My book club picked The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho for this month’s discussion because several people had seen articles saying that it was a book everyone should read.
I’d never heard of it before — and neither did most of the other members.
After reading it, all I can say is: two thumbs down. Mercifully, it was a fairly fast read.
It was a philosophical book about life, but I didn’t “get it” at all. (Am definitely not “deep”!)
To me, it was just a mildly interesting fairy-tale-like story about a Spanish boy named Santiago who becomes a shepherd, then sells his sheep and takes off through the Mideast to find his Personal Legend (what the heck?).
One of the reviews I read suggested the author ripped off my favorite movie, The Jerk, since Santiago was seeking his “special purpose” — and I had to laugh at that!
Good stuff: I read a book that “everyone should read” and learned a new word reading it: alchemist (which is someone who supposedly can turn lead into gold). And it was a tiny bit interesting to read about life in the desert. But that’s all the praise I can give.
The author states in the introduction that he’s surprised about the notoriety his book has received, and so am I.