Book Review: The Alchemist –  Paulo Coelho

Hello fellow readers,

Today I would be reviewing one of my favorite books of all time, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Name of the book – The Alchemist – A fable about following your dream 

Fiction, Contemporary fiction

Santiago, The Old King, The Merchant, Englishman, The Alchemist

What is The Alchemist about?
As the tagline of the book says, it’s a fable about following your dream. It’s about a shepherd boy named Santiago in Spain, who gets recurrent dreams about some hidden treasure in a distant land. The book is all about what he does with that dream of his, would he dare to dream further? Work hard to achieve it?
The Alchemist is, if I had to describe in one line, a story about daring to dream and moreover being determined to achieve it despite all the hardships.

What did I enjoy in The Alchemist?
The entire book! Paulo Coelho at his best. It has a strong story line with an even stronger moral attached. The boy’s character seems credible, innocent, realistic and relatable. The dilemma that he faces whether to go on with his dream or not, the hardships that he faces through the journey, the wisdom that he gains in turn, all seems very relatable and inspiring. How many times have we desired to achieve a distant dream of ours but not taken a step towards it because we are worried about failures? For those who did manage to take a step forward, how difficult was it to be determined and not give up, whenever a struggle showed up?
As they say, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This book highlights the fact that sometimes, it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. Because it is this journey that teaches us wisdom, gives us the courage to keep moving in darkness, gives us hope, gives us enough courage to overcome all the obstacles and think of them as a learning. After all we are who we choose to be.

Some of the best quotes I loved from this book are:

“The darkest hour of the night came just before dawn.”

“Fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

“Listen to your heart.”

“Your eyes show the strength of your soul.”

“Everything has been written by the same hand.”

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

“It’s not what enters the mouth that’s evil. It’s what comes out of the mouth that is.”

What did I not like in The Alchemist?
The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese, O Alquimista. The English translation of this book does refer to some phrases such as Language Of The World, Soul Of The World etc. But you will get over it soon, and learn to recognize those words in your own way. Apart from that I don’t find a single reason why anyone shouldn’t read this book. I’m glad I bought a hard cover!

Who would love this book?
Those who are in search of inspirational books, which would rekindle their spirits and revive their desires to achieve their dreams.

Who would not?
This book may not come across as “practical” for some but don’t we all learn a thing or two from fables/stories? Fables are not just for kids, they are for everyone.

Would I recommend The Alchemist?
Yes, with all my heart. The Alchemist is a classic. 

Rating (Out of 5)

Where did I buy the book from?
I bought a copy from Amazon. It’s a special 25th year anniversary edition from Harper Collins. You can buy the book here.

Image Courtesy: Harper Collins


A lover of books, travel, friends and family (in no particular order). She was a techie by profession, now a traveler and a reader by passion. You can check out her travel blog:

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Alchemist –  Paulo Coelho

  1. This is one of my favorite books too. Will Smith often mentions this book in his interviews. A must read.

    1. Yes, Raghav. I have seen a couple of interviews where Will Smith mentions about The Alchemist. I think he mentions this in an interview with Oprah Winfrey too. I’m glad to have read this finally 🙂

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