The Alchemist… A disappointment


This is the goodreads summary:

“Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.”


Sounds fucking awesome right? Right. Only it wasn’t. It was super cheesy and really repetitive. Like… when I say super cheesy I mean SUPER cheesy. The woman he loves sends him kisses on the wind which he feels and recognizes as hers. And by the way, he fell in love with her after she smiled at him at a well. They only ever even talked a handful of times.


He convinces God to change him into the wind at one point… which might be cool except the whole book up till then has been somewhat realistic so its oddly disjointed.


AND the entire premise of the book is that If you want something then it’s meant to be and ALL you have to do is abandon all that’s realistic in the world and follow your heart and watch for omens and everything it the world will conspire to help you. WICH IS TOTAL BULLSHIT.


There were things I like about the book Like the concepts he stole from various religions. But they weren’t even HIS ideas.


This is one of my favorite reviews:

“The problem with this book is not just that it’s bad, which it certainly is, but that there are so many people out there who want to corner you at parties and tell you how it’s totally changed their lives. In a way you might as well read it just so you can see how feeble-minded they must be to get any kind of philosophical nourishment out of this inexhaustible stream of clichés. The profound lessons you’ll learn from this book amount to nothing more than several variations on the theme of “only the very ugly is truly beautiful, only the very stupid are really intelligent, only black is white, only up is down” etc etc.

The writing is too simple to be really bad, but it’s the content that gets you. By the end of the book you’ll want to track down the philosopher’s stone yourself and carefully beat Coelho to death with it.”


In short… don’t read it. You will be disappointed.



One thought on “The Alchemist… A disappointment

  1. To be fair, I was disinterested with the synopsis. But that’s not because it’s awful sounding, that’ just because I am not interested in this sort of book.

    However, I giggle at the review you quoted. I’m sorry you didn’t like it, babe. On the bright side, I have never been cornered by someone to tell me this book changed their life! So, it gives me hope not everyone is dumb.


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