Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Alchemist - Book Review

If you are looking for a good book on audio, then this is a great book!  I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it! I had never read a Paulo Coelho book, but had heard of him. This book came as a recommendation from some of my family members, and I am so grateful to them for it.

The book is about a young man who is looking for his treasure and his personal legend. Throughout the book the reader is unaware if the treasure is actual gold and jewels or if it's a person or if it's some form of knowledge. The young man sets off to find this treasure and meets several very interesting characters along the way. The story is set in southern Spain and North Africa and there is a lot that I learned from that part of the world in regards to their culture and customs. The book also provides a bit of magic in the book that is just enough to make for a great story. 

The book is easy to understand and at the same time it is very deep and profound philosophically. There are a lot of life lessons and positive perspectives that could be learned from this book. The boy in the book is a natural optimist and that was very attractive to me. He learned a lot on his travels and we learn with him as he journeys to find his treasure. 

Recommendations: I recommend this book to the wanderer or traveler at heart, to the person who loves stories about wonder and adventure, and to those who may want something easy and fun to read. I also recommend it to anyone who has an unfulfilled dream that they may still aspire to accomplish one day.

To the Christian: The book is clean and at its center it reveals a God in control of His creation. Knowing the history of southern Spain and northern Africa, you would assume that there is a lot of mention of the Muslim faith, and there is. There is even mention of some Hebrew practices. I had a slight problem with God and Allah being interchangeable in this book, but I took all this very lightly due to the magical and fantastical subjects found in the book. For example, one of the characters found a way to change any metal into gold; and the sun and wind can literally speak. There is also transfiguration and immortality is attainable. So I didn't take his interpretation of God too seriously. The alchemist in the book does cite Jesus' words several times as words of wisdom, and unlike a devout Muslim, he even mentions Jesus as the Son of God. There are also dreams and visions that are important within this book and the author references back to Joseph the son of Jacob and his ability to interpret those dreams and visions. My only caution would be that Mr. Coelho does have a universalist leaning, but again, to me that wasn't a problem due to the fantastical prose of the book. There are some beautiful things written about God. If you have a young reader this would be a good book for them to read. You could discuss with them later about who God truly is and what God's Word has to say about man and the nature of his heart. Mr. Coelho believes that God can be found if we look within ourselves. I would argue that we, ourselves, are found if we look within God. 

You can get the book here. 

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