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??