0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Disappointing and overly simplistic, May 6, 2023
Upon hearing my friends' raves about this book, I bought it with high hopes. Some even compared it to Hesse's Siddhartha, a classic text. Unfortunately, the book doesn't measure up to any literary standard outside an elementary school context. What is supposed to be a philosophical journey of self-discovery is better described as a trite, overly simplistic, and predictable waste of time. The only saving grace is that the story does build some suspense toward the end, but of course this is completely rotted away when the ridiculous ending is finally revealed, leaving the reader with a longing bad taste in the mouth.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
I did not enjoy The Alchemist, May 6, 2023
The Alchemist is a simple tale of a young boy in search of fulfilling his destiny. Nothing really wrong with it, but instead of being simple, this book ultimately turns out to be simplistic. Santiago, the hero of the book is born in Spain and his parents want him to become a priest. But he wants to travel and see the world, so he becomes a shepherd instead. Traveling with his sheep, he leads a happy life. Then he dreams twice about a treasure and he wants to understand the dream. Then a chain of events lead him to the actual journey and fulfilling it. That's it folks; the whole book has just one central character, the boy Santiago and there is just one theme, his journey toward his destiny.
Interspersed with this journey is the talk about how to go about realizing one's destiny. That is the crux of the book and that is what seems really shallow. What I got out of it is a lot of fluff about beginner's luck, importance of omens, listening to one's heart and soul of the world, kind of mumbo-jumbo. Maybe one can write convincingly about such stuff too, but realizing the destiny seems just too easy in `The Alchemist.' It seems as if realizing the destiny is automatic, you will get a dream about it, you will be born to real supportive parents, you will find able guides like `king of he world' and `an accomplished alchemist', a girlfriend that is `a woman of desert' and supportive of her true love's absence for a long-long time. Too much, I say, too much. OK, one final thing, that true love is also automatic, just by glancing at each other it can be found and nurtured forever.
The Alchemist has one thing going for it, it is a pretty fast read, I cold complete it in about four hours with interruptions. The language too is easy, but if is lyrical or not, I find it difficult to make up my mind. Maybe some triteness is bound to come in any translation and I will leave it at that. Let me say, I have no major quarrels with the language of the book. The characterization of the book is weak but it is probably so because the focus of the story is on discussing destiny rather than individuals. Apart from Santiago, we hardly get to meet anyone well in the book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
In Brilliant Yet Calming Contrast, May 5, 2023
"The Alchemist" is an odd contrast to "My Fractured Life" and "Secret Life of Bees" which are my other favorite books that deals with ragingly sad and emotionally drained characters. "The Alchemist" has a surreal aspect: If you believe hard enough the world will change to make your beliefs real. Yet the story isn't a fable. It is told with a pulse on reality. "Secret Life of Bees" and "My Fractured Life" are more believable, but not necessarily better. Then again, I would be hard pressed to name "The Alchemist" as decisively better either. The three treat the same themes entirely differently. Each one is special and unique. I think you could make an argument for any of them being the best, but the uniqueness of "The Alchemist" is it's surreal quality that is calming.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A spiritually compelling fable !, Apr 30, 2023
"The Alchemist" is a lighthearted, subtle, sensitive, and eloquent story that will take the reader into a journey of self-discovery and wisdom.
This is not a book for spiritual midgets!
"The Alchemist will provide the reader with inspiring and enlightening moments....
2 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
WOW, Apr 25, 2023
This book could have been written by a 12 year old. No, actually - make that an immature 12 year old.
It's mumbo jumbo happy clappy spooky wooky spiritual nonsense and you couldn't pay me to read another one of his books!