Book Review – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

Book Review – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This review has been provided by The Calliope Book Club.  

“Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different – and far more satisfying – than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.” – Dymocks 

There were some misgivings from the group about this book prior to reading it, given the almost “cult” status the book had back in the 1990’s when it was first published. But given its small size, it was an easy read and could be read either as a simple boy’s adventure story or as a deeper and more thought- provoking novel. 

The group’s more favourable comments about the book included: 

“It was interesting each character’s journey and how all those journeys intertwined” 

“Interesting to read about the different culture and beliefs” 

“I liked the sheep” 

A few of the negative comments were: 

“In some places it read like the book was written to flow around some quotes the author wanted to include” 

“It waffled a bit in some places… I skipped to the last page and thought pfft! I knew it!” 

“It wasn’t an original story, it was just a retelling of a traditional folk tale” 

Overall the book flowed well, despite having been translated to English, and the group gave the book 3 out of 5 as a personal read; however, it is very well suited for book discussions. Read it and see what you think. 

The Calliope Book Club meet on the last Thursday of every month at 5.30pm in the Calliope Library and all are welcome. 

This book and others by the author can be borrowed from Gladstone Regional Libraries.