Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: alchemist, alchemy, fatalism, metaphysical, minimalism, paulo coelho, revisited reviews, symbolism, universal languages
I first read The Alchemist as a teenager and disliked it and now having read it again (with inhibitions) in my twenties and still dislike it. A minimalistic story (without the pleasure of reading other minimalist authors) outlining a boy’s quest from Spain to the Pyramids and back again. Mixed in with alchemy, universal languages, souls, omens, and above all else fate – the overriding theme is to follow your dreams, etc. Nearly every noun is a symbol of something else and the overall idea of the book put me in mind of Tuesdays With Morrie or The Secret; that is, a single idea story loosely veiled behind the suggestion of a story. If you’re looking for something less metaphysical/religious to read or simply another book with (some) similar qualities I suggest The Higher Power of Lucky.
There is just something about books like The Alchemist, Tuesdays With Morrie, The Secret, and most recently The Last Lecture that make me want to gag. With Coelho though it is somewhat different and for whatever reason I want to like him, but I just don’t. It’s an allegorical tale and really lacks any complexity. And perhaps it’s this lack of complexity wrapped in with the length (though a short book) that makes me want to not bother or care.
Other opinions: Scathing Book Reviews. (Apparently no one else on my blogging list bothered with this book.)
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