Amanda’s review of The Alchemist > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Wow...people seem to be VERY split on this one, huh? I have had 2 people rave about it and so many others just loathe it. Now I think it's definitely on my not-to-read list haha.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Mandy wrote: "Wow...people seem to be VERY split on this one, huh? I have had 2 people rave about it and so many others just loathe it. Now I think it's definitely on my not-to-read list haha."

As you can see, I'm not really on the fence with this one. :)

You know those inspirational posters that have words in big letters at the top--words like "Dream,"
"Perseverance," "Loyalty"--and then have a picture of someone climbing a mountain with an inspirational quote beneath it? Just read 3 or 4 of those and you've basically read The Alchemist.



message 3: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Maybe the alchemy is transforming bookcrap into bank account $$$.


message 4: by Gary (new)

Gary LOL! I love the way you have devoted so much attention to highlighting how godawful the book is. Excellent (Mr. Burns voice).


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Thank you--it was the least I could do after Coelho tortured me for 170 something pages. :)


message 6: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma I am happy to find another person who disliked this book as much as I did.


message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Nandakishore wrote: "I am happy to find another person who disliked this book as much as I did."

We certainly are in a minority--welcome to the club!


message 8: by Kerry (last edited Apr 29, 2013 09:57AM) (new)

Kerry Amanda wrote: "...this is just The Purpose Driven Life dressed up with a little fable."

Here's a Taoist parable:
An old farmer had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "We'll see," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "We'll see," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "We'll see," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "We'll see," said the farmer.


Is this a parable for the Anti-Purpose Driven Life? Just accept what you get? Or does it advise us to avoid categorizing and attaching a specific meaning to things.

Like that optical illusion. Is this a young woman or old woman?

description

Perhaps The Alchemist is a story about not letting a stranger come along, getting you stirred up, and compelling you to go look for pyramids. I'm not saying it is, that's the point. Like the optical illusion, sometimes it is not necessary to nail something down to one thing. Is especially true with fables and poems that seem to withstand the test of time.


message 9: by Jr (new)

Jr Bacdayan I guess, the reason why I found the book very inspiring was because I surrendered myself to it. I buried my often cynical self and read it like a child. I wanted to be inspired, so I was. I consider this is a well for people who thirst for inspiration. If you're not thirsty, then this would have no appeal at all. But still, I really like the way you peed on this well. You supported it well. Well, well, well, Great review!


message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Kerry wrote: "Amanda wrote: "...this is just The Purpose Driven Life dressed up with a little fable."

Here's a Zen parable: There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One..."


That is an interesting point and I can see the value of multiple perspectives. However, I think fables, parables, and obvious "moral of the story" narratives just don't appeal to me because I'm more of a "get to the point" kind of person. I can see the charm they hold for others, but they just never quite work for me.


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Jr wrote: "I guess, the reason why I found the book very inspiring was because I surrendered myself to it. I buried my often cynical self and read it like a child. I wanted to be inspired, so I was. I conside..."

Glad you enjoyed it! I figured there were enough positive reviews out there that it needed a bit of a counterbalance for readers like me who were expecting one thing and got another.

I like your point about burying your cynicism. I readily admit that I'm cynical by nature, so these types of narratives and I don't mix. I'm glad I read it just because now I know what the fuss is about, but, alas, I can't say that I enjoyed it.


message 12: by Don (new)

Don Mayor if it inspires people to achieve their life's purpose no matter the situations they face in their daily lives then it's damn good enough.Its a great book.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Don wrote: "if it inspires people to achieve their life's purpose no matter the situations they face in their daily lives then it's damn good enough.Its a great book."

Glad you liked it, but that doesn't mean that I can't still think it's saccharine drivel.


Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius* I neither loved nor hated this book. I did like Veronika Decides to Die a bit better.


message 15: by Becky (new)

Becky Amanda, I'm so very, very glad that you reviewed this book. I felt just about the same exact way about The Devil And Miss Prym, and swore off any more of Coelho's drivel, but everyone is like "Oh, The Alchemist is so much better! You should try it..."

