Think postive and keep your head up.

  • Sexy lady

    Hello Paulo

    “I liked your book.But i did not get any good reviews about it”

    FUCK YOU

  • anon

    WOW IT IS A AUSOME BOOK. I LIKED IT VERY MUCH.

  • sabin adhikari

    i am sabin allover from a small and poor country,nepal. I read this book and also the comment published here.Really, it is one of my best book. I got a chance to read a hindi version of this book.
    i also learnt many things from this book. Its the real thing that we just live our life for a living not doing the things that we dream of.A shepard boy lives his own life and enjoys the natural recreation.

    we should also think that there is such a power beyonds science and technology where we can get intouch to the world of wisdom i.e nature. yes, the only thing i want to say that nature is the most powerful thing in this world. And if we are able to understand the natural feeling that what our mind and heart talks,then we will be able to understand all the wisdom. the natural things always guides us , but only a thing is to understand is that we have to be able to identify the sings that the nature teaches us. just i want to say that nature always indicates what is going to happen.for eg: before coming big stroms and volcanic eruptions,the animals produces differebt type of sound. nature creates an environment between animal and indicates about the danger.similarly if we are able to understand the language what the plants ,animals, wind, water says then we can be awared about many things. we can understand the language of nature but only a thing is that we have to understand the language of nature. for this we have to be like a shepard boy.

  • UUL

    HI..I AM UUL I HAVE RED THE NOVEL ALCHEMIST BY PAULO COELHO..IT IS VERY FANTASTIC AND GIVE ME THE INSPIRATION TO RISING MY STAR WE MUST FOLLOWED WHAT WE FEEL SAY……GOOD JOB PAULO COELHO..HIS NOVEL I USE TO MAKE A THESIS FOR ME RIGHT NOW…I WANT TO TEACH ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL IN THE NOVEL THE ALCHEMIST…

  • faiza

    it iz a fit novel keep it up

  • umesh prasad singh

    the alchemist by ben jonson attributes to the glory of evolution and cultural efficiency to a highest realm and understanding. it is a psychological novel with a scientific analysis and synthesis of ideas.

  • DURAIZ

    a BOOK THAT KEPT MY INTEREST ALIVE FROM THE MOMENT I GOT HOLD OF IT TILL I HAD FINISHED IT. BOTTOM KINE “GET YOUR DREAMS AND KEEP YOUR AMBITIONS HIGH”

  • http://www.framez.webs.com framez

    The Alchemist is about life

  • b-dawg

    the alchemist iz good book, i like

  • maryam

    v defined review..

  • dadiyata

    The book is the best fictional motivation

  • rini

    alchemist , is indeed a wonderful experience. there r few literatures that actually make a differnece in ones life… nd for me it has changed my perception twd life….. its surprising how someone can sew his philosphies nd belifs of life in a simple plot and present it to the readers. paulo coelho was an instant fav.

  • Rajdeep singh dangi

    its a wonderful novel that teaches us that there is a lot to enjoy apart from the race of life and luxury.really life is the most beautiful thing god has provided to us,we just need to feel it.let your life be like the shepherd boy and enjoy your journey,really there is nothing at destination except rest and relax

  • gaurav

    This is an enchanting novel and shows people the way of life.This a must to read book by all those who want to live their life.It is full of ideas that will unable a man to live a life of simplicity and humbleness.It is not what your destiny has written for you but it is what you make out of it. At last
    when you want to achieve your destiny the whole universe will conspires to help you achieve it!!!!!

  • Junaid Khan

    this book is the combination of transformation of life and make it in such a way that every one have a strong idea about of his life and he will be able to do his own life practices according to one’s need.

    regard: M.junaid khan
    {a general reader}

  • sam

    no word to say anyone can read

  • Kariuki Kiragu

    Recently, at family get-together in Nairobi, discussion round the fireside turned to achievement and purpose.

    After listening, I said the pursuit of a goal is futile without sharing it with others, without enjoying the experience.

    Spiritual things like love and trust, happiness and laughter, have to be shared to increase…you can’t crack a joke by yourself… conversely physical things, such as money, food, diminish when shared.

    The odd thing is that the spiritual things form more than 80 % of our reality and those who share them out, getting such an abundant return, also share physical things without running out of them.

    This is not so odd after all.

    Like the man who found the treasure in the field, went and sold everything to come and buy the field.

    The man was the field and the selling was to do away with all those encumbrances, painful as it may be, that obscured the treasure within him.

    He probably needed someone, like Jesus, the prophets or Paulo to show him the field in the first place.

  • PREETI

    This book is fantastic about living our life according to our dreams and listening to our heart desires.Gud job done coelho

  • KPS

    u r really correct….the book actually changes our view and concept about life