Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


‘’When I’m eating, that’s all I think about. If I’m on the march, I just concentrate on marching. If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other.

“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.


Book Review

Title: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fiction/ Self Help

This is a story of Santiago, a young shepherd boy from Andalusia, a south province in Spain. Referred to as the boy, Santiago is determined to travel the world in search of his treasure as he keeps on having this recurring dream. As he embarks on his journey of knowing more about this dream, the boy (Santiago) meet a couple of people who will help, advise and lead him closer to the treasure.

During his time at the desert dunes of Egypt, the boy finally meets the alchemist who not only helps him find the treasure, but also discover his ‘Personal Legend.’ The boy gets to learn the language of the world, learns to listen to his heart and more so meets a desert woman whom he immediately falls in love with.

Reading through the book, one can’t help relating with the encounters the boy faces. Paulo Coelho offers insightful ideas about one’s own destiny, overcoming fear, dusting off your shoulder and pressing on amidst failure.

It offers some inspiring quotes which I couldn’t resist writing down;

  1. ‘’When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favor.’’ ( This quote has been overly been used in the book and you simply can’t avoid it)
  2. It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting
  3. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.

These are just but a few of the numerous inspiring quotes I came across to. Don’t resist sharing yours on the comment section below.

I bought this book early last year, around March to be precise.  I had read great reviews about it and was looking forward to go through it since I’d listed it on my TBR shelf. I kept on procrastinating on it, but I finally picked it up this year as I was developing my TBR list. I really don’t know what kept me off from this awesome book. Am glad though I finally got to read it because the impression it has left on me goes a long way. It made me realize and ponder more on life and its hurdles. Going after my dreams head on and also not to give in to critics or anything that stands as a threat to what I desire to achieve. Just what I needed for new year!

I’ve always advocated for positive thinking believing that it yields positive results. And this thought got confirmed by Paulo Coelho in this particular book. This has got to be my second read by Coelho after Brida. And to be honest, though they share some similarities, The Alchemist stands out for me.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who reads not only to escape reality, but also to understand reality, simply because The Alchemist offers the best of both worlds.

What were your thoughts on the book?

Which other Paulo Coelho would you recommend?


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