Finally Picking Up The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

"When you really want something,
the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

I had had this quote living rent-free in my mind for as long as I could remember, so in a way, this piece of text was what fueled me to pick up The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The quote fascinates me not only because of how poetic it sounds but rather for how applicable it is in our mundane life at some point.

The Alchemist tells the adventure of a shepherd named Santiago that touches the topic of spiritual self-discovery. It all starts with Santiago’s recurring dream about finding treasure in the Pyramid of Egypt. When an old man convinces him that he has to find his Personal Legend and that the search for the treasure might be it for him, Santiago decides to sell his sheep and begin the journey to the desert. Everything doesn’t fall into place instantly though: he is robbed, lost, and he eventually let go of his dream. But the omens keep indicating the opposite, and Santiago has to learn to listen to his heart and recognize the Language of the World in order to survive.

It turned out that this book didn’t fascinate me as much as I had initially believed it would. The Alchemist was quite an inspiring story as a whole though I couldn’t say that it touched the deepest of my soul. Yes, it might have won me with its beautiful narrative, history retellings, and fables, but other than that, this book didn’t leave any mark (or maybe it was my fault for not getting the whole point. I don’t know).

Albeit short, this book felt full somehow: full of hidden messages whose impact I sadly didn’t get, good proses that made me want to keep reading, and interesting turns of events like the ending which I surprisingly liked. It's nice to be able to admit that Santiago’s journey in hunting the so-called treasure was quite absorbing also, even if everything felt too made-up and it felt like he bore no real problem.

To me, an inspiring book is not a book full of quotes or flowery texts. It is a book that makes me want to take some time to reflect once I have reached the ending; a book that leaves me with a moment of silence to truly comprehend the impact it has caused my brain (and heart too, on some lucky occasions). It’s so unfortunate that I didn’t share the same sentiment when I closed The Alchemist. When it ended, it just ended… and I was bummed out that my expectation wasn’t quite fulfilled.

While The Alchemist is not a book for me, it may be the one you're actually looking for. If you like interpreting life's hidden messages or are into spiritual self-discovery journeys, it may be a book you'd like to try reading.

Actual rating: 3