Friday, October 17, 2008

The Alchemist

Book: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Like/Don't Like: Yeah, sure, I liked it.

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about with this book. It seems like I've been seeing it everywhere for years and years and I hear people talking about it like it has changed their lives. But I'm going to be honest here (like I'm going to lie to you) and say that while it was a sweet little allegory and made some good points it certainly wasn't revolutionary. There are plenty of books and people out there who say the same thing. Dr. Laura for instance. I know this because I have to hear Dr. Laura every day at work whenever I walk into the back office. She is always telling people to get on with their lives and dump all the baggage that's holding them back. But I would recommend reading this book instead of listening to Dr. Laura. She's a bit of a crank. I try very hard to not go to the back office when she's on. This book is much nicer and won't make you cry.

But just because it didn't wow me doesn't mean it was unpleasant to read. It had a great message, that we all have things that we need to accomplish in life and sometimes they're hard and sometimes things get in the way and sometimes we fail but there are forces out there willing us to succeed and if we just get to work and use our surroundings and our abilities to our advantage then success is inevitable. Everyone needs to hear that, right? It was like a little self help book in the form of a fable. And even better that it can be read in just a few hours. If you're looking for a novel then skip it. It's not much of a story. But if you're looking for a little shove in life, go ahead.


Stephanie said...

We read this for a book club a few months ago and everyone liked it. There were a couple of parts that I loved - like the man in the crystal shop - but there were some parts I was weirded out by - like the whole wind thing.

I liked it, though. I'm glad I read it.

Valerie said...

I think you got it just right, this is a self help book disguised as a fable.
I didn't like it, maybe because unconsciously I knew I was being bamboozled.
And, I don't like when I feel a book has set out to "teach" me something. This book had too much "insight" for me to like it.
I prefer books sans life lessons.

Amanda said...

Nothing about the book, but rather about the word bamboozled. There is here in the frozen north a car dealership that uses this little old lady to do their ads on the radio. I HATE them and they go a little something like this "Nobody likes to be bamboozled." Imagine in a squeeky old lady voice. Not fun and they run those commercials 24/7. I agree that being bamboozled is bad, but I'd prefer that to listening to that ad one more time.