Monday, July 21, 2008

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The book titled The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was recently recommended to me by several friends and relatives, and what seemed to be a mere coincidence at the time may actually have been orchestrated. I began to read this short 167 page novel Sunday afternoon and by Sunday evening I had finished it. I found myself glued to its inviting and creative narrative, and I also found myself carefully watching the choices and moves of the young shepherd who plays the main character. I won't give away much of the plot nor the ending for any and all who still have not read it, because I would be doing you a grave disservice. It was one of my favorite novels to read, ever. Probably in the top five of my entire life. Without a doubt my favorite part of this book is the clear focus on the power of our decisions. We have freedom to make choices in this life and the main character learns that often it is our choices that come to define who we are, who we will become, and how people will remember us. I absolutely loved the subtle quotations of scripture that are peppered throughout the narrative and the inclusion of several creative and multifaceted characters throughout the journey of the text. I have heard it said that C.S. Lewis called the book Phantastes by George MacDonald the "baptism of his imagination." The Alchemist functioned much the same way for me. All five of my senses were engaged in my imagination as I travelled along with the adventure! I would unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone who might have a chance to read it and I am looking forward to the next opportunity that I have to read something from this altogether brilliant author.

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