- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Thorsons; Later Printing Used edition (1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780722532935
- ISBN-13: 978-0722532935
- ASIN: 0722532938
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12,101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alchemist Paperback – 1998
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A few weeks ago I took my mother to a dental appointment and opened my Kindle to see what I had available while I waited. I decided to give this book another try and started from the beginning, as I couldn't remember anything from what I read previously. I'm not sure what was different this time around, but I was completely engrossed and my 2 hour wait flew by! I continued to read whenever I found a chance and finished it within a few days. I now find myself constantly thinking of the story and relating it to my own life, as well as my friends and family.
It's a short and very simple story, but definitely worth reading!
Oh man, was that a mistake. It didn't do any of those things (and apparently kids these days don't actually read their summer reading, what a shame). Instead, I fell deeply in love with this book and have read it three times in the last two years. It's the kind of book that works on more than one level - you have your hero who goes on an adventure, learning from a wise mentor, hitting roadblocks, coming to know himself and the world around him before realizing that his true treasure was in himself all along, and if that's all you get out of the book, then that's fine, but there's more going on here.
The difficulty of the book is figuring out what that more is. The book constantly suggests and hints at lessons that seem at once a comment on ethics and metaphysics, history and anthropology, post-colonialist critique and folk fairy tale. Biblical allusions abound next to Islamic lessons on the nature of God while institutions and mysticism are equally likely to be evoked and revoked. There's always the sense as you read that there is something lingering under the surface, but the minute that you try to grab it (or write it in a review) it seems to disappear.
That seems to be the point of the book, that the message is clear if you read it without trying to grab it. Hold it loosely and it comes easily, try to describe it and it flits away. The book is allusive; it works on you without seeming to, and at the end you're left both satisfied as the adventure concludes and also wanting more, or perhaps wanting to do more. Perhaps that's why I like this book so much - it doesn't yield its secrets easily, or perhaps it yields it too easily, and you finish wondering where your heart and your treasure lie and what your personal legend might be. I imagine that this book might say more about its reader than its text: when you know your own heart and your own journey well enough, perhaps this will only remain a passing, although enjoyable fairy tale.
The vendor that I purchased from, Bullet's' Bonanza's, was extremely kind and professional, including a personal note in the package. I would gladly do business with them again.
I'm not done reading it yet, but when I started. I read like the first 80 pages nonstop. Really soak in the message and lessons. I can't wait to finish this book.
So, I finally finished the book. And wow, never would have I thought, a book would have such an impact on me. It's a simple tale but filled with lessons if you are seeking it. I read it in like 3 sittings. I'm not much of a reader and just starting to appreciate it, and I am glad this was one of the books I read. Love it.