Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Five Stars)

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Five Stars)

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

Excellent. Award-winning journey of self-, world-, and supernatural-discovery by likeable protagonist. Hero’s journey format exactly fits Coelho’s purpose. Fun reading.

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

Respectfully, if not accurately melds Jewish, Christian, and Islamic spiritual inputs to Santiago’s growth. Santiago is simultaneously everyone and unique. Partisans of each faith may be offended, but Coelho provides and intimate, yet global search for identity and promise.

“You have been a real blessing to me. Today, I understand something I didn’t see before: every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”

Quibbles: so many errors about north Africa geography and cultures that readers will suspect Coelho drew his details from Arabic sources. Bedouin, clothing conventions, and oasis details are clearly inventions to serve the story, not to be taken as credible.

“The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect.”