I spent a couple of hours last night reading this beloved book. The Alchemist told the story of Santiago, an Andalusian boy who travels to Egypt in search of his destiny. On the surface, it read as a simple story of the hero’s journey told in a different package. However, Coelho mixed various faith and belief systems to add a different layer to this well-told trope.
While, I enjoyed reading this book (It was more like a fable than a novel) and found some nuggets of wisdom like this one:
“The closer he got to the realization of his dream, the more difficult things became. It seemed as if what the old king had called beginner’s luck were no longer functioning. In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty nor impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.”
I get that nugget of wisdom on an intellectual level. But, I have to write the book was not as life changing as I thought before I started reading it. However, I’m glad that I finally read The Alchemist and Santiago’s story has wise things to say about pursing your destiny. I believe this book will appeal to those who claim to be more spiritual than religious. Those who are dogmatic or deep in their religious beliefs might have a problem with the syncretism that Coelho does in the book. It will be interesting to see how closely the upcoming movie aligns with the book or tells its own story about Santiago’s journey to his destiny.