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may’s read: the alchemist

June 7, 2012

May’s read (finished just a tad bit late) was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It tells the story of a shepherd boy, who unknowingly encounters a king after having dreamt of hidden treasure in Egypt. After explaining to the boy that every man has a Personal Legend, the king encourages him to pursue this dream. The pursuit of the treasure and his Personal Legend leads the boy to distant lands, where his experiences and encounters with various people along the way, although outwardly frustrating at times, eventually all play a part in leading him to the treasure, and ultimately to fulfilling his purpose.

To be honest, despite this book’s rave reviews, I never really had an interest in reading it, as I assumed it fell under the fantasy fiction genre, of which I am not a huge fan (with a few exceptions). But, I decided to give the book a try (after all, it’s only 167 pages), and although it does include a few supernatural elements, it was surprisingly captivating and may have even incited some wanderlust to see the pyramids in Egypt. As usual, here are a few quotes from the book:

“There must be a language that doesn’t depend on words, the boy thought.”

“Every search begins with beginners luck and ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” 

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 02:07

    I read this book when in the hospital in 2004. It annoyed me that it seemed to go around in a circle. It’s well written but I felt it went nowhere in the end. He is a good writer though.

  2. June 7, 2012 14:57

    I did notice a somewhat circular plot line. I wonder if Coelho did that to portray the lessons and growth that the boy experienced through facing similar situations on multiple occasions. And I definitely agree that this book is very well written. Hope there is no more need for you to be in the hospital.

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