Matthew's Reviews > The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018, completist-book-club, classic, audio, library

3.5 Stars

The Alchemist is an interesting little spiritual fable. A little bit of several religions have an influence on the journey to enlightenment. Not a whole lot of exposition as the author gets right to the point throughout. It should be a quick read (unless you don't care for it - and I have seen many less than satisfied reviews).

When I read this I was reminded a lot of Siddhartha. I read that one earlier this year so I have it fresh in my brain. Both of them are short novels (novellas, really) that tell about a simple and fairly unremarkable boy going through many encounters to find ultimate enlightenment. With this being the case, if you liked Siddhartha, I think that not only will you like this, you should read it for sure!

With that, I will end my review - leaving it short, just like the book!
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Reading Progress

April 11, 2017 – Shelved
April 11, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 2, 2018 – Started Reading
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: completist-book-club
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: classic
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: audio
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: library
November 3, 2018 –
41.0% "Caravan"
November 4, 2018 –
75.0% "Dreams and journeys"
November 4, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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Taryn Harbert I think this is the kind of book that you can read at different stages of milestones in your life and get something different from it each time.


Kenny Wonderful review.


Matthew Taryn wrote: "I think this is the kind of book that you can read at different stages of milestones in your life and get something different from it each time."

I can definitely see that being the case. What is important is always changing and this book could be a great companion for every step of the way.


Matthew Kenny wrote: "Wonderful review."

Thank you, Kenny!😊


Brandice Nice review, Matthew. This is one of my all time favorite books, but I have seen many mixed reviews - Seems like most people are either in a love it or hate it position with this one.


Lars Dradrach Nice review, Matthew. So glad to see someone else who likes this one, read this many years ago and it really touched me, that said I could easily see another time where I would find it pretentious, it’s all about expectations.


Matthew Brandice wrote: "Nice review, Matthew. This is one of my all time favorite books, but I have seen many mixed reviews - Seems like most people are either in a love it or hate it position with this one."

Thank you, Brandice! Yes, so many mixed reviews, I was not sure what to expect. It's probably because a niche spiritual book became mainstream and many people who would not normally read this type of book ended up reading it (just a guess, though).


Matthew Lars wrote: "Nice review, Matthew. So glad to see someone else who likes this one, read this many years ago and it really touched me, that said I could easily see another time where I would find it pretentious,..."

Thanks, Lars! Yes, I agree 100%. It reminds me of books that I read as a teenager that I thought were awesome and then I reread them as an adult and they felt silly. Another strong case for re-reading books! :)


Sumesh Khatri great man u have finally read the book...just FYI it was my first book with which I began my journey of reading books....nice review by the way


Matthew Sumesh wrote: "great man u have finally read the book...just FYI it was my first book with which I began my journey of reading books....nice review by the way"

Thank you, Sumesh! 😁


Eileen I really enjoyed this book as well, and feel that it's short enough and both complex and simple enough that you can reread it at different stages of your life and get something different from it each time.


Matthew Eileen wrote: "I really enjoyed this book as well, and feel that it's short enough and both complex and simple enough that you can reread it at different stages of your life and get something different from it ea..."

Since I read this I have continued to see a variety of reviews that are all over the place. This is one of the biggest spreads on opinion that I have seen for a book, and I definitely think that difference in where you might be at the time of reading contributes.


Nicola Great review Matthew! I’m looking forward to reading this myself just to see what I think of it. :)


Matthew Nicola wrote: "Great review Matthew! I’m looking forward to reading this myself just to see what I think of it. :)"

Thank you, Nicola! :)


Eileen Matthew wrote: "Eileen wrote: "I really enjoyed this book as well, and feel that it's short enough and both complex and simple enough that you can reread it at different stages of your life and get something diffe..."

I think I agree with you on this one. It could also be expectation clouding judgment (good or bad). I had no expectations going into this book and really knew nothing much about the book, so it was a fresh read to me.


Matthew Eileen wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Eileen wrote: "I really enjoyed this book as well, and feel that it's short enough and both complex and simple enough that you can reread it at different stages of your life and get..."

I don't think I realized there were many that didn't care for it at the time I read it. Also, my wife had just finished it and enjoyed it, so other than knowing my wife liked it and it is considered by some to be a modern classic, I didn't have much else to go on.


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