Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho earned a significant place in my heart when I first read The Devil And Miss Prym while in South Korea. I manage to pick up Coelho's novels when I most need his insights. The Alchemist is no different.

At it's core, The Alchemist is about the value of following your heart at all costs. One sentence that is repeated throughout the book is "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to acheive it." What a fantastic idea! Santiago is our protaganist, a shepherd in Andalusia who takes the advice of various people he encounters who all encourage him to "follow the omens" leading to his dream. On the path of his Personal Legend, Santiago learns from everyone he meets--an important lesson for all of us living in this modern world. He encounters love, science, faith, danger, and all along he is reminded that it simply is what must be. Because as he is told time and time again, "it is written".

The theory is that when you heart wants something, it is because that thing is your Personal Legend. It is the thing you are meant to do, and all the universe will help you achieve it. Coelho is a deeply spiritual writer, who combines the mystical with ideas of God and Fate. I love that his writing is accessible to everyone, no matter their faith.

The Alchemist is another beautifully written volume from Coelho, and a valuable tome for anyone needing a nudge on the path of their own Personal Legend.


  1. I enjoyed this - right up to the punchline....

  2. This is our summer reading for the advanced eighth graders, so I have to come up with a writing assignment to go with it. Our younger son LOVED this book. Oh, by the way, our older son and his wife spent some time teaching English in South Korea a few years ago. Why were you in South Korea or are you from there?

  3. I was also teaching English in South Korea! I spent some time in Haenam, and then more recently I was in Daegu. It's a lovely country. Fantastic experience. :)

  4. Good for you, Chrissey. They were an hour south of Seoul. They had a wonderful time, too! They love Koreans now more than ever.

  5. You may want to visit
    It's a cooking blog by a young Scottish woman.

  6. The Alchemist really spoke a lot to me in that some people have a good grasp on the language of the world. Santiago looked into Fatima's eyes and immediately knew she spoke of and felt the soul of the world and that was love at first sight for our antogonist.

    It's interesting when you travel you meet some people who speak the language of the world. The book really reminded me that when your down listen to your heart, look for omens, and always seek to flow with in soul of the universe