Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist

Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho

Translated by: Alan R Clarke

ISBN # 0725532938

Publisher: Harper Collins

First Published: 1988

177 pages

Format: paperback

Rating: 8/10

Olympic Challenge:

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a magical fable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above, all follow your dreams. This is the magical story of
Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a worldly treasure as fabulous as any ever found. From his home in Spain, he journeys to the markets of Tangiers, and from there into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him. With Paulo Coelho's visionary blend of spirituality, magical realism and folklore, "The Alchemist" is a story with the power to inspire nations and change people's lives.

This book reads like a fairytale, full of mysterious wise men, omens, dreams and a destiny to follow. There’s a simplicity here – the story flows from scene to scene at a gentle pace, but there is so much happening under the surface, and at each step there is a lesson to be learned.

There is something timeless about The Alchemist - it could be set in any period, past, present or future – and will remain relevant in a way that some other books written in the latter part of the 20th Century may not, due to its complete lack of reference to anything that could possibly date it.

Absolutely enchanting!


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