The Alchemist: A Review

An inspiring tale that demonstrates how to achieve your goal


The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is an allegory published in 1988 in which the main character, Santiago, embarks on an abstract journey from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt in search of a "treasure". Along the way, Santiago meets a myriad amount of guides, including an omniscient king, a shop owner, an Englishman, and many more. While on the journey, he learns about a personal legend and encounters with many people who teaches him about the "Soul of the World". Coelho brilliantly introduces the idea of a personal legend, or a callong in life. Omens and signs are a huge part of the journey and Coelho manages to keeshow them without appearing too mystical. Although many may not believe in these, Coelho maintains throughout the tale their relevance to each person's personal legend. The story does feel a little too mystical at times, though; it often feels as if Coelho is trying to start a religion as opposed to informing the reader of a method of achieving goals. All in all, The Alchemist is a well-written novel that lives up to the hype of one of the most read books of all time.

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