Alchemist: A Magical Book by Paulo Coelho

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This book is a journey of a shepherd boy, Santiago from the Spanish province, who dreams to travel in search of treasure. He travels from home to mountains to deserted land, loses each possession but he keeps traveling to get the treasure which he has dreams of. Ultimately, he reaches his aim, but what he learns throughout the journey is the actual treasure. The boy had a deep attachment to his flock, but he did not want to live a conventional life. He did not want to see a beautiful village from a mount’s view, rather he wanted to experience the village by going through it. He experienced many adventures. He met new people. As the story moves the events get connected impeccably. Santiago’s quest for treasure, soon his lucky encounter with old King who strengthens his beliefs about living his destiny, coming across mishaps and encounter with Fatima, a desert girl; all this leads him to the personal legend that converges the idea of ‘conspiring universe’. A personal legend is a key to living a successful and satisfying life as it is the destiny that one dreams of. He receives assistance from an alchemist who helps him understand his quest for accomplishing his dream. By the time his belief grows, and satisfaction nourishes as he is on the right path. He comes to know “when you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. Story deals with an internal conflict between his love and personal dreams. But this novel ends up showing love as a supporting tool for achieving a dream. True love gives the support to live the dream. According to Coelho dreams have a price but not living your dreams has even a bigger price. The idea of the novel is brilliant. It is a story of ‘us’. The story has been web in such a way that we will start to live our dreams. Our fear of failure has been bruised here. Overcoming this is a great victory as Coelho quoted “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 dreams because every second of the search is a second encounter with God and with eternity”. In the desert, Santiago comes to realize that he can turn base metals into gold. It may seem overrated to some when alchemist turns to lead into gold. You don’t need to agree with each and everything which Coelho has put into the novel. Instead, your reason and rationale may oppose many things. But one must have the ability to read between the lines. Despite being very unreal it is a beautiful fable that has delighted millions around the world because of its thought-provoking ideas of spirituality and destiny. Santiago while traveling understands the relation between man and nature. The setting of the novel is real, but events are magical.
The book is an asset that will help to be in the ‘never give up’ kind of mental state. The whole book is a thought process, a journey towards maturity. The preface of the book is mesmerizing. The progress of the book is a bit slow. Sometimes, reading ten pages seems like reading a hundred pages. This is a must-read book. The book is full of magical moments in real set up which can be the tool of survival in tough times.

Categories: book reviews