Thursday, February 28, 2013

ReView of THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

       Spiritual Fiction -  167 pages
HarperCollins (first published in 1988)

I first read this book when I was a junior in high school, aka. years ago.  I remember reading this book at a very distinct point in my life.  I was trying to figure out the direction of my life and what I wanted to do for the years to come. From then on this book has resurfaced at distinct moments like that, when chances required me to have the right perspective and The Alchemist helped me do that.  Here's why.  Because "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."

This review is part of the 2013 Paulo Coelho Spring Reading Challenge

The Alchemist is a book about the Legend we all must follow in our lives.  "Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend."  Along this path, Paulo Coelho says in The Alchemist, we're faced with four major obstacles: the thought of the impossible; the fear of abandonment by those we love; the thought of defeat we will meet on the path; and the actual fear of realizing our dream.  It's these obstacles we must overcome to truly realize our 'legend.'

The Alchemist is also a book of wisdom.  I never really understood this until recently.  It's because it is a book of wisdom that I think I tended to gravitate towards it.  At the pivotal moments in my life when The Alchemist would resurface I would find immense strength and courage from the wisdom of this book.  Here are just a few of those pieces of thoughts.

  • "It's the simple things in life that make things interesting."
  • "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own."
  • "that a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happenning to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.  That's the world's greatest life."
  • "In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens.  God has prepared a path for everyone to follow.  You just have to read the omens that he left for you."
  • "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil in the spoon."
  • "It's only those who are persistent, and willing to study things, who acheive the Master Work."
  • "Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World."
  • "You must love the desert, but never trust it completely.  Because the desert tests all men; it challenges every step, and kills those who become distracted."
  • "Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place."
The Alchemist is one of those book that will guide you, be with you, and inspire you.  One of my favorite books of all time!

Here is a map of all of other Paulo Coelho's books:

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