Book: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Recommend? No. Was a huge waste of a Saturday morning
I have heard this book recommended over and over again. I decided to give it a try when I was able to get it from the library. I started in and was immediately bored. I struggled through hoping it would get better. It never did. The book tells the story of a shepherd seeking his “personal legend” and his adventures trying to get there. It felt like I was reading one of Scheherazade’s tales from the Arabian Nights. A poor imitation of it at that. I got all the ideas he was trying to get across but it was nothing new and just tired. Other reviews have compared it to The Little Prince but honestly I just don’t agree because there us no art in this story. I would not recommend wasting your time.
The main character is flat and uninteresting. He is extremely difficult to connect with on any level. He is too simple and naive. He makes unrealistic leaps of knowledge. The transitions between his interactions with the metaphysical and his real world are awkward and poorly executed. The other characters are too convenient and have no depth either. The main character’s love interest is boring. The motivation of the character is totally lifeless. I have never read such a flat and uninteresting book. There is nothing that grabs the reader and pulls them into his plight. The scenes meant to cause conflict are either too easily resolved or the resolution is so ridiculous it is impossible to take seriously. I honestly don’t know what anyone sees in this story!
The only positive I could come up with is that it is blessedly short! Good luck not falling asleep if you attempt this one.