Book Reviews

The Alchemist

alchemistAuthor: Paulo Coelho

Pages: 208 (Paperback)

Publisher: HarperOne

Release Date: 1988

Source: I bought this book myself

Buy it on Book Depository


If I had to choose my favorite book of all time, it would surely be “The Alchemist”, by Paulo Coelho. Every time I feel myself giving up on my objectives, this story helps me to get back on my feet and keep fighting. There are so many beautiful messages in this book I just couldn’t ignore and I feel an inner peace every time that I read it.

Yes, I do believe in “personal legends”. I know what mine is at this moment, and I try little by little to achieve it. “The Alchemist” has taught me that I can try to forget this dream of mine, but once the seed is planted inside of me, I can no longer ignore it. Dreams are made to be pursued and I know that I will not rest until I achieve mine. It also made me remember that “it’s not the destination so much as the journey” and that there will always be obstacles on the way. These are a way to test my perseverance. If I don’t let them put me down, then it means that I really want to fulfil my dream. Sometimes our destination is so close to home, but we still need to walk a long way before finally realizing it. It’s when we step back that we manage to see the bigger picture, when we begin to understand things more clearly. “The Alchemist” also shows how every element in the world is connect, how God created both men and desert, wind and rocks and how the entire Universe conspires for the completion of each “personal legend”. The signs are everywhere and we can learn from anyone and anywhere, even in the simplest, must humble things. We must stop worrying about the past and the future for this clouds our vision of the present, but we must use the knowledge of our previous experiences to help us make wiser choices in the present, creating a better future for ourselves.

In such a small book, Paulo Coelho managed to include so many important and timeless morals that, unfortunately, we tend to forget easily. I actually read this book in the original language – Portuguese – and I found that the writing flowed and was easy to understand, making the message of “The Alchemist” even more accessible.

I truly recommend this book. It will give you a new desire to fulfil your dreams and a new, more harmonious view of the world you live in.

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