“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho Book Review


The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese and has since been translated into 67 languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. It has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history.

This inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Paulo Coelho is a charming tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who dreams of seeing the world, is compelling in its own right, but gains resonance through the many lessons Santiago learns during his adventures. He journeys from Spain to Morocco in search of worldly success, and eventually to Egypt, where a fateful encounter with an alchemist brings him at last to self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it’s full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams. The cumulative effect is like hearing a wonderful bedtime story from an inspirational psychiatrist. Comparisons to This is a sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike.

If you haven’t read it, pick it up at your local bookstore or get the e-book. If you have already read it, please take some time to discuss it with us.

*If you have an idea for next month’s book email akatito@alumniroundup.com

0 responses to ““The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho Book Review”

  1. Excellent story. I recommend it to my students to remind them to stay focused, to stay committed to their dreams.

  2. Ok… so obviously there are many parts of the book that can be extrapolated for ever but the one that stands out in mind is the encounter with the crystal merchant. The advice he gave the boy was dead wrong but it was the best advice he could give based on his experiences and his own fears and inequities. Luckily the boy followed his heart instead of listening to the kind words of an old sweet man. What an amazing way to illustrate the idea of following your path regardless of who tells you otherwise.

  3. For me there were two underlying themes that resonated. Fate: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” In other words, when you decide to follow your ‘personal legend’ (dreams/goals/destiny) the stars align to help you succeed. And the other, (and most relevant to me) was Love. The ideas that 1. true love will never get in the way of achieving your dreams and 2. having love and pushing forward to reach those dreams aren’t mutually exclusive and can coexist, simply made me more resolute in my decision to pursue both simultaneously.

  4. I enjoyed the story immensely. The format reminded me Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World”. I don’t want to over hype folks into NOT reading the book, so I will end it there.

    It’s worth the pick up.


  5. its one of the most inspired books i’ve read…
    speaks about true wisdom, faith and determination
    …bottomline…NEVER GIVE Up!!NEVER QUit!!
    it doesn’t mean we need to be big..rich and famous to step in reaching our goals…
    we can do what we can by simply being what we are…
    God bless

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