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Updated: Mar 27, 2020

The Alchemist

One of the best works of Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist is not only philosophy, but also tells us that life is not about the consequences, but about the journey.

The book tells the story of a journey which covers two continents, during which it transforms the thinking and perceptions of the traveler, Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd. The plot has a simple and uncomplicated flow. Rather, Coelho has concentrated on the truth behind the meanings and ideas of certain consequences, and the actions preceding them.

The crux of the novel is mouthed by the alchemist himself – “When you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. Throughout Santiago’s journey, a multitude of simple yet profound philosophies are presented, right from the beginning of the book. Coelho infuses these into the story in a charming manner which does not burden the reader.

The question that arises after one finishes the novel is not regarding the story, but about how well the reader could absorb the lesson weaved into the tale. The whole purpose of the novel is to dive inside and find yourself, of course, with the help of Santiago.

The length is and isn’t a problem. One can finish reading the 150-odd pages of big font-sized text in one go. However, one gets so involved in this journey of treasuries that the early ending will leave one wishing there were more.

The novel is best read when in an introspective mood. I can say with the utmost belief and satisfaction, that The Alchemist is Coelho’s best book till date.

- Amey Ambike

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