AIM OF THE BOOK
The Alchemist is a glowing light in a dark room. It is a novel and therefore it’s seemingly primary aim is to entertain, it stands instead as a work of great inspiration. It is a magical fairy tale that uplifts, inspires and motivates.
Written from personal experiences, Coelho has penned a gem of genius, more powerful and invigorating than any drug, more motivational than any financial incentive, more convincing of the power of faith than any preacher.
The Alchemist follows the physical, personal and spiritual journey of a boy searching for the answers to life that seem to elude us all – even to the extent that many of us don’t even know the questions!
“If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book.” Coelho has said since he found a white feather in the window of a shop and began writing for the first time.
Coelho was born in Brazil in 1947. In a way, it’s no surprise that his life story is as interesting as one of his books. He was committed to a mental hospital for 4 years when he was 16, then trained at law school, dropped out, became a hippie, song lyricist, theater director, was arrested for ‘subversive activities’ and then went on a life chnaging 500 mile journey along the Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It was this journey that inspired his semi-autobiographical book The Pilgramige, in which he describes his spiritual awakening.
The Alchemist came next and now Coelho writes a book roughly every two years.
IS IT ANY GOOD
The Alchemist had an original print run of just 900 copies. Later it went on to sell over 85 million copies, making it one of the best selling books in history. When it was translated into Maltese, it was its 71st translation, winning it a place in the Guinness book of records as the most translated book.
The alchemist gained noteriety when President Clinton and several Hollywood A-listers were photographed reading it.
All the old clichés really do apply here – I couldn’t put the book down and at the end I cried, tears of joy and jubilation, but equally with sadness that the book had come to an end.
The Alchemist is a torch of inspiration and confidence leading you as you march, lost and lonely, through the dark passages of a network of caves. Once read, The Alchemist will never be forgotten.
The Alchemist is a beautiful book about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then find on our own doorstep. – Madonna
Reading the Alchemist is a bit like getting up at sunrise whilst the rest of the world sleeps!
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