The Alchemist

The alchemist

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is an inspirational tale. Sometimes bordering on preachy, I wasn’t so sure about this one. But there’s more to it than Personal Legends and God/kings. For the record, The Personal Legend idea (just read The Alchemist if you want to know more) is debated about. Some people think it’s like a religion and others say it’s new age tripe. I’m somewhere in between.

The Alchemist is actually a pretty good story. It’s a short book about Santiago’s quest for his Personal Legend, which in this case is finding treasure in the pyramids. Along the way he finds everything he wants…except the treasure. (Hint: he finds it)

The main character, Santiago, is nicely relatable and easy to interpret as “Me”. The style of the book is good too; descriptive while not being absolutely packed with adjectives. The book has lots of metaphors. The King of Salem as God, Santiago as you, the treasure as your Personal Legend, the whole book as your quest…it goes on and on. It feels like a bedtime story- not that it’s simple, but that it feels like the kind of thing you’d want to snuggle up and listen to. It has a nice relaxing vibe. (I suggest reading it on warm summer nights outside after a day’s fun)

The ending is the only less-than-good part. Disney-moviesque, it’s a little disappointing,in that it’s expected. But it does make sense.

Overall, I recommend this book, but not for the Personal Legend, for the storytelling.


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About queenofokay

I'm Isabelle. I'm in 9th grade and go to school at Oak Hill School in Oregon. I love books and food. (And Doctor Who!) I fan-fic as Space Gandalf on Teaspoon ( I also love branding website Brand New, and magazine Mental_Floss. Music - The Talking Heads, Phoenix, Bombay Bicycle Club, .

One response to “The Alchemist”

  1. Carrie Miller says :


    I am impressed with your web development savvy as well as your reviews. I think you articulated so well the way we readers might appreciate the Alchemist for its storytelling rather than its capacity to recount a personal legend.

    This reader would thrill in learning more about your distinction; given a compare-contrast or persuasion paper assignment this fall, I think you have an excellent idea around which to form a compelling thesis…

    Happy reading!

    Dean Miller

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