Book Review: The Alchemist

Book Review on “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

By The Masterwriter


It all begins under a sycamore tree where Santiago has a dream about a child who tells him that he will find a hidden treasure if he travels to the Egyptian pyramids. While Santiago is walking with his herd of sheep, he meets an old woman and she tells him that he must follow the instructions regarding his dream. At first, he does not believe her; but, later on Santiago meets the king of Salem, Melchizedek, who gives Santiago two stones, Urim and Thummim, with which Santiago has to interpret omens. Santiago travels to Africa by boat and shortly after he arrives, a thief steals all of his money. He is forced to find work in the shop of a crystal merchant. After 11 months of working in the merchant’s shop, he finally makes enough money to return home, but he is torn between returning to Andalusia as a rich man or crossing the Sahara in pursuit of the hidden treasure of his dreams. Santiago chooses to pursue his dream. Throughout this journey he encounters many people, such as The Englishman, who wants to learn the secret of alchemy, and Fatima, who he falls in love with. After Santiago learns that he cannot continue his journey within the caravan, he leaves and eventually meets The Alchemist. The Alchemist decides to cross the Sahara with Santiago, but unfortunately cannot because of the situations that arise in the future. Will Santiago be able to find his treasure?

This novel was originally published in 1988 and was written in Portuguese; however, since then, it has been translated into 67 other languages.

The Alchemist is written in third person and the author Paulo Coelho uses mostly common and easy language to convey the story.

Personally, I thought this book was a very enjoyable read! I liked the way the plot was set up and how Coelho displayed each character effectively throughout the book. I would give this book a rating of 5/5 because of the way this book flowed; it was simply amazing. The Alchemist did have a slow start, but gradually it began picking up speed due to the change of events. Overall, this novel was an awesome read and I would recommend this book to anybody!