The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: A shepherd boy in southern Spain dreams of finding his fortune at the Pyramids in Egypt. Shortly thereafter he meets a king who convinces him to journey to the Pyramids because this is his Personal Legend. So this is the story of the boy’s pursuit of his Personal Legend. One of the rules of writing that is repeated so often it’s almost a cliche is “show, don’t tell”. Well, this is one of those books that demonstrates that not all rules must be followed. Pretty much everything is told here: the characters’ innermost thoughts and intentions, everything that happens and the reason for it, and the outcome of all actions. And you know what? That’s just fine. This is a fable, and it’s clear from the start that you are being told this story rather than experiencing it along with the characters. I did find it a bit preachy at times, when “follow your dreams” and “never give up” might as well have been blinking neon lights, but by and large it was a pleasant little tale which I’m sure many people (less cynical people than I, that is) would find quite inspiring and uplifting.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. I wasn’t a fan of The Alchemist. (I rolled my eyes a lot while reading it.) It felt like faux philosophy to me. Plus, I am by nature suspicious of anything recommended by Oprah’s book club.

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