Book review: The Alchemist

So I wanted to read this book for a long time, people had recommended it to me time and time again. I had seen the book recommended at the end of other spiritual/motivational/self-help books and on the internet. My life as a law student prevented me from reading this book until recently graduating. I ordered the book off Amazon and am might glad that I did.

I enjoyed the book because not only is it spiritual and enlightening but it also gave the ‘escapism’ which fictional books give their readers, to be able to visualise a story far away from the reality of your own life. The book is short and easy to read and I would definitely recommend this book to fellow readers (if of course you like this sort of genre).

Reading through its chapters I felt as though nothing was really happening, nothing exciting anyway. But the biggest element of it was that it was not predictable, therefore when something did happen I was genuinely shocked and gripped to read on. I kept going through these dips whilst reading this book but once you get to the end and it all makes sense you realise what a worth-while-read it was. The book is about a shepherd boy who follows his dreams. The simplicity of the storyline made it easy for me to read to and from work, when I was too tired in the morning to sometimes think too deeply.

The problem with this book was that everyone ‘bigged’ it up so much that I was expecting it to be life changing as many people have described. Unless God is going to talk to me or the sun turn me into the wind (I will most certainly update you though) then I unfortunately don’t feel as though the book has changed my life. I suppose if I had just read it with an open mind without taking other peoples opinions so heavily with me to its pages I would have just been surprised and happy with the book.

I am still on my journey of reading these types of books, some have been more influential than others. Some have made me finish the last page and go ‘wow’, some have made me think about and see the world in a different light. I have read recently ‘The Hero’ and ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, ‘The Power of Love’ by James Van Praagh and ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckart Tolle. ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho is a good book to read, but I wouldn’t rate it quite up there with these other books that I have read recently. The problem is though because I am reading them one after the other I am naturally comparing them to each other. If I had been reading a lot of fictional books lately then my outlook on The Alchemist might have been more ‘life changing’ so to speak, as many reviews have said. If you haven’t been reading a lot of spiritual books lately then this book might have a different and more meaningful impact on you than it did me.

The book certainly enhanced my view of ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I know people have many conflicting opinions on that sentence, but it is something I believe is true in my own life whether you agree or not. I am entitled to that opinion as you are of course your own. In the book the boy gets beaten badly and only after that beating did it come to light that he needed to be beaten for that event to lead him to the next chapter in his life. No matter how hard times may be or how long it takes you to get to where you want if you truly want something no matter what it is you will get it. This doesn’t include impossible things like growing wings or win the lottery – (although it does happen) but real, heart felt dreams can and do come true. If that dream is what you want, you will get there no matter what and as the book points out, many unexpected twists and turns may happen on your journey to get to where you want and need to be. The boy, (as many of us do) doubted his dream and thought life might be simpler to stay where life had lead him to at that moment in time, this resonates with many of us. We all feel like that at some point and the book is motivational to make you feel not so alone on your road to your dream, because everyone has doubts, gets cold feet and doesn’t get to the end of that road as quickly as they want.

One thing for sure is that I did enjoy it, there were parts of the book where I finished the chapter and felt really happy, the ending being one of those times. And, although it may not have changed my life I am glad that I read it and would recommend it to anyone. It can only make you feel happier and more enlightened by reading it so it is worth a go to gain your own opinion of it, just go in open-minded when you read it and you can’t go wrong!

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”…”And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

The Alchemist