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The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho: Book Review

the alchemist
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Book: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Pages: 161

Price: Rs. 299

Publications: Harper Collins Publishers

Plot: The Alchemist is a story of young boy Santiago, a shepherd, who became a shepherd because he yearns of traveling the world. A boy who followed his aspiration and became a shepherd, despite the education which could allow him to become a priest, despite the trepidation of his parents. He aspires to travel so he chose to travel.

One day he had a dream, he could not understand the meaning of this dream So he went to a gypsy woman who could interpret dreams. She told him that his destiny is calling him, and his fate is to go to the Pyramids, Egypt to get the treasure of his life. He was thinking about his dream and what woman has told him when he met a man who called himself ‘The King of Salem’. He emboldens him to follow his dream, his destiny.

And from there begins his voyage. He sold his sheep, left his home place, took many perils and traveled from Spain to North Africa and then to Egyptian deserts. In his expedition, he learned many things and with the help of his learnings, he finally got his treasure.

My views: To start with, this is a short story (only 166 pages). One can finish it in a few days only.

As for my views, I have heard a lot about this book and this actually raised my expectations. And I believe this is the reason why I didn’t like the book much. I found the book very basic, maybe because I have read many quotes from the book on the internet, and then there was this famous Shahrukh Khan dialogue from the movie ‘Om Shanti Om’ which says “Kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko Dil se chaho to poori kainat use tumse milaane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai. All this made the book very basic and I found nothing new in it, so I never had that ‘wow’ moment from the book.

Philosophy, magic, mystery, all this is acceptable for me. In fact, the book is an encouraging one, and galvanize reader to listen to their heart and follow their dreams.But as I said, despite all this, I didn’t find the book to be amazing.

Overall I found this book to be just fine.

Recommendations: If you want to get some encouragement to follow your dreams, to listen to your heart then this book is for you. I will definitely suggest this book to all those who feel little crestfallen in life because this book gives one very convincing reason to follow your dreams.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Favorite Quotes:

  • We all need to be aware of our personal calling.
  • What is personal calling? It is God’s blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend.
  • The Universe is conspiring in our favor.
  • Each man kills the thing he loves.
  • I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.
  • What’s the world’s greatest lie?  It is this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.
  • What is a person’s destiny? It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is.
  • There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.
  • The soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy.
  • And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
  • People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.
  • People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being. Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early too.
  • There was nothing to hold him back except himself.
  • God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.
  • Making a decision was only the beginning of things.
  • We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.
  • In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force.
  • Life is the moment we’re living right now.
  • Go on in pursuit of your dream.
  • 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.
  • Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.
  • You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love…the love that speaks the language of the World.
  • There is only one way to learn, it’s through action.
  • Listen to your heart. It knows all things because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.
  • Fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
  • Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.
  • When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.
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Komal Bagri

A traveler and a bookworm at heart, Komal Bagri has explored many destinations across India. But that never seems to be enough and she’s always ready to hit the road again. Her obsession for travel is combined with a love for books. She is currently working as a Content Developer at an eminent press.


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