I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho from May 21 to May 23, 2012
THE STORY OF THE BOOK:
PAULO COELHO'S enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom points Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time. Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), By the river Piedra I sat Down and Wept (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo entitle Maktub (1994), the compilation of texts Phrases (1995), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Manual of a Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika decides to die (1998), The Devil and Miss Prym (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in Stories for parents, children and grandchildren (2001), Eleven Minutes (2003), The Zahir (2005), The Witch of Portobello (2006) and Winner Stands Alone (to be released in 2009). During the months of March, April, May and June 2006, Paulo Coelho traveled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella in 1986. He also held surprise book signings - announced one day in advance - in some cities along the way, to have a chance to meet his readers. In ninety days of pilgrimage the author traveled around the globe and took the famous Transiberrian train that took him to Vladivostok. During this experience Paulo Coelho launched his blog Walking the Path - The Pilgrimage in order to share with his readers his impressions. Since this first blog Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress, Myspace & Facebook. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube and Flickr, offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers. From this intensive interest and use of the Internet sprang his bold new project: The Experimental Witch where he invites his readers to adapt to the screen his book The Witch of Portobello. Indeed Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution of his work.
I wanted this book so much when I read about it being a best-seller, and how it changed some people's lives. Now I know that sometimes best-sellers are overrated! When I first read the book, I liked it but it was the first English book I read (regardless to the ones we study at school), so maybe I overrated it a little too. But even then, I realized that there's something I didn't like about this story. I didn't like this fable/parable style. And that supernatural side of the story, when Santiago spoke to the Sun and to the wind, I found this part of the book dumb! .. As for the ending, "I could have borne some kind of a metaphor, but for the boy to actually discover a treasure-physically-a real treasure box full of gold was laughable" .. The whole story I thought that the treasure was "symbolic" but it turns out to be a real treasure!
I think the moment the book became supernatural (talking to the sun and the wind) was the moment I thought this book is getting dumb, and made me think that I couldn't relate to the book anymore. But for the beginning of the story, I liked it. And, it had many quotes that I really liked.
To be honest, when I first read the book I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, so, I overrated it too. But now I know that it's not 4 out of 5 after I've read some other books.
The moral of the book is good though, and it has great pieces of advice and wisdom within it. It has many good quotes that leave a good impression. The quotes were even more inspiring than the story itself.
SOME QUOTES I LIKED:
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
“If you start by promising what you don't even have yet, you'll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”
“There is only one way to learn. It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say.”
“If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise," said the seer. "If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur.”
“There was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.”
“You must always know what it is that you want.”
“I'm going away," he said. "And I want you to know that I'm coming back. I love you because...."
"Don't say anything," Fatima interrupted. "One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
“I'm like everyone else—I see the world in terms of what i would like to see happen, not what actually does”