This is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.
The Alchemist has all the qualities of a childhood fable; the boy who was helped by older and wiser people to follow his heart and realise his destiny, learning many lessons along the way. However it is not condescending in the way it teaches; it is a tale about following your dreams rather than a cautionary fairy tale. The lands Santiago crosses seem rich and vibrant and the third person narrative suits the story, even though it is primarily about Santiago.
What I liked about this book: It wasn’t just a story to me; something about the tale really touched my heart. I know it’s only a book but I did feel that the lessons learned by Santiago were something that is perhaps missing from more modern literature and films and so I found the book very inspiring.
What I didn’t like about this book: Throughout the story Santiago is trying to find the treasure that he dreamed about so the ending was maybe a bit of an anti-climax for me.
I did enjoy this book immensely although it was maybe on the short side. If you ever want something to read when life isn’t treating you right or things aren’t going your way, I would highly recommend this book. It is uplifting and would encourage you to look at your problems in a different light, or at least help you to forget them for a while.