The Alchemist

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just give it all up to travel and find out your purpose in life? That is exactly what Santiago does in The Alchemist. This is a simple story of following your dreams, finding your purpose, and falling in love. How can one fit that into a 167 page book? Well, Paulo Coelho does it. Santiago (referred to as ‘the boy’ through the entire book) is a shepherd in Spain. He has a recurring dream that has led him to believe that he can find treasure if he travels to the pyramids of Egypt. Along the way he meets people that help him discover his path in life, or his Personal Legend. The whole story reminded me of Arabian Nights because of the setting and the word choice, but I think the latter is because it was translating from Portuguese. Some parts of the story which one would think are very important were done subtly, with little grandiosity. For example, in the beginning of the book he is in love with a girl who only visits his town with her father once a year. He plans on visiting her but the day this is supposed to happen, he leaves for Egypt and randomly meets another girl named Fatima and falls in love, completely forgetting the girl he first set his sights on. This made some parts confusing but it was honestly surprisingly stunning. It was fantastical and realistic all at the same time. The book also had it’s far share of good quotes that made the reader feel magical. I don’t understand why I haven’t heard much about this book before. The back cover is overflowing with praises about it’s enchanting story and it’s Wikipedia page boasts that it is one of the  most bestselling book in history. Anyways, in the end the story exposes Santiago and the reader to the greatest and eternal alchemy of all-love. So go ahead and find your Personal Legend and follow the omens of your heart.

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