Book Title – The Alchemist
Author – Paulo Coehlo
Publication Date – 1988 – first publication
Number of Pages – 208 – (167 pages plus bonus material)
ISBN – 978-0062315007
Cost on Amazon – $13.59
I first heard of The Alchemist several years ago watching Will Smith motivational speeches on YouTube and knew this was a book that I wanted to read and went ahead and ordered it from Amazon.
Not exactly sure why I let it sit in my bookshelf for the last few years unread but I did and it wasn’t until last week when I finished another book I had been reading that I decided it was time to blow the dust off this one and see if it was really as good as everyone says it is.
For me reading his book couldn’t have come at a better time, with the birth of our baby girl in December I have focused all my time and energy with her and now it’s time to get refocused on my business to provide the kind of future I want for our growing family.
I can’t recall how many times I heard people say, “your life is going to change when your baby is born” and it couldn’t be more true.
Not only does our sweet baby have me totally wrapped around her little finger but she has made me really stop and think about every aspect of the way I am living my life.
As most people do, I have been going through life with my brakes on and not really pursuing what it was that I really want and I definitely have not been pursuing my personal legend, a term Paulo Coehlo uses often throughout The Alchemist.
Coehlo is a brilliant story-teller but to me the story is just what kept me turning the pages, it is not the story I will walk away remembering, it is the many life lessons sprinkled throughout this book that I know will benefit me and anyone who reads this powerful book.
Who is Paulo Coehlo?
Paulo Coehlo is known for being one of the most influential authors of our time.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Coehlo’s books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 80 different languages.
Coehlo knew from an early age that he wanted to be an author but this was forbidden by his parents, who sent him away to a mental institution.
After escaping the institution, traveling the world, Coehlo returned to pursue his original dream and published his first book at the age of 40, The Pilgrimage in 1987.
A year later, Coehlo released his most famous work, a metaphor to The Pilgrimage, The Alchemist, which alone has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide and has received hundreds of international awards.
The Alchemist has remained on the New York Times best seller’s list for 25 consecutive years and counting.
Coehlo is a strong believer in not giving up on your dreams and this comes through in the pages of his books.
I have only read one of Paulo Coehlo’s books so far but The Alchemist had such a positive impact on me that I will definitely be ordering several more of his books very soon.
The Alchemist Review
The Alchemist is quick read, only about 167 pages plus another 30 or so pages of bonus material, so I was able to knock it out in a couple of days, which is pretty good for me as I tend to get distracted very easily when reading a book.
The Alchemist is a story of a young shepherd boy, Santiago, from Andalusia, Spain who is content with the life he is living until he has a recurring dream of a little boy telling him he will find his hidden treasure at the pyramids of Egypt.
He has his dreams interpreted and also speaks to a wise man who both confirm that his personal legend is to leave the life he knows and loves and pursue his destiny of finding his hidden treasure in Egypt.
Santiago decides to sell his sheep and travel across the desert to find his treasure. (don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled anything, all this happens in the first few pages of the book).
His quest to find his treasure teaches us to listen to our heart and to recognize opportunity when it presents itself to us.
You will also hear of omens that are everywhere around us as well as what I think is the most important message of the book, to follow our dreams.
The book is a combination of wisdom, magic and mysticism written to inspire it’s readers to discover their own personal legend and let nothing stand in the way of your pursuit to accomplish your life’s work.
What Are Others Saying About This Book
Best Quotes From The Alchemist
“First one must discover that our lives are dictated by custom, family, law and tradition and we must be willing to overcome these in order to seek our own unique Personal Legend”
“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”
Every blessing ignored becomes a curse
When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize his dream
People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dreamed of
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve, fear of failure.
You will never be able to escape from your heart, so you better listen to what it has to say
Everything that happens once, can never happen again, but everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.
All quotes above came from The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
I am truly glad that I decided to pick this book from my book shelf, blow off the dust and finally read it.
To me, Santiago’s story and journey was exciting and I could not wait to see what was going to happen next.
Sure you know that this could never really happen, having conversations with the wind and the soul of the earth, but it was still a great fable.
The story was entertaining but the wisdom Paulo Coehlo shares throughout this book is priceless and is sure to help anyone who reads this book.
I honestly think this book is a great read from nearly all readers, young and old as I feel that anyone on any level can appreciate the message being delivered.
The Alchemist has been recommended by celebrities such Will Smith and Oprah and now it officially has the endorsement of another non celebrity, me.
I will be ordering several copies of The Alchemist to give as gifts to friends and family this year, if you want to get your copy of The Alchemist, click here to order now.