The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. The ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream. Along the path, Santiago learns about what it is he truly wants out of life, and how the only way to reach his goals is to persevere through the difficulties of his journey. It is a story of hope, faith, and inspiration to achieve your true potential.
In today’s society, people tend to overlook the beauty of their dreams. Paulo Coehlo hopes to change this with his story of Santiago, the simple shepherd. Santiago is told of a treasure that he is destined to search for, and begins a journey to find this treasure. Throughout the book though, we begin to learn that the treasure may truly be Santiago’s journey itself. Coehlo teaches us throughout the fable that if we believe in the power of our dreams, and work hard toward understanding them, we can accomplish anything. His use of imagery throughout the story makes it entertaining, while inspiring his reader’s on a more subconscious level.
My Favorite Part: I love books that tell a fictional tale with the underlying purpose of teaching its readers an important lesson about life. Once you begin reading The Alchemist, you will not be able to put it down. The message it delivers is not only beautiful, but effective as well. My absolute favorite part of the book is Coehlo’s protagonist, Santiago. Santiago constantly questions if his journey is one worth his while, which injects the human aspect into the book. He questions whether or not he should quit the journey, or if the treasure truly even exists. Despite all of these doubts, he perseveres and accomplishes his dream.
My Least Favorite Part: Although I truly enjoyed the book exactly as it was written, I wish the book was a little bit longer, and spent some more time developing some of the secondary characters.
Joey’s Rating: 5 stars