Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho - Review

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho (Amazon, Kindle, Flipkart, Infibeam, my user review on Amazon) - my review
4 stars
The journey of a shepherd from his country to Egypt and then back, in search of a treasure. Simple but moving story. The king, the merchant, the alchemist - all teach him a little bit about himself and the world we all live in.

This is a short and simple story about a young shepherd's journey from his home in Spain in search of a treasure, that is supposedly near the Pyramids in Egypt. Along the way he meets several people; it is a gypsy woman sets him off on his quest; a king offers him two stones to guide him on his way. The merchant and later the alchemist help him learn the lessons of life that the journey is meant to teach.

At the end of the book I had to admit that the story is moving enough  make you think about if after you left the book. However, I could not see why it has become the international phenomenon that it has - maybe the brevity, the simplicity of the message.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
If you are a Hindi movie fan, you will recognize this line as appearing several times in the Shahrukh Khan starrer, "Om Shanti Om" (on-demand video), directed by eminent choreographer Farah Khan. Uncredited, of course.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the book that I found enlightening:

“You should pay more attention to the caravan,” the boy said to the Englishman, after the camel driver had left. “We make a lot of detours, but we’re always heading for the same destination.” “And you ought to read more about the world,” answered the Englishman. “Books are like caravans in that respect.”

“Isn’t wine prohibited here?” the boy asked “It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil,” said the alchemist. “It’s what comes out of their mouths that is.”

The Alchemist (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paulo Coelho's Official Website

Kindle Excerpt:

© 2012, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.