ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Books Ever: A 'The Alchemist' Book Review

Updated on December 8, 2014

This book was given to me as a present two years before I even had the chance to dive into it. Yes, it took me that long before I even started on the book, and you must know I regret every second I wasted letting this book pass. I immensely love this book. And I am not kidding when I tell you all that this book, all of it, had been the ultimate reverser of my life. I inspired me truly to the degree that I feel guilty about doing this book review because I’m pretty sure this might appear very biased to some or I might not do the book justice if I describe it through my own words. However, a news about a good book must be spread regardless of what circumstances, so here I still am, reviewing this book.

The Alchemist is possibly Paulo Coelho’s most popular book. Originally written in Portuguese (as what is the case with every Paulo Coelho book), it’s now been translated into over 56 various languages and has sold over 65 million copies, making it one of the bestselling books in history.

The book follows the story of the Andalusian shepherd Santiago whose dreams have been recurring that, believing dreams behaving in this manner carry prophetic meanings, he consulted a gypsy fortuneteller to figure out their meaning. He finds out that this dream is telling him to pursue the Egyptian pyramids for the treasure within them he’s fated to possess. In his journey, he encounters the king Melchizedek who suggests he sell his sheep to get to Egypt. He was warned of good and bad omens he will encounter in his journey. The philosophy of Personal Legends was also conveyed to him by this king, which stands as the essential principle borne by the book. Upon reaching northern Africa, however, a thief robs him of all of his money, and having sold all of his sheep, he ha now to find a way to get back home. This employment allows him to carry on his journey to Egypt. Along the way, Santiago meets an Englishman who intends to learn alchemy from the esteemed alchemist. In the oasis where their caravan has to halt due to the warfare barring them from continuing their journey, Santiago strikes up a romance with a girl named Fatima. It wasn’t long ‘til he meets the alchemist, who offers to cross the desert with him to Egypt where his real treasures await him.

Paulo Coelho’s way of writing is simple that’s why his stories are almost at once engaging. Also, his books don’t require profound thinking that a reader finds himself instantly comprehending the events in the story and the wisdom it tries to communicate. The story stands as simple yet never fails to be interesting. No sophisticated literary devices bloat the book. Quotable quotes also swarm the book, so for those who are having consecutive bad days, this book must be bought at once. A lot of people had already owned to being changed by the book, including me. Now I live with an ounce more optimism than when I was still to read the book that, like what I said, I hate myself for not plunging into the book at once the instant I got it. It’s very enjoyable to read (the book will last only a couple of hours ‘til it’s done) and will definitely make you want more books from its author.

However, I think the field Coelho was yet to develop in his writing when he was constructing this book was how he forms his characters. The characters in the book were hard to picture, owing to the fact that Coelho doesn’t seem to focus on this aspect, and were also hard to empathize with. Also, with regards to the lesson that the book is packed of, Coelho’s wisdom is known to be superficial and lacks strong elaboration. The same wisdom is evident here that it won’t surprising for serious philosophers to just laugh this book off. It’s like the book just wants to motivate readers, and without even making sure the readers were already persuaded, just leaves some of them unconvinced. I also disapprove of the ending the book brought its readers. Others find it satisfying though, but I think it did need a grander ending considering it’s a grand book. Also, the title for me should not be the way it’s titled. Although the alchemist in the story did play a huge role in the character development of the protagonist, I felt that the alchemist didn’t really have enough “power” on the story (meaning he wasn’t that powerful that you’re convinced he stirs the happenings in the story) and it might have been better if the book was simply entitled “The Shepherd” or something else.

The Alchemist is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read. Chances are you’ll find it hard to turn your attention away from it once you begin reading. And when that ending is reached, chances are too that you’ll find yourself joyful somehow that this sort of book crossed your path. Read it and you’ll never know disappointment. Read it and prepare to be changed for the rest of your life.

Get your own copy of the book here!

Check out it's English Translation's Book Cover


Here's a video review of the book to find out more about it:

So, let me ask you

Have you already read other Paulo Coelho books?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)