Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Alchemist

Book - The Alchemist
Author - Paulo Coelho
Genre - Allegorical/Psychological Drama
Year Published - 1988
My Rating - 9/10

Review by Priya Sreeram

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho's books have always held a mystical allure transporting me in to a magical realm. Calling out to the gypsy in me, his books cast a spell. Be it Veronika decides to die, The witch of Portobello or Brida, Coelho breathes life in to his characters; makes sure that the story stays with you for a long time.

The Alchemist raises a few notches than the other books by instilling positivism; making people believe in self. For he says that's the only way to realize one's destiny and true calling !

Story :-

The story is about an Andalusian Shepherd boy named Santiago setting out to find what his dream is all about. His recurrent dreams of a hidden treasure near Pyramids in Egypt forces him to sell his flock and explore the path that would enable him to not only find the treasure but also leads to self-realization.

What sets him on the journey is the encounter with a wise old man, who calls himself Melchizedek, the King of Salem. It is this man,who imparts many a valuable lessons and advices him to stay grounded with the soul purpose of realizing his destiny.Spurred on by the old man's words, the boy leaves his home and crosses the colourful Tangiers market en route to Egypt. On the way he experiences a whole lot of memorable moments, meets interesting people and gathers wisdom that further propels him in to finding his true-self. He begins to understand the signs of omens, listens; interprets his heart's messages and follows unflinchingly towards his goal.

And in the desert, Santiago meets his soul-mate, the love of his life who further motivates him to follow his dreams.And finally he meets the Alchemist who empowers him to realise his destiny. The boy discovers the truth behind the treasure as well as his personal legend, he understands that the true treasure is not the destination itself but the journey made, the wisdom,experiences & the knowledge gained !

The book strikes a chord with us because Coelho reiterates that it is the simplest things in life which gives us profound lessons on life as well as immense happiness.The review would be incomplete without mentioning a few quotes that buoys us up and resonates even after finishing the book :-
  • If a person really truly wants something, all the forces on universe would conspire in making sure that he gets it.
  • When you play your cards for the first time, you are almost sure to win, because there is a force that wants you to realise your destiny; it whets your appetite with a taste of success.
  • It's not what enters man's mouth that is evil, it's what comes out of the mouth that is
  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve - the fear of failure !
Final Word :-  The book is so beautifully written and reveals so many insights; it's an experience that is best read, re-read & savoured. It comes as no surprise that the book has been translated in to so many languages. Go ahead and revel in this magical journey !

About the Reviewer

Priya Sreeram is a SAHM for her 2 dumplings and is blessed to have a loving,wonderful and supportive spouse who is her back-bone. A passionate foodie, she chronicles her hearth & heart adventures in the food blog BON APPETIT . Also a  voracious reader & travel enthusiast, her travel footprints and musings find voice in her blog Straight from my Heart !! .