Book Review – The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

Book Review – The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is another one of my absolute favourite books in my bookshelf. Paulo Coelho’s book is a metaphor that takes you on journey and you will be surprise how many different gifts people take out of having read this one.


The Alchemist is the hero’s journey of Santiago, a boy who has a dream and the courage to follow it. The story is ripe with symbolism and signs, drawn together to inspire every reader to see themselves in Santiago and wondering what dream they are meant to follow in their lives.

The Alchemist was published first in 1988. It has since sold more than 65 million copies and has been translated into more than 70 languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author.

More in details

The central philosophy of the book seems to be summarised in the statement made by one of the main characters, an old king named Melchizedek: ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’

In the story we follow Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, on his journey to discover what some would call his life’s purpose, the quest for a dream and the fulfilment of his destiny. Along the way he meets various people who give him messages, places and situations where he learns along the way to find out what they mean in relations to his quest.

It is a simple story with layers of meaning, partly probably carrying autobiographic remnants of Coelho’s journey to become a writer himself. To thoroughly understand what this metaphor has in store for you personally, you might need to read it more than once and be willing to let go of logic and reality. As the alchemist, that Santiago meets on his journey, says: ‘Those who don’t understand their personal legends will fail to comprehend its teachings.’

About the author

Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 inn Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He wanted to become a writer since his teenage years but only pursued his dream much later in life.

He nowadays splits his time living in Europe and Rio de Janeiro with his wife Christina.


This book is for you if you like to be inspired in following your destiny. Coelho has a way that allows the reader to identify with the hero, take from the story your own little messages, which might be different from what your friend will.

Let yourself be inspired by this metaphor.

Source by Nathalie Himmelrich
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