A journey through your heart
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is the ‘once in a decade’ kind of book that stays with its reader.
It is a book of inspiration due to its pure wisdom. It is the book that leaves a mark on whoever reads it.
It is merely a matter of emotion and of being able to listen to what your heart tells you to do. The writer focuses on the omens and signs that destiny has weaved into one’s life.
It is a magical tale of following one’s dreams. The best part is that it is not hopelessly involved, but based on pure truths of life. But that is where most of our secrets lie. So every reader can relate to them.
When a person r wants something, the entire Universe conspires so that he can realize his dream. It is enough to learn how to listen to the dictates of the heart and to decipher the language that is beyond words.
The Alchemist tells the adventures of Santiago, a young Andalusian shepherd who one day leaves his flock to go after an illusion.
It’s an enriching journey through the desert sands that recreates a beautiful and revealing symbol of life, man, and his dreams.
Record in sales
Since its first publication in 1988, The Alchemist has sold more than 65 million copies, an excellent record for a book originally written in Portuguese.
It has been translated into more than 60 languages and distributed in 150 countries. It marked the way for the author’s next work.
It is an allegory about the meaning of life and the destiny of each one, and the convenience or not of struggling to change it.
The Alchemist is not only the most read book of Brazilian motivator Paulo Coelho but one of the ten most sold of the last 50 years, with more than 65 million copies, surpassed by just half a dozen titles.
As we explain in this concise summary, the key to its success lies in the way of presenting a message, through a narrated story in a straightforward way.
It first published in 1988, is the second book of Coelho, after “El Camino de Santiago” and has been translated into 67 languages (holds the Guinness Record as the most translated author).
After 18 years, it continues to appear in the lists of the best sellers in various parts of the world. It is announced (finally!) a film version for 2016, as explained below.
The story orbits around Santiago, a young shepherd who lives in Andalusia, Spain, during a distant past, who has a recurring dream in which he reveals that he will find a treasure hidden in the pyramids of Egypt.
After consulting with a fortune teller and talking with a wise old man who presented himself as Melchizedek, king of Salem (and who gives him two stones with divinatory powers called Urim and Thummim), he decides to undertake the long journey that would take him to his destination, to his legend.
He crosses the Mediterranean, and in a North African seaport, someone steals the money to him from the sale of its sheep.
Then he gets a job with a glass merchant. After a while, thanks to the ease of Santiago for business, he gets enough money to continue the journey.
He joins a caravan that will cross the desert, where he meets an Englishman who speaks of alchemy and learns of the existence of a character, The Alchemist, possessor of the secrets of that art.
They arrive at an oasis, in the middle of a war of clans, where he meets Fatima, who will be the love of his life and meets The Alchemist. On leaving, they result detained by a group.
The Alchemist convinces the chief of them that Santiago is a magician who can become wind; if they do not do it in 3 days, they will confront a fatal destiny.
After Santiago, based on the lessons learned, manages to converse with the desert, the wind, the sun and the hand that had written everything, the wind blows with such force that it moves the boy from one place to another. The captors are impressed and let them go.
A journey of self-discovery
There The Alchemist transforms lead into gold and divides it into four parts: one for him, one for the monastery, one for Santiago, and one for a monk when the young man returns from the journey.
Santiago must continue only towards the Pyramids. When he arrives, he begins to search for his treasure. Some bandits – to whom Santiago tells about his dream – assault him, steal him, beat him and force him to continue to behave.
When his life threatens, the head of the band understands that the vision is real, and tells him that he had a dream about a treasure that was buried in Spain, on the side of a church, under a sycamore tree.
James understood that the treasure was in his village, but if he had not made the long and dangerous journey, he would not have discovered it.
He returns to Andalusia and uncovers the treasure. He goes to the fortune teller (whom he had promised ten percent of what he finds) and then to see Fatima again.
The message of The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
The story, very influenced by classic stories like those of “A Thousand and One Nights,” and even by modern authors (like Jorge Luis Borges), is an appeal to try to reach our dreams, without waiting for them to come to us.
It is also a refutation of the belief in a destination already defined which would be only a limitation to fulfill the goals that we propose.
Nevertheless, Coelho emphasizes how all the events of our lives, fortuitous or not, influence the possibility of reaching our Personal Legend.
It also highlights the idea that we will not necessarily reach our goals on the first try, but that it is a “long run” in which perseverance, keeping our eyes on the final goal, is fundamental.
It is a book loaded with optimism and hope, undoubtedly one of the reasons for its success.
The style of Paulo Coelho
While it is true that the writer has is immersed in rumors of plagiarism of his literary works, is not less accurate than “The Alchemist” is a literary piece that manages to be emblematic for many readers for the contribution it provides to the personal growth of beings humans.
However, many critics consider it pleasant for light or motivational readings, since despite not being passionate with the story of the Young Santiago on his journey through the desert where more than pagan treasures get spiritual learning.
We can not deny that this book has sold 65 million copies and has it’s translated into 63 languages.
Thus, Coelho’s style exposes a constant dynamism where stories tend to have ups and downs, and our protagonists achieve great feats, while for many readers it may be “coarse” the theme, most readers rate it as an entertaining and colorful story.
On the other hand, we must not forget that this is the best-known work of Paulo Coelho and particularly should be a book that should not be missing from your list since it develops certain enigmatic teachings from many points of view and that only each reader will apply for aspects of your life in an individual and profound way.
The book exposes a delightful language; the story is told by an omnipresent narrator, in chronological order.
It is a load of phrases that seek to convey teaching or maxim and decorated with anecdotes and stories and even biblical passages, as is usual in the works of Coelho.
It is a short story if you want it, which you read in a couple of hours (in fact, Coelho wrote it in two weeks).
It is a book suitable for all ages, especially for adolescents interested in exploring the theme of spirituality and self-improvement. It can even be read by individual chapters, as each has its message.
Finally a film version
Since Warner Brothers acquired the rights to the film in 1996, Paulo Coelho’s followers have waited for an audiovisual version of this book. However, the projects had remained in the background.
Various media have reported the news, however, that finally in 2016 they will film the long-awaited film, starring Lawrence Fishburne and Idris Elba.
This unique book by Paulo Coelho has seemed very interesting since it is a story of adventure where the action unfolds with a firm precision that prevents your reading tires you.
On the other hand, the theme in the background looks very useful since a pure escapade demonstrates the beliefs of the existence, which we can find on the destiny that is transcribed by a hand, that of Ala (according to the play).
You can differentiate the characters between all of the different sorts of temperaments among human beings. From the poor man who believes that he can never achieve his thoughts because of his poor condition (like the case of the owner of the crystal shop), and the case of the wisest person (Alchemist).