Book Review: Alchemist

Posted on — | 3 min read

Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is the first book I read in 2016. This book had been in my to-read list for quite a while now and I thought I’ll give it a read. Also since it’s a short book I felt I can get through the whole book in few hours.


The book talks about one boy’s journey in finding a hidden treasure which he sees in a recurrent dream. His pursuit of finding the treasure and how he goes against all odds in search of it is what makes this book an interesting read.


I found this book quite inspiring. It starts off with a boy who is a shepherd has spent 2 years of his life traveling to different places and looking after his sheep and once gets a recurrent dream about finding treasure. He wants to pursue it no matter what because he thinks it’s a sign from the universe since he got the exact same dream twice. So he travels to the Pyramids trying to look for the treasure and in the meanwhile meets a fortune teller, an old king, a crystal merchant, an alchemist and few other people. He tries to understand how the world interacts, how people who don’t know the same language can still have a conversation and help each other and how everything is connected. He personifies pretty much everything from camels to desert, wind, sun, everything. There are times during the journey where he feels like giving up or sometimes feels like he has enough with him that he can call treasure. But he still moves on to search for it. Every person he meets, everything he observes around him teaches him something about life and how different people are.


The key take away from this book is that one must follow their passion (or Personal Legend as it’s called in this book). We will face many obstacles along the way for sure, we must not give up and keep working towards the goal of fulfilling our personal legend. Also, the journey of fulfilling our dreams may be filled with obstacles and roadblocks and in the end we may get disappointed looking at the reward as it may seem less compared to the effort we put in to get it. But what we forget is that the journey is the reward.

Few things I didn’t like about the book is the style of writing. It could have been better. Also, it gets a little weird towards the end where there’s too much personification and the boy starts talking to the desert, the wind, the sun, etc. Some people may find a deeper meaning in all this, but it’s just not my cup of tea. But apart from that the book is great and I recommend reading it.

My rating: 4/5

My Goodreads to-read list