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I am just a girl who loves reading and talking about books

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A Review


And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This week I started reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This is one book that I think everyone had read before I did. Another book that I need to read soon is The Monk who Sold his Ferrari BY Robin Sharma. Yet another book that almost everyone has read and given great reviews about.

The Alchemist is a fable about a Spanish boy, Santiago, who dreams about a treasure and then embarks on a long journey in search of this treasure which he believes in buried in the pyramids in Egypt. Along the way, he meets different kinds people and has all kinds of experiences. All the people and experiences are tied in with his journey.

The story is told in such a simplistic manner that even younger readers would enjoy.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

This book is a metaphor that seeks to encourage readers to follow their dreams and change the way that they live their lives.

There are few books that I can claim have changed my life or impacted on me greatly. The first one is Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Saran Breathnach . The Alchemist is definitely the second book. It had so many wonderful lessons and quotes that I found myself taking notes as I read it. The gist of The Alchemist is;

i. If you want something really bad, the whole universe will conspire to get what you want.

ii. There will be many obstacles on your way to following your dream but this should not deter you. People will lie to you, use you, steal from you but do not let this discourage you, get back on your journey

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

iii. Sometimes we travel far and wide while all we ever wanted or needed really is just close home

“The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”

— The Alchemist”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

iv. Dreams do not become realized overnight, sometimes it takes years to get there but do not lose sight of your goal.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

After reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I did what I always do after every book and that is look for online reviews. I like knowing what other readers thought about the same book. I was disappointed by the number of negative reviews that I found online. Some people described the fable as random mumblings about religion and self help quotes, others hated the simplicity of it, and some thought it was told from a chauvinistic point of view.Others decided that it did not qualify as good literature. Reading these reviews, I kept wondering, did they really miss it? Did they seriously not realize the value of this book?

However, it dawned on me that people may have different views of the lessons depending on their current situation in life. I am at point in my life where all I do is dream and then wonder whether it is too late to realize my dreams. Santiago went through a really long journey in search of his treasure. My best part is the different jobs that he had to do before getting what he was seeking. Shepherd, selling crystal for a whole year, counselor, he did it all but still was able to pursue his dreams. That really resonated with me. So perhaps the stage where I am at in my life is what makes The Alchemist one of the nest books that I have ever read.

When you possess great treasures within you and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I loved that quote, I read it a time when voices were discouraging me about writing and pursuing my dream saying that i didn’t quite have what it takes. I do know that I have what it takes though even if they do not believe me when I say I so.

If you haven’t read the book yet, ignore all the criticism, approach it with an open mind and heart and see what you get from it. It is definitely worth the read.

I am embarking on reading everything that I can find by Paulo Coelho and so will read Adultery next and then By the River Piedra: I Sat Down and Wept. The former is what my book club is currently reading while the later was so highly recommended by friends that i have to read it.After i am done, i will then repeat the cycle and start with The Alchemist again.

“And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Below is an an excerpt of an interview with Paulo Coelho on the Alchemist. You can read the full interview on the link below under editorial reviews.You can also buy the book on Amazon.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Coelho: To my readers and my fans, basically my companions, I would say that spirituality is being brave, is taking risks, is daring to do something when people are always telling you not to. My parents, for example, did not want me to be a writer, and that’s why it took so long for me to fulfill my dream. But here I am, thanks to that moment after my pilgrimage from France to Spain, when I said to myself, “I can’t live with a dream that I did not even try to fulfill. ” Do the same thing.



6 comments on “The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  1. Fatmawaty
    March 7, 2015

    Lovely review!
    I like this: “Dreams do not become realized overnight, sometimes it takes years to get there but do not lose sight of your goal.”
    Thank you, sister! 😍

    • dianagitau
      March 9, 2015

      You are welcome sister and you will love the book too, you should get it if possible.

      • Fatmawaty
        March 9, 2015

        🙂 A few past days, I clicked your blog address, but I couldn’t find it. I saw (this blog has been deleted). I wanted to choose you to follow the Five Photos-Five stories. Finally, I chose other. I’m sorry for that, Sister! I believe in you, you’re a nice blogger! 🙂

  2. Muhammad Ashhar
    March 13, 2015

    Indeed, its a great book, I recently read this book and it is now one of my favorite book. I find it fascinating, encouraging and motivating. After reading this book I understood the importance of following dreams and that dreams are meant to be followed.

    • dianagitau
      March 16, 2015

      That is true Muhammad especially the bit on following dreams, i felt the same way after reading this book. The Alchemist is also one of my favorite books now.Thank you for checking out my blog.

  3. Pingback: Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho | The voices in my head

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