Book Review: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

“When you want something, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

A statement I am sure you must have heard/read before but was stated back in 1988 in “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. An amazingly inspiring book, originally written in Portuguese, has been translated into 80 languages, holding the Guinness World Record for the ‘most translated book by any living author’ and has been praised by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Emma Watson, Pharrell Williams, and Will Smith.

The plot revolves around the life of Santiago, a Spanish shepherd boy, who dreams of secret treasures buried under the pyramids of Egypt. On the journey to pursue his dreams, he passes by tribe wars, swindlers, and massive desert lands and experiences true love too, but nothing stops him from realizing his dreams and his inner calling.

The book has been written in a parable style, and though a work of fiction it’s not just any regular plot, instead it has a deep underlying message. The language is fluid and often poetic and fills the reader with positivity and hope. “The Alchemist” is inspiring and optimistic to the point that each chapter has some takeaway. I loved this book and definitely recommend it as a light read if one wishes to explore topics like dreams, personal legend (destiny), intuition, etc. to lead a fulfilling life.

Some of my favourite quotes from the book:

  • “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
  • “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
  • “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
  • “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
  • “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

Rating for this book – ****/5

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