And you've proved my suspicions correct. For that I thank you.


message 16: by Kerry (new)

Kerry Becky wrote: "Amanda, I'm so very, very glad that you reviewed this book. I felt just about the same exact way about The Devil And Miss Prym, and swore off any more of Coelho's drivel, but everyone is like "Oh, ..."

I tried 'The Devil and Miss Prym,'too. I found it awful as well. 'The Alchemist' is the only Coelho book I could finish.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephanie wrote: "I neither loved nor hated this book. I did like Veronika Decides to Die a bit better."

I shall have to take your word on that. Paul Coehlo and I have broken up. Sure, he says he wants me back, but I refuse to answer his calls.


message 18: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Becky wrote: "Amanda, I'm so very, very glad that you reviewed this book. I felt just about the same exact way about The Devil And Miss Prym, and swore off any more of Coelho's drivel, but everyone is like "Oh, ..."

I'm glad I could help you avert literary disaster!

I think there's a place for reviews like this. Different people have different tastes. When I find readers who have similar preferences, their positive and negative reviews help guide my decisions. People like me aren't going to like the book, but I also acknowledge that not everyone is like me. I don't begrudge anyone their love of the book, nor should they begrudge me my hatred. Besides, it balances out the gazillions of positive reviews out there!


message 19: by Trudi (new)

Trudi Stay strong! He once tried to pick me up in a bar once but I was having none of it.


message 20: by Amanda (last edited Jun 16, 2013 11:41AM) (new)

Amanda Trudi wrote: "Stay strong! He once tried to pick me up in a bar once but I was having none of it."

Did he tell you he could unravel the secrets of the universe? Did he tell you that he could lead you to everlasting happiness? Did he say, "Hey, baby, I'll be your personal legend"?


message 21: by Trudi (new)

Trudi ::giggle:: How did you know? He honestly needs to come up with better pickup lines than that.


message 22: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Trudi wrote: "::giggle:: How did you know? He honestly needs to come up with better pickup lines than that."

Yup, that's my Coehlo! I should have known he was out there trying to touch as many people as possible!


message 23: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I agree with your review, and might I also add that your review was written so well! Here I am giving a review on your review. Your review made me laugh, cheered me up because everyone seemed to love this book except me, and it flowed so perfectly with what I was thinking! I couldn't have written a better review if I tried! Well done! You should get into writing if you haven't yet. It might be your calling. All of nature will conspire for your good luck and fortune! :)


message 24: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Melissa wrote: "I agree with your review, and might I also add that your review was written so well! Here I am giving a review on your review. Your review made me laugh, cheered me up because everyone seemed to lo..."

Well, now I'm blushing! Glad you enjoyed it. There are so many positive reviews out there, I felt I had to represent the few of us who weren't quite as in love with it. :)


message 25: by Joe (new)

Joe You make me want to remove a star from my rating. This is so funny. I felt the same about the book, but gave it 3 stars because, well I figured the book was relevant, just not to me.

I'll just say that I'm glad I didn't read Life of Pi because while watching the very beautifully rendered movie, I was constantly reminded of The Alchemist. Both are stories that try so hard yet seemed intent to push me away.


message 26: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Joe wrote: "You make me want to remove a star from my rating. This is so funny. I felt the same about the book, but gave it 3 stars because, well I figured the book was relevant, just not to me.

I'll just..."


Glad it made you laugh! I hadn't thought about the similarities between The Alchemist and Life of Pi before, which is interesting because they are similar but I infinitely preferred Pi. I think perhaps because it didn't seem quite as preachy and left the moral up to interpretation by the reader.


message 27: by Natalia (new)

Natalia I couldn't agree more.


message 28: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Natalia wrote: "I couldn't agree more."

Thank you! It's good to know I'm not alone.


message 29: by Sleepymazurek (new)

Sleepymazurek You're speaking to my heart, which dropped when this was picked for book club!!!


message 30: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Sleepymazurek wrote: "You're speaking to my heart, which dropped when this was picked for book club!!!"

The good thing about book club is that there's always another book around the corner! :)


message 31: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Eng So angry...


message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Jonathan wrote: "So angry..."

So very, very angry . . . :)


message 33: by Rahul (new)

Rahul Your review was quite a bit more entertaining than the book, I must say!


message 34: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Rahul wrote: "Your review was quite a bit more entertaining than the book, I must say!"

