4 stars · fiction · romance

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Pages [paperback]: 167

Available now!

Memorable Quote: “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”


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 wordly 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.


When I started the Alchemist, I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I don’t even remember where I got the ebook from. Yet, reading the first few pages, I was intrigued, and kept reading. I ended up really enjoying it! This short read has a great moral to the story, and reminds me of a more mature, modern fairytale.

Not that there are goblins, or fairy godmothers, or wishes. Instead there are endless deserts, the Pyramids of Egypt, a mysterious treasure, and a man known only as the alchemist. As I followed this shephard boy’s journey, there were moments to reflect on my own life. The overall message of The Alchemist was to follow your heart and never let anything stand in the way of following your dreams.

As a teen struggling to find her place in today’s world, I think this advice is especially handy. When people are constantly telling you that whatever you want to do, you can, while at the same time job oppertunities are scarse and the world seems to be plummeting into chaos . . . It can get depressing. But remembering what you want in the future, and how you can follow your dreams, makes me hopeful that whatever’s to come is good enough for me.

Anyway, the simplicity of the story was wonderful. I wasn’t overwhelmed by details, though their extraction wasn’t blatantly obvious, either. This perfect balance is usually hard to come by.

I loved the little twist at the ending! It made me laugh, and was definitely the best part of the story to me.

The Alchemist, a short, inspiring story, gets 4/5 stars.

3 thoughts on “The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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