Review of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

When I had been searching for books to read throughout the summer, I had stumbled upon the memory of my friend reading a peculiar book. I remembered that the book had a bright, orange, and yellow cover with the title The Alchemist in the middle. I decided to read the book and can say that […]

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When I had been searching for books to read throughout the summer, I had stumbled upon the memory of my friend reading a peculiar book. I remembered that the book had a bright, orange, and yellow cover with the title The Alchemist in the middle. I decided to read the book and can say that The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a must-read for avid readers.


The book follows Santiago, a young boy who is an Andalusian shepherd living in his homeland in Spain. At the beginning of the book, Santiago is confronted by a dream that there is a treasure near the pyramids of Egypt. The shepherd decides to follow his dream and along his way meets a Gypsy woman and a mysterious, old man that claims to be a king. Both characters tell Santiago to follow the dream and pursue the treasure. Santiago finds his treasure; however, the journey to the real treasure allows Santiago to discover himself.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho connects with readers who are trying to pursue their dreams like Santiago, a dreamer that chases his dream with a thriving passion. The book tells us that a person’s only commitment is to pursue their personal legend. If an individual has a goal or they have an eagerness for something; they should realize that they have to go all out and chase it.


As the book draws to an end, Santiago’s interaction with an Alchemist allows for the transformation of himself. Santiago learns to listen to the environment as well as to trust one’s heart. This shows that a person must follow his own instincts and look for omens in the environment to succeed in finding his destiny or personal legend. We can say that the listening of one’s heart allows for the control of their feelings or emotions.


One of my favorite moments in the chapters of this book had been when Santiago asked the king about the world’s greatest lie. The old king had replied, “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” This quote conveys to us that when we are young, we are free to believe that the world is a vast place and open to us as a whole. However, as we grow older, we are forced to believe the lie that we are limited and cannot pursue individual dreams or passions that we thought were possible.


Ultimately, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an astounding book that teaches us about always being in pursuit of our personal legend, chasing our dreams and seeking them. Whether we are faced with comfortable or uncomfortable situations, we can always recall the book’s statement that “the universe conspires to help any individual trying to achieve their personal legend.”

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