Review: The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

008 - The Alchemist

008 - The Alchemist

Rating – 1*

This is one of those books that I feel I ought to have read by this point in my life. The Alchemist is just one of those titles which I’ve known about for a long time, and actually known relatively little about. It’s really short, which is it’s biggest pro point, because I actually hated this book.

At it’s centre, this book follows a young shepherd named Santiago as he journeys in hope of finding treasure. As he travels he encounters obstacles which he has to overcome, and ultimately he has to learn a few important life lessons. Maybe I would have enjoyed it had I been a bit younger, but I found the book to be preachy and predictable, there was no nuance – it was just being rubbed in your face with no tact or skill. Maybe if I were younger, and still influenced heavily by what I read, I could have taken a lot away from this, but as an older reader I just wanted to rip pages from the book.

Essentially this book is a 150 page metaphor for what destiny is – and it is infuriating. Even though the writing was okay the skill I found there was completely overwhelmed by how much I disliked the content of the pages. Reading other reviews I can see this is the epitome of a marmite book, and that’s great that it can produce such varied responses – some love it, some hate it, and I am personally in that latter category.