Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: May 1st 2006 by HarperCollins (first published 1988)
ISBN: 0061122416 (ISBN13: 9780061122415)
Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: David had it in his pile of books. (I don’t make it to the library very often.)
Where I Obtained the Book: At my local library.
Synopsis: Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. "The Alchemist" is such a book. With over two million copies sold in English and twenty-one million copies worldwide, "The Alchemist" has established itself as a modern classic that will enchant and inspire readers for generations to come.
Review: This book had me on the first page. A boy looking for his destiny and then being led many different directions during the search. He experienced many things he would have missed out on had he settled for the sheep. The King inspired me to want to find what my ‘Heart Wants’. The twists and the turns his life took and the many opportunities he had to just stop and enjoy the fruits of his labors, interested me. He kept going, disappointment after disappointment, with the help of those around him. The idea of having a goal, like visiting Mecca, yet never going because what would you do then? I can identify with that. I guess I need to make a few more goals and then accomplishing one will not leave me goal less, it will leave me with more times to finish the others on the list.
I enjoyed this book, it’s short and can be read in an afternoon. Pick it up, you will be surprised what you learn about yourself. Life leads us many places, where listening to our heart is difficult. A moment of quiet, once in awhile, may be all we need to find what we really seek.
Author Biography: The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time. Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), By the river Piedra I sat Down and Wept (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo entitle Maktub (1994), the compilation of texts Phrases (1995), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Manual of a Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika decides to die (1998), The Devil and Miss Prym (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in Stories for parents, children and grandchildren (2001), Eleven Minutes (2003), The Zahir (2005), The Witch of Portobello (2006) and Winner Stands Alone (to be released in 2009). During the months of March, April, May and June 2006, Paulo Coelho traveled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella in 1986. He also held surprise book signings - announced one day in advance - in some cities along the way, to have a chance to meet his readers. In ninety days of pilgrimage the author traveled around the globe and took the famous Transiberrian train that took him to Vladivostok. During this experience Paulo Coelho launched his blog Walking the Path - The Pilgrimage in order to share with his readers his impressions. Since this first blog Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress, Myspace & Facebook. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube and Flickr, offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers. From this intensive interest and use of the Internet sprang his bold new project: The Experimental Witch where he invites his readers to adapt to the screen his book The Witch of Portobello. Indeed Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution of his work.