The Alchemist

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Though lately heard about the novel The Alchemist, published in 1988 and written by the great author of contemporary literary fraternity, Paulo Coelho, I have already heard the name Santiago (Muñez) in a movie named Goal. This name is all about inspiration and ambition coupled with determination and struggle. Coelho’s novel also shows the same reflections in the form of a treasure hunt…

The Alchemist is all about dreams, omens, oasis and intuition. A little deeper and one can find that The Alchemist is all about finding one’s true shelter, true purpose and ‘true legend’. New York Times did not do anything wrong in claiming that the novel is more a sort of self-help rather than being (any piece) of literature!

Going by the story in short, it can move like the following. A shepherd from Andalusia dreams about some treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. Though he seeks help from the fortune-teller to ensure himself of the dream. Fueled and inspired by the king of Salem, Santiago decides that he will pursue his ‘personal legend’. The young shepherd sells his flock and arranges money for the travelling purposes. (Well, every treasure hunt begins only after selling one’s fortunes!)

The ways are full of other people meeting him, his falling in love with an Arabian girl Fatima (and understanding that true love does not demand) and also meeting the Alchemist at the end before going back to the old and ruined church where he finds some treasure pleasure.

Well, the story might seem ordinary in this shorter and rather quicker format, but it surely has the depth. And that’s why it has been translated into more than 60 different languages from the language it was originally written in – Portuguese. The novel focuses on life’s purpose and our pursuits. Paulo Coelho has done a commendable job in perhaps turning a non-fiction into some fiction by making it wear a novel-form so wonderfully. If we go on to replace Santiago by ourselves and the treasure by our goals, we will easily settle into our own stories – and that’s the secret of this novel’s good performance!

If you still haven’t enjoyed the work The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, your time is now! Go on and read this wonderful work to realise for yourself that how an impetus can turn someone into an achiever. The novel offers a straight story mixed with some rare changes of the narrative direction. The novel is best suited for one time reading and enjoying the build!

Review by – Sonia V. S.

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