The Alchemist is a story of a boy shepherd, who follows his destiny and in pursuit of which he is deprived of his wealth, possession and even has to give up his home land.
A short allegory fable about a shepherd who starts to have visions and deems those visions as his destiny. In order to realize his dreams, he sets off for a journey to Egypt as a gypsy and an old man who claims himself to be the King but his appearance expresses a very different story, reveals that the treasure is buried somewhere near the Egyptian Pyramids. So he sets off and sells his most precious belongings, the 60 sheep in order to have some money for his journey.
The old man also teaches him about the Omens and how to believe in them and how to get inspired from them so that one may seek guidance. The lessons helps him greatly during the entire voyage as the Omens guide him nearer to his destiny where he meets an Alchemist, the Old Man of The Desert. The person who has great spiritual knowledge and the art of turning metal into gold.
The entire novel comprises of just 175 pages so a person with a decent reading speed can go through it in one go. Paulo Cohelo has, like other of his novels tried to teach a lesson that one should never stop seeking his destiny no matter how much ease and convenience you live in and the people who don’t strive for their for their dreams to turn in to reality, their lives are miserable, wasted and empty.
Of course, its an allegory tale therefore the message has been conveyed through different metaphors, and Paulo Cohelo is no doubt good in it as he has done the same in his other novels as well. Like The Pilgrimage e.t.c
As far as my recommendation is concerned, its definitely a good novel but slightly overrated when it comes to selling record breaking, millions of copies worldwide. This should not be considered, in anyway as a bashing as I consider it to be a good and interesting novel but still, manage to sell more than thirty million copies of it seems to be too lucky for the writer.
It may sound like that I don’t have proclivities towards medieval mysticism so the stuff appeared to me too heavy to understand or appreciate but this is not the case as I truly admire mysticism and mystique and really have a soft corner for both. The only reason that I believe so is that no great deal of details are provided as everything seems to pass by in a rush. Detailing in a poetic way is imminent when it comes to spirituality and someone intents to convey his message through metaphors e.t.c.
Nevertheless, when you ask me that whether one should read it or not, my reply would be YES. Its a good novel with great message and will certainly arouse a positive feeling and energy within you.