Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

the-alchemist-400x400-imadk282hypgngzeThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho  is by far one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read and I
would highly recommend it to anyone looking to read a meaningful story.

I read this book years ago and was touched by the incredible journey the main character, Santiago, goes through to fulfill his life legend in pursuit of a treasure he seeks. I got reminded of this book just recently upon having an enlightening conversation with a friend of mine from San Francisco who works at a start-up tech company.

There is something about Silicon Valley that gets me sort of excited, maybe it’s the dream, maybe it’s the start-up culture or the incredibly intelligent and real people you meet there. Whatever it is, I love the vibe of SF people and here is a little insight as to why;

My SF friend and I were taking a walk one morning with our coffees at hand and we came across a convenient store which had a sign advertising for the lottery; “Win 30 Million Dollars!”, as I have often dreamt about winning the lottery and what I would do with my winnings, I posed the same question I have asked dozens of people to him; “What would you do if you won the lottery?”.

The answer I got wasn’t one that I was expecting and I think you all might be surprised too!

He took my question seriously and thought about it long and hard and then said the following:

“Selfishly… I don’t want to win the lottery.”

I was baffled! first of all selfishly? And second of all who doesn’t want to win the lottery?!

He went on to explain as he could see my face was a bit shocked;

“Selfishly I don’t want to win because I know my winnings could potentially secure my family but personally I would gain no great value from that kind of money.”

I took that answer in for a brief moment and asked him; “What if you could start you own company with it?”

To which he responded:

“I already work for a start-up and what I do for them on a technical level is just as rewarding, I think the money would actually ruin my journey completely.”

I had a moment, that word “journey” immediately reminded me of the book “The Alchemist” and how incredibly real it just got for me.

In short, The Alchemist takes place in Egypt during the Middle Ages at a time when Alchemy was practiced. The main character, Santiago is a Spanish shepherds boy
who lives a simple and uneventful life until he starts to experience a series of reoccurring dreams. Throughout these dreams he is continuously approached by a child who tells him to go and find a treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. With little to lose, other than his sheep, he sells everything and goes on a quest to find this treasure and in his journey he encounters rich characters such as the alchemists.

For Santiago, the treasure becomes far less valuable than the wealth of knowledge and experience he gained throughout his journey. And even though he does find material wealth along the way, the experience clearly becomes the real treasure.

I would recommend this book for a meaningful read full of symbolism and poetic writing! And a reminder that life is about the journey & we are all richer for the experience.

Xx. ParParV


16 Comments Add yours

  1. swajithkas says:

    Since last few days I am following your blog and each time you amuse me with your sweet post and this is one of them.
    Yes, I have read this book one year ago and just now completed one more precious gem from the same author, so, it simply gives me pleasure to recollect my memory after reading this post.
    Congratulation for creating this wonderful blog.
    Wishing you all the best…………

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      Wow! what a wonderful message thank you so much! 🙂 I am so glad you are enjoying the posts and I am looking forward to reading your blog too!! I have to say this is one comment that encourages me to keep going so thank you for that!! As well please let me know which book you just read by Paulo Coelho, I am always looking for more books to read 🙂

      Sending you lots of positve energy!! Xx. ParPar

      Liked by 1 person

      1. swajithkas says:

        Thanks a lot for your subscription to my blog, now, we are official friends of each other, isn’t it?????????
        Regarding your comment,
        “I am looking forward to reading your blog”
        Eagerly awaiting to visit my new very fabulous and fantastic friend with open arms,open heart and lots of cheers, come there, I will tell you which book I have read?
        Sending you lots of positve energy!!
        Thanks I received it and rejuvenated, I wish, you will send it more often.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Parparvan,
    Great blog and as you say the Alchemist is a great book with some wise life lessons too so thank you for reminding me about it!
    You mentioned you love to read and are always looking for books so I would definitely recommend “The map of love” by Adhaf Soueif if you ever come across it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      Wow!! thank you for your recommendation! I am gonna look into it for sure, I am trying to get through one book every 2 weeks 🙂 thats my set goal for this year:)


  3. amaya911 says:

    Congrats! I’m not sure if you accept awards but here is one for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      Thank you so much!!! 🙂 I really appreciate the nominations-

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cami says:

    I had considered reading this awhile ago and never got around to it; I think you have convinced me to read it this summer!

    Chasing Vogue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      That’s amazing! Please let me know what you think of the book when you finish it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. alexraphael says:

    Read it years before I set up my blog. Need to go back to it to have something to quote in my Literature section. I remember never having read anything like it before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      It’s very poetic indeed and some of the greatest quotes I have ever come across are within the context of this book! A simple story with oh sooo many in-depth lessons


      1. alexraphael says:

        Very. I should so read it again.


  6. Aby says:

    I’m reading this book this month over on my blog!
    Feel free to join in (first time reader or re-readers), I would love to hear what you think about it

    Aby xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      Thanks Aby! will do 🙂


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