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The Alchemist, By Paulo Coelho: A Book Review



By Pooja Pathak

About the Book:

ALCHEMIST is a novel written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. It was originally published in 1988 in Portuguese language and was later translated into English in 1993. This book is full of ideas, spirituality, destiny and dreams.  The book inspires people to create dreams and pursue the journey of achieving it.


It is a story of a boy, Santiago, a youthful Spanish shepherd living in the rolling hills of Andalusia, who leaves his flock and his land to pursue his dream. This story tells us that the happiness, contentment, peace and joy of one’s life lie within his journey towards his dream of life. When a person strives to live his dream, nature helps him to seek his dream; as written in The Alchemist.

While reading this novel, the reader enjoys the journey of Santiago and learns a lot of things from it..

In this novel, Santiago learns how to deal with the situation when nothing is left in his pocket.

“He did not have a cent in his pocket, but he had faith.”

He learns how to deal with the fear of failure which stops one from living one’s dreams. The only thing that restrains us from moving ahead is fear; as the boy said:

“My heart is afraid that I will have to suffer.”

Overcoming this fear is a real victory as his guide in the desert, the Alchemist, replied him:

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

And the biggest learning is the idea of living in present and investing all your strength and energy in your present as described in one of the paragraphs in this book:

“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate on the present, you’ll be a happy man….Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now”.


The Alchemist is a fantastic book that highlights some of the key ideas on personal development. The story is very enchanting and I highly recommend this book to everyone. We all have dreams, and sometimes we just want someone to tell us that they may come true. The book shows that the journey to your destiny is as important as the destiny itself. Well, “The Alchemist” is a very exciting fiction novel and is a must read.

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