The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Hi all,

So I took a mini-pause from blogging to focus on getting ready for the coming holidays. I finished one book in the two weeks I haven’t posted- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was suggested to me by a couple of people, plus it has been on numerous reading lists I’ve looked at.

If you don’t know, The Alchemist is a story about Santiago (or, commonly called “the boy” in the book) who follows his Personal Legend (or, in regular terms, his fated destiny) to the Egyptian pyramids. Basically, Santiago left a seminary at a young age to become a shepherd to be able to travel when he had a dream that he ought to go to the pyramids because a treasure awaited him there. The entire book centralizes on his journey there.

This book was, for me, a difficult read. Not to say that it was challenging, I just don’t prefer books about desert-y places. I also didn’t care for the lack of names in the book. It seemed that everyone was only known by their profession. It was not often that you read the names of the characters. The exception to this would be Fatima, the girl that Santiago fell in love with during his journey… Which poses an interesting question to me- why does the essentially one and only female character get to have a name, but all men don’t? Not sure I’ll expand on that thought during this post, but I thought about it while reading.

I also didn’t care for the “preachy” feeling of this book. The entire book essentially tells you to take chances and go for your dreams, which is great! However, there were so many times were our story was paused so that a character could tell a different story. I felt like I really read 6 fables and one novel.

I felt awful for the Englishman (a man who the boy meets along his journey to the pyramids) because he was on a quest to meet the Alchemist, but when the Alchemist is revealed, he has no interest in the Englishman. I just thought that was boogers for the Alchemist to not even warn the Englishman by saying “hey, I know you’re here, but you really need to focus on your heart, not those books”… He just tells him to keep at what he’s doing, although he knows it will not produce the results the Englishman wants.


I didn’t hate this book by any means. It had some real quote-able material! Although I felt it drug on in some parts, the end message was decent- Follow your destiny despite everything else and you will be rewarded beyond measure (with knowledge and substance). Not my top 10, but it didn’t fall into the worst of the worst category!


So, have you read this book??

Happy Readings,



4 thoughts on “The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

    • lorannkay says:

      It definitely isn’t one that I would openly recommend to others. It was suggested to me after I was telling a friend about how moving the book Eat, Pray, Love was to me… but the two do not give me the same feelings. All in all, The Alchemist was somewhat generic.. it took old fables (many of them) and spun it into a somewhat short story that’s main theme was “follow your dreams, no matter what”. Let me know if you end up reading it- I would love to get your take on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. MinahilJaved says:

    Hey LK!
    I’ve read this book! I sincerely feel like it’s an awe-inspiring read if you are a soul scavenging your destiny. Views vary from person to person, and that’s the beauty of diversity! I highly respect your opinion but in my perspective, I enjoyed going through it, maybe not as much as I normally would but I honestly think reading it wasn’t a waste of time but a time that helped me realise the importance of MY dreams! ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.’ It genuinely inspired me to aim high so I can achieve big but I agree with you on the point that it was too preachy with fables, more than one, mixed up which contributed to make it arduous to read! I loved your review though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lorannkay says:

      Thanks for your review, MJ!
      I think I may have just been looking forward so much to this book because of the positive reviews people had given me that I was slightly disappointed. At the time of reading the book, I really wasn’t doing any major soul searching, or questioning my destiny… it may have something to do with the fact that I sorta see myself already striding to my goals and aspirations?
      Just to be 100% clear, this definitely isn’t the worst book I’ve read. I didn’t loathe it or anything, I just really didn’t think it compared in the same category as other “self help” type of books have affected me. A handful of my friends seriously loved this book though, so I know that it is a good, solid story that needed told.

      Thank you again so much for reading and reviewing!! 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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