Title: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coehlo

Published: 1988 (Portuguese) & 1993 (English)

Genres: Philosophy / Fantasy




The story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.



In my defence, Nicky really hyped this book up for me, which she evidently held in high regard. Whilst I thought the pages were easy to read, and the characters easy to follow, I often found it hard not to give up on it. I finished it despite finding myself bored and indifferent to how it was going to end. Knowing Nicky would have had my head otherwise helped too. I kept waiting for the “profound” message that was supposed to “change my life” but next thing I knew I was on the last page and was not overly moved. The little illustrations were my only solace. I’m confident in saying it’s a very subjective novel, which may interest you for perhaps the very reasons it didn’t interest me. My key takeaway was something I’d already learnt in 2009 from my old pal Miley when she told us that “it’s not about how fast you get there. It’s not about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.” Next time, I’ll opt for the song. ⠀⠀


NICKY'S REVIEW   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A book of two extremes, you either love it (me) or loathe it (Tay). I am still getting over her using a Miley Cyrus parallel, but alas, I am proud to be the former. This is a story of a Spanish Shepard boy named Santiago, who goes on a journey to find his dream and fulfil his destiny, and finds himself exploring his spirituality along the way. There are biblical references, proverbs and philosophical thoughts on life, love and the lessons we learn in the search of our ‘treasure’. It brings rise to the thought of our universe, the language of the world and the meaning of life, through Santiago’s eyes, and I found it provoked me to think and reflect on the same, through my own.  Take it for what you will, but if anything, this is a beautiful piece of writing that may help you in believing dreams can come true.

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