Reading The Alchemist was a good idea. It marks the first time that I got to read (and blog about) a fable. Another thing that I appreciated about this book was that it was only 106 pages. Which when you compare my other books that I I have read, its quite shorter. All in all I wouldn't say that it was the best read. Although, it was one of those books that after you read it, motivates you to think about the lessons conveyed in the book. It makes you question your direction in life and ponder on your goals. I guess that is the riches that you take away from fables. And since it is New Years today, this might be the perfect book for someone looking to start the new year off with enriching literature.
The book is about one boy's quest to recover an amazing treasure. The journey takes him away from his home and leads him through a lot of trial and tribulations that ultimately results in a happy ending. Not to give too much away but, the story is well-crafted, detailed, passionate, and philosophical. Like I said before, the book is only hundred and six pages long so it is easy to digest over a weekend.
The teachings in this book are very beautifyl. The topics range from religion, philosophy, the meaning of life, and what one does in the face of adversity. I really enjoyed a quote from the book the talks about one's journey through life and how to approach it:
"Before a dream is realized, the soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we move towards that dream"
Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist
This book was a big opportunity for me to change gears from reading epic novels to shorter fables. I greatly enjoyed the change of pace but would rather read this book with a book club and watch the conversation out of that; then read this book independently. There're some great life lessons in the book, but none so unique that you would not be able to distinguish them on your own. To say it differently, its like reading a relationship self-help book. You know they are going to stress communication, but you still read it because you might get more out of it than you expected... In this case, I did not.
Fables are unique pieces of literature. They give people a glimpse into a simple world constructed by imagination. The world in the Alchemist is so fascinating because there is such a lack of reality to it. I believe the most striking part of this book was that characters were kind of hard to relate to unlike the other books that I've read in the past. This is done purposefully, I'm sure by the writer, to draw less focus on the plot and character development and more focus on the lessons they want to convey to the reader.