The Alchemist Paperback – 1999
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Paul Coelho classic novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Put simply this is one of the most abject books I have ever read. Anyone who takes a positive, life affirming message from Coelho's prose has completely misunderstood the message it unintentionally broadcasts. Despite what the author and Richard and Judy would have you believe, what The Alchemist does espouse is a barely updated version of Leibnitzian Optimism which occasionally blunders over the line into full blown Fatalism. The very same philosophical position in fact that was so mercilessly torn apart and held up to the light of reason and absurdity by Voltaire over 200 years ago. Rather than a positive message, the book is overwhelmingly negative for anyone who believes in free will or our own ability to make our own choices. As Voltaire realised, the problem with Optimism/Fatalism (above and beyond its complete refusal to accept that bad things happen unless it was for 'a higher reason' or 'the greater good' or 'part of God's plan) is that when you work it all the way through to its logical conclusion you are forced to accept that free will can not exist and that we are all merely pawns in a larger game over which we have no control. How people manage to extract a positive message from being told that happiness is to be found in blindly following a destiny that is laid out before you is utterly beyond me.Read more ›
The plot is straightforward - Santiago is a shepherd who feels there is more to life and gets encouraged by many people, messages and omens to follow his destiny. The writing is basic at best, with repetitive dialogue tags and no sense of depth. This simplistic style is obviously purposeful to allow the writer to hammer home his 'message' again and again and again. The translation is no excuse for the writing; anyone who thinks so needs to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez and consider the beauty and intricacy of his translated prose.
What that message is, however, becomes the real issue of the book - that if you really want something, the universe will conspire to give it to you. Oh PLEASE. It immediately made me wonder who on earth would accept that as some sort of doctrine?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good quality second hand book. The book content is amazing. .... very thought provoking with lots of lessons on life. ...recommended to allPublished 7 days ago by Mrs Polly Pang
A book that I've read multiple times and always feels refreshing and inspiring whenever I pick it up!Published 7 days ago by M N
A book to read throughout your adult life when you are searching for the meaning of life and for direction. Follow your personal legend, your dharma.Published 8 days ago by vasna
It was a really compelling story. I enjoyed reading the book. However, I was surprised how the ending was a bit naive and even a slightly sexist. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Miss T