The Alchemist - Book Review

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The Alchemist - Book Review

By | Jan. 2013
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"THE ALCHEMIST" – THE BOOK REVIEW

TITLE and INTRODUCTION:
"The Alchemist" authored by Paulo Coelho is an unforgettable novel about dreams, omens, treasures, courage and essential wisdom of listening to our hearts.

SUMMARY:
"The Alchemist" follows a story of a shepherd boy 'Santiago', who, when embarks on the journey of finding a treasure, makes a similar journey into depth of his own heart. Santiago, an ordinary shepherd boy, has a recurrent dream about a treasure. With some help from Gypsy woman and Melchizedek (King of Salem), he realises message in the dream, and then makes a biggest decision, which will eventually change his life forever; he decides to listen his inner calling and to pursue his dream. So Santiago sells his sheeps, sails to Tangier, is tricked out of his money, regains it through hard work, crosses the desert with a caravan, meets alchemist at oasis, reaches the pyramids after confronting setbacks & tests of time and eventually earns not only treasure but a timeless wisdom also.

EVALUATION:
"Alchemy" simply means transformation from impurity to the purest matter. The real alchemy here, however, is the transmuting of youthful idealism and enthusiasm into mature wisdom and patience. Santiago sees transformation in himself as he learns many lessons of wisdom from his own heart, other people, nature, omens and the alchemist himself. Author states that "to realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation." Through central theme as well as side stories, author tries to explain difficulties and obstacles that come up as we pursue our dreams. He also demonstrates how people fall into traps that seem to be too simple. First obstacle is ignorance of inner calling and adherence to people's expectations of you. Second is attachment to comfort zone and resistance to change. Third one is fear of defeats. Final but fatal obstacle is realization of destiny itself, as people tend to think they are not worth what they have...

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