The Alchemist – A master creation by Paulo Coelho
The Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 1987, Paulo Coelho published the Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best-selling Brazilian books of all time. Indeed Paulo Coelho was the first Best-selling author who actively supported free distribution of his work over the internet.
Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese but since then it has been translated into 67 languages. The book has gone on to becoming an international bestseller. According to AFP, it has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history. But according to the publisher Harper Collins, all of Coelho’s books were sold up to 65 million copies in total at the time of that paperback publication. According to Paulo Coelho’s website, twenty-one million copies of The Alchemist have been sold since its publication.
An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there. Santiago, believing this dream to be prophetic, decides to travel to a gypsy in a nearby town to discover its meaning. She tells him that there is a treasure in the Pyramids in Egypt. As he leaves, the gypsy mentions one thing: If he does find the treasure, she wants 10 percent of it. Early into his journey, he meets an old king, Melchizedek, who tells him to sell his sheep to travel to Egypt, and his Personal Legend: what he always wanted to accomplish in his life. This is the core philosophy and motto of the book.
Along the way, he encounters love, danger, opportunity, disaster and learns a lot about himself and the ways of the world. During his travels, he meets a beautiful Arabian woman named Fatima who explains to him that if he follows his heart, he shall find what it is, he seeks. Santiago then encounters a lone alchemist who tells him about personal legends. He says that people only want to find the treasure of their personal legends but not the personal legend itself. He feels unsure about himself as he listens to the alchemist’s teachings. The alchemist states “Those who don’t understand their personal legends will fail to comprehend its teachings.” It also states that treasure is more worthy than gold.
The most famous lines of the book is also the crux of it too and It goes like “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”
(The alchemist to Santiago, echoing the words of the old king)
To cut the long story short, the book is worth every page and line. It surely is one of the most interesting and eye-catching book, readers will ever come across.