My March Book Review doesn’t need a build up: I’ll come right out and say it. “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho, took my breath away.
While on a work trip earlier this year, I got into a “book bucket list” discussion with a friend when he asked me if I had ever read “The Alchemist.” I shrugged, admitted that I hadn’t, and took my phone out to add it to my Amazon cart. He clasped his hands together and smiled, promising, “You won’t be disappointed.”
I will admit that I was a little apprehensive at first. I didn’t know what to expect: I knew nothing about the story line and quite frankly didn’t even know what an alchemist was. I assumed that it would be a challenging book for me to follow, something far too sophisticated for my “beach read” style as of late.
But as soon as I placed the rather thin book in my hand, as soon as I skimmed through the first few pages, I was hooked. I started from the beginning once more to ensure that I hadn’t missed any part of the story line. I got acquainted with the characters. I started folding over pages that I liked: There were a lot of good quotes intertwined. I took my time, trailed behind the main subject as he traveled far and wide in pursuit of his lifelong treasure. The book chronicled his journey- shed light on the people he met, the lessons he learned, and the man he became along the way. And when he did find what he was looking for, I literally remember pausing, taking my eyes off of the page and mouthing “whoa,” to myself. Talk about a revelation.
I don’t want to give too much of the book away, as it does have a distinct beginning, middle, and end, so I will just let you know that it is up there on my top book list, along with “The Great Gatsby” and “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” and all of those other short but impactful novels. Go get it: YOU won’t be disappointed. Even better, you can get through the book in a weekend, just in time to flip back to the cover and re-read. 5 out of 5.
Paulo Coelho is magic and needs to be on your bookshelf.
“Walking along in the silence, he had no regrets. If he died tomorrow, it would be because God was not willing to change the future. He would at least have died after crossing the straight, after having worked in a crystal shop, and after knowing the silence of the desert and Fatima’s eyes. He had lived every one of his days immensely since he had left home so long ago. If he died tomorrow, he would have already seen more than the other shepards, and he was proud of that.”
FINAL SCORE: 5
BEST FOR: Everyone
NOT GOOD FOR: …I’ve Got Nothing.
IF THIS BOOK/ AUTHOR WAS A HIGH SCHOOL STEREOTYPE: The Dreamer. The Philosopher. The Storyteller.