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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"The Alchemist"

by Paulo Coelho, 1993, 177p, rating=5

"The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Adalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.  From his home n Spain he journeys to the market of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. 

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams." (book's synopsis)
Wow, wow, wow!!  This small book packs a ton of insights and sugar coated happy feelings, so if you're out of Prozac (anti-depressant) read this book!!  And on the same note, diabetics be aware! :D ...  Yet, if you're the type of person that is content to conformity then you might struggle with this book.  In other words, this is about recognizing your sweet destiny and going after it with courage and endurance.  Sure it promises to be a rough road but that's the way to achieving bliss, your heaven on earth. 

Early on Santiago knew what he wanted.  He wanted to see the world and a life of a traveling shepherd would do that.  It was not going to get him the ladies like a baker would but that's where he went in life.  Moreover, he had recurring dreams and stumbled into a palm reader that interpreted his dreams.  His destiny was then defined.  He was to find treasure in the midst of the Pyramid in Egypt.  So he ventures to realize that destiny and along the way he meets fascinating people like the old man, the Englishman, the crystal shop owner, Fatima, and of course the alchemist.  In the end he finds a boomerang of a lesson!!

A salad full of theology, science, fantasy, and of course heart.  A worthwhile read so run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore and give your senses a sweet treat!

My quote-ables:
"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure." pg 122
"When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I've discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve." pg 137
"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve:  the fear of failure." pg 149
"That's what alchemists do.  They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." pg 158

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