Sue Feng Design

‹ Back to blog

The Alchemist

I thought I'd write an entry on this book after having read it, but I'm in one of those writing moods right now, and since I've been in a dry-spell for so long, this opportunity simply can't pass me by.

I'm a bit more than half-way done with the book and have been since day one of reading the book…so why haven't I progressed? Actually, I wanted to finish the book the day I bought it but wasn't able to because 1. I'm a slow reader and 2. I keep getting distracted while I'm reading. The two are somewhat intertwined really. I'd like to say I have too much going on to find time to finish the book, but I should be able to find time for something even if I am really very busy. Perhaps I'm not motivated. I shall finish before the end of June though.

Yes the word Alchemist was a huge determining factor for becoming interested in this book. Me and my Fullmetal Alchemist obsession…>.> I did read the inside jacket before choosing it however and was on the verge of picking a book about Jane Austen before seeing this one.

What's so unique about The Alchemist is that the main character's name is only mentioned once, at the very first sentence of the very first page of Part One: "The boy's name was Santiago." For the remainder of the book, he is known as "the boy". I actually forgot his name was ever mentioned until a few days after reading the book and glancing at the first page. It's written by a Brazilian author by the name of Paulo Coelho and the main character is from Spain. Most of the adventures take place in the northern deserts of Africa.

It's a book about finding one's destiny and how pursuing it is one's own responsibility. Some people choose not to because they haven't realized it, or they feel that it is merely a fantasy too far away to reach. Some people would rather have the fantasy and dream about their destiny than actually pursuing and fulfilling their destiny. The main character is confronted with many obstacles both internal and external and at times he almost gives up his dream. But he has courage, a determination to listen to his heart, a belief in omens, and creative optimism to guide him through his journey.

There's something magical and enchanting about this adventure book. It has fantasy, adventure, romance, and other genres that I like. I also like how the main character starts by living a common life of travel through his trade of shepherding and fantasizes marrying a merchant's daughter. Then one day he has a dream telling him to go to the Egyptian pyramids, a destination pointed out to him by a child in his dream and apparently leading to treasure. That one dream and the words of a gypsy and King Salem push him towards a great adventure.

Posted on: June 15, 2008Categories: ReviewsTags: books
‹ Back to blog