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The Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers (2005)
Price: Rs. 299
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I purchased the alchemist with certainly no prejudices in mind, other than the fact that it is targeted at readers constantly interested in “self-improvement”.
When I was going through the Alchemist at one of the book stores it said that The alchemist opened the eyes of the editors and that reading the alchemist was like waking up to a morning lit by the sun. Crass-I tell you. It is no such thing.
But certainly the Alchemist is a book written many years back in the 1988 in a foreign language was translated into a English. It initially sold only a few copies and it was only after some marketing exercises that the book actually did sell. The alchemist is a set in a fairy tale world and that is why I must say a few people will dislike it. As I read though; it really did reflect pages from my own life. I should say that it is one of the best books that I’ve read in the self-help category. It’s complete and covers every aspect of life. Paulo Coelho’s has since then written many books ranging on subjects from life, sex to suicide. He makes excerpts from his books available on his website and says that the internet Generation must read his books. Everyone from Madonna to Bill Clinton has read The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho writes a Blog and also maintains a twitter account too interact with his readers and audiences. But in a world of increasing use of technology people are losing touch with themselves hence self-help books are bound to sell more than fiction novels.

Some “inspiring” quotes from the alchemist include “And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” which is astonishing because in spite of following our dreams we face unmanageable obstacles. There are many such quotes by self help writers which are motivational but are not entirely true. Finally I do suggest Jiddu Krishnamurti and Osho who are Indians but may be not well known in the global sphere to be read by everyone. Theirs is a school of thought and no Fairy tale.

We all turn to self help books at some point of our life but the school of thought that we adopt is essential. Paulo Coelho is a school of thought not as convincing and thoughtful as Jiddu Krishnamurti or Osho which are my recommendations.

Book Summary of The Alchemist

Written as a fable, The Alchemist is the philosophical and adventurous tale of Santiago, a simple Andulasian shepherd boy. Urged by a recurring dream to follow his true calling, Santiago starts off on a magical journey, drawing the readers along with him. The book has a simple and powerful message that is summed up in its central theme – 'When you want something, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.'

Santiago sets out to travel the world in search of an invaluable treasure, and the story of all the treasures that Santiago finds along his way enlightens us about the wisdom of listening to our hearts and recognizing the omens that are strewn along life's path and more than that, our dreams.

The main theme of the book is about finding one's destiny and is more of a self-help book rather than just literature. The Alchemist is a book that has changed the lives of many forever. The book established itself as a modern classic when its sales surpassed more than 1.5 million around the world.

The Alchemist sold 65 million books, as per a report released by the publisher, Harper Collins. It was originally written in Portuguese in the year 1988. It has been reproduced in around 67 different languages and made Coelho the world's most translated author among the ones who are alive. The book has been highly praised by critics and has made it to the bestsellers list in a total of 74 countries.

About the Author
Paulo Coelho's manner of writing is very spiritual and enlightening. His words speak volumes of philosophical knowledge. Coelho has the ability to transport readers to a different world, one that they have never seen before.

Some of the other books that Coelho is famous for include:
  • Brida
  • The Witch of Portobello
  • Eleven Minutes
  • Life
  • The Valkyries
  • Veronika Decides to Die
  • The Zahir

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and attended a Jesuit school. He was admitted to a mental institution at the age of 16 as he did not oblige with the traditional ways. He joined Law School upon the compulsion of his parents but dropped out of it and led a hippie's life, immersed in the drug culture of the 60s. He also took up the practice of occultism and Satanism. He worked as an actor, journalist, theatre director and songwriter before he moved on to be a writer, which was his dream.

Details of Book: The Alchemist

Book:The Alchemist
Author:Paulo Coelho



Publishing Date:2005
Publisher:Harper Collins Publishers
Number of Pages:188

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