It’s time for another book report. I love to read, and thought I would share a few words about ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, which I recently read. I also posted this review elsewhere, but thought I would share here, too.
I will admit that I was reluctant to read this book. I had previously read ‘The Pilgrimage’ by Paulo Coelho, and didn’t much like it. It was about the Camino, but seemed to be a bit fluffy and mystical. Maybe I should revisit that book, after reading this one. I loved ‘The Alchemist’ – it was msytical, but more straightforward, which appealed to me.
This is a short book, a little more than 100 pages, but the story is expansive. This is a true Hero’s Journey story. In fact, a story within the story, as the concept of ‘Personal Legend’ is discussed and explored by the main characters. If you aren’t familiar with the Hero’s Journey, you can have a look at a blog post on my other website (that website is about personal development): The Hero’s Journey on Pilgrimage.
And this is no reluctant hero. Santiago is a young man (mostly referred to as ‘the boy’) who is seeking adventure. He rejects his parents’ plan for him to become a priest; instead becoming a shepherd, so he can explore the world.
He is called to further adventure when he has a dream, meets a gypsy who interprets his dream, and then a stranger who introduces himself as a king. This is our herald to adventure. Santiago is an observant young man, he sees many signs and omens on his journey, is open to learning from them, and taking actions based on the omens.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, in case you choose to read this story, but I found it very satisfying. The boy comes full circle and, just like the Hero’s Journey chart, must experience the abyss before he can return with his gifts.
Santiago is a wise young man and is willing to share his gifts as he travels. He engages his full power as he listens to (and has a conversation with) his heart. And I will finish with a couple of quotes from the book:
The world’s greatest lie is this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.
To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.
I encourage you to read and decide for yourself.