Book Review: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

This is a great Children book to read for adults.

A boy shepherd looking for his personal “legend” went on his journey to find the treasures next to the pyramid of Egypt. He sold out his herd of sheep and became a well-heeled crystal sales person and accumulated enough wealth to continue his journey. Then he got tricked/robbed and ran into the Alchemist, who taught him how to listen to his heart and blocked out the aches and distractions like falling in love with a woman of the dessert – Fatima. At the end he found the treasures in his own backyard in Spain and reunited with his Fatima. Ultimately, it’s the boy that turned into an Alchemist.

By definition, an alchemist transforms “cheap” metal like lead into precious metal like gold. (It’s scientifically unfeasible but seems to be catching phrase in the old days.) If one takes the journey of his life with courage and overcome his failures, he’s basically a alchemist, metaphorically. There are many people who get comfortable in life and forget to pursue his/her own “legend” or purpose/meaning of his life like the crystal store owner and the robber who gave him the hint where the physical treasures are. He/she may live through his/her life never knowing what he/she really means to the greater purpose, if he/she does’t pursue them with great efforts. Besides, the world “conspires” to help us one way or another when we pursue our dreams. In any way, everyone makes an impact to the world to various degrees.

The book is nice and short and full of life teachings. Wish I read this book earlier. Somehow it means more to a middle-age person than to a young man or an old man, I suppose.