Sovotchka's Reviews > Der Alchimist

Der Alchimist by Paulo Coelho
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May 07, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: reviewstatus-reviewed, read-and-returned
Read in May, 2012

Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" tells the story of a young shepherd who dreams about finding a treasure and decides to follow this dream.

A lot of things have been written about this book, and when you look at the "quotes" section here on Goodreads, you'll know that this book can teach you a lot. That being said, for me this is not a good book.
From what you hear about the premise, you can guess that this story is more about the journey than about the treasure. The boy meets people and sees things on his way, and he learns from them. This is well-thought out, if a bit constructed and not all that brilliantly written (although that might have been my translation, I don't know).
What annoyed me endlessly and almost made me want to give up, was the educational way in which this is done. At the end of every chapter - and I mean EVERY single one of all the teeny-weeny chapters - the boy has learned something new and has to sum up this realization in a preposterous sentence that is often in contrast to the writing of the rest of the chapter. It honestly feels like reading the bible - a new instructive tale in every chapter - but it includes the conclusions you should come to yourself by reading and thinking about it.
In a way, this might be the reason why this book annoys me so much - it leaves no room for interpretation. You can write down everything that is said and then use it for your own life, but that is it. You don't get to a point of understanding things because you have figured them out yourself by thinking or talking about it; you are presented with a little piece of that at the end of each chapter.
This might be nice for others, but - and I never thought I could agree with Kant - I prefer to think myself. Yes, you can push me into the right direction, but please please leave the rest to me.
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