Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A Thought-provoking Fable
on 25 July 2017
The Alchemist has been hailed as a modern classic inspiring people across generations with its allegorical fable and thought provoking lessons. The story follows the adventure of a young shepherd called Santiago who spurred on by a recurring dream sets out on a journey of discovery, meeting with success and failure along the way, but above all else learning important life lessons in the process. Throughout the book we follow Santiago as he goes in search of his 'Personal Legend'. I believe it is this element of striving for personal discovery and enlightenment that has resonated with so many people across the globe.
If you are looking for a thought-provoking novel which will inspire you to better yourself and seek out your own personal journey of discovery then this is definitely the book for you. This book is a fable and is told as such. If however you are looking for an elegantly crafted piece of literature, then I fear you may be left slightly disappointed.
This book is first and foremost a fable, not a novel, and the writing style very much reflects that. It reads more like a child's fairytale rather than a literary epic. Having heard so much about this book before having read it I was expecting a rolling wave of literary beauty, but for me this book fell a little short. That is not to detract from the beauty of the story, but for all the five star reviews and heaps of praise for me the writing style was a let down.
As a fable/fariytale it really does tick all the boxes, but due to this writing style the characterisations are extremely one dimensional and the prose very linear. I was waiting to be transported into the world the writer described to gaze in awe and wonder at the world he conjured, but for me this just did not happen. In the same vein as a fable the narrative felt somehow distanced from me because the lessons were the main focus.Although the story follows Santiago's story, by the end of the book I did not feel I had learnt that much about him. I had learnt an awful lot about what he had learnt, but very little about him as a character. Maybe this was the author's intention, merely to inspire thought and teach us a lesson. I can't help thinking though he could have done the same thing through a more epically magical piece of literature.
This book is enjoyable, and it will certainly make you think, but if you want stunningly beautiful prose and intriguing characterisations then like me you may find it a little wanting.