By Paulo Coelho
After writing this novel, Paulo Coelho proved everyone wrong who ever doubted his ability as a writer. About 65 million copies are sold of the The Alchemist around the world. It is one of the bestselling books in the history. This is the tale of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who lives in a deserted church in Spain. He always gets a recurring dream about him travelling around the world and finding a treasure near the pyramids. This novel is about his journey from his homeland to the great Egyptian dessert in the search of treasure. During this journey, he meets a king, a desert girl and an alchemist. These people have great impact on both his life and his journey.
In the story, Santiago tells about his dream to a woman who encourages him to pursue his dream telling that his dream is prophetic. Santiago finds himself in a dilemma, he is uncertain about giving up his happy shepherd life for a mere dream. Nevertheless, he sells his flock and starts his journey. He then meets a man who claims himself as the King of Salem. He tells Santiago about two types of omens, good and bad. We can very well correlate the bad omens to the hurdles we face in the journey towards our dreams, good omens are the driving force of our journey.
Santiago, later on joins a caravan travelling to the great desert of Egypt. He meets the love of his life, Fatima, an Arab girl but he never his love for Fatima to be an obstacle between him and his dreams. He continues his journey without her, he meets an Englishman next. He later on learns that he is an alchemist. At last when Santiago reached his destination, he found that there is no treasure there, instead he gets robbed and beaten up by some thugs. He becomes so disappointed that’s when he learns from a man that he is also has a same dream as Santiago when he was there in the same church in Spain. Santiago, then returns to his home and after digging the place where he was getting that specific dream, he finds the treasure.
Paulo Coelho shares a very close sentiment with this novel. He always dreamed of becoming an author but was sent to mental institution in his early age. He escaped from there and travelled around the world. Later on, he returned to his home and started writing. Like Santiago, his dreams came true in the place he started his journey. Through this novel, he urges us to follow our instincts and fulfill our dreams. My favorite lines from the novel are “When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favor.”
Coelho has a very pensive and dreamy writing style. Only he can make even a philosopher to ponder on his words. On one hand, this novel provides an escape from reality at the same time, it gives an insight of reality. This is not only an adventurous journey of a young boy who travels around the world but a lot more. It is a story of Santiago’s courage, hope, love, his learning of the language of his heart and alchemy amidst the never ending sand, swindlers, and tribe wars.
I like this novel very much. Everyone gets a chance to fulfill their dream but not everyone is courageous enough to take the first step. It takes a lot of willpower and determination to abandon everything which you have earned so far known to follow a dream which can be an illusion. Is quitting the lifestyle, comfort, existing relationships, and security worth it? Well, this novel has surely inspired me to take a fearless decision on daily basis to follow my heart. What, I learnt from this is that maybe my dreams will be a mirage to others but to me it is what my heart wants. Although, sometimes the plot of the novel has deep spirituality where Coelho talk about the God and the heaven, you can surely correlates scenario to your life. There is nothing in the novel that I would like to change.
This is an awe-inspiring novel. In a subtle and efficient way, Coelho has told the power of spirituality, positivity, hope, and love in the story in a very simple and immaculate way. After you read this novel once, every time when you are in a dilemma, you find yourself flipping through the pages of The Alchemist.