Thank you!


message 35: by Charlie (new)

Charlie "If Coelho knew anything about alchemy, he would have been able to transform this crap into gold."

Hahaha! Love it.


message 36: by Steven (new)

Steven Feeney *shrug* Haters gonna hate


message 37: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Claudia wrote: ""If Coelho knew anything about alchemy, he would have been able to transform this crap into gold."

Hahaha! Love it."


Thank you!


message 38: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Steven wrote: "*shrug* Haters gonna hate"

Abso-damn-lutely.


message 39: by Jenna (new)

Jenna We think too much alike!


message 40: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Jenna wrote: "We think too much alike!"

Which must mean that we have excellent taste! This one just didn't do it for me.


message 41: by Mike (new)

Mike Amanda wrote: "Steven wrote: "*shrug* Haters gonna hate"

Abso-damn-lutely."


Count me as a "hater" too. I found the so called message of this book to be trite to the point of uselessness. Plus the characters were uninteresting, the language was sparse, and the conclusion was rather unsatisfying.

Your review is spot on and I wonder why more people (the anti-haters if you will) seem to miss the salient points oyu raise.


message 42: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Mike wrote: "Count me as a "hater" too. I found the so called message of this book to be trite to the point of uselessness. Plus ..."

Amen! I found the messages to be banal at best; if you're going to peddle trite sentiment, it would be nice to at least deliver it with a bit of intellectual complexity.


message 43: by Charmaine (new)

Charmaine Well, after reading all these comments, I can mark this book off of my "to read" list. I did "try" to read this book a few years ago. I just couldn't get through it, my headache just wouldn't leave me alone. I was going to give it a 2nd shot, so I'm on a waiting list at the library. Maybe I'll pass again because I feel another headache coming on.


message 44: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Charmaine wrote: "Well, after reading all these comments, I can mark this book off of my "to read" list. I did "try" to read this book a few years ago. I just couldn't get through it, my headache just wouldn't leave..."

Unfortunately, with this one, the headache is pretty much guaranteed.


message 45: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Killer wrote: "Maybe Coelho used to work at Cliff's Notes."

Ha! This entire thing does read like a Cliff's Notes version of "The Meaning of Life," so you may be on to something there.


message 46: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Patalano I would run as far as I could from any book club that has this crap on their list of books to read. Seriously? From all of the books ever written, ever, you choose Paulo Coelho?


message 47: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Needless to say, I no longer belong to that book club. Most of the books were pretty decent, but there was a cabal of Christian fiction devotees who occasionally swung the vote toward maudlin, "meaningful" crap like this.


message 48: by Mel (last edited Jun 08, 2014 09:41AM) (new)

Mel Amanda, wonderful that you could read and review a book, and such a beloved book at that, then go on to ignite such fervent discussion! I'll keep my views on the book to myself, but admire that you had the bravery to speak your own mind on any book, that you can read and process through your own heart and not the dictates of popularity! Bravo, girl!
Now--how the hell do you add in pictures!! I've had it explained by the best, and still don't get it!


message 49: by Mike (new)

Mike That's why I like my book club selection arrangement. everyone gets a month or two out of the year, provides four books for the group to vote on, and the winner of a preferential vote becomes the book for that month. Does a lot to make sure the book the most people would prefer wins. also, the person who suggested The Alchemist in her suite of choices ended up hating it a ton as well.


message 50: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Mel wrote: "Amanda, wonderful that you could read and review a book, and such a beloved book at that, then go on to ignite such fervent discussion! I'll keep my views on the book to myself, but admire that you..."

Thanks! I'm never certain as to why some people take a review with an opposing viewpoint as some sort of personal affront. There have been many who have adored books I hated or hated books that I loved, and I'm always fascinated with the way in which books trigger different responses in different people. If someone loves a book, then that experience was clearly very special to them and I'm happy they had it but it doesn't necessarily mean every reader will have a similar reaction.

As for the pictures, I have a terrible time with those. My coding knowledge is limited to that little box to the right of the review space. Sometimes I can get it to work, sometimes not so much.


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