The Alchemist

I’m going to do my best not to throw too much shade on this book.  A lot of people REALLY like it, and it’s not my place to ruin that for those that do.  I didn’t like this book and couldn’t believe the hype that usually surrounds it.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and maybe that’s why I was so disappointed. I didn’t feel like this book had anything really powerful to say. There was an interesting philosophy that was hiding in the background but I never felt like it was really developed.  Instead, I felt like Coelho just expected me to accept what was being written at face value without really demonstrating it.  There were moments where I was curious to see where he was going to go with the idea of the Soul of the World and the Language of the Universe.  But he doesn’t develop it.  He just uses the shepherd to stand in for the reader and have these spontaneous moments of understanding.  I don’t know about you, but I have to wrestle with new ideas.  Especially if I was a young teenager.  I know it’s a parable/fable or whatever, but it felt like it was trying too hard.

The characters weren’t well developed, the Shepherd doesn’t struggle with the abstract concepts that are thrown in his way. The moments where he’s confronted with a new conflict on the way to finding his treasure and instead of working hard to overcome the obstacle, he accepts the concept, understands what needs to be done, and moves on.  There’s no conflict and no epiphany.  Everything just felt way too easy. There were a few quotes that stood out to me, but other than that there’s nothing I’m taking away from this book that will leave an impact on me.


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