Review – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


First things first – if you really loved this book and thought it was life-changing, you might want to skip this review.

While I can appreciate what the writer was trying to accomplish and the writing itself isn’t bad, this just wasn’t an enjoyable book for me.  The only word I can find to describe my experience is ‘boring’.  For me, boring = 2/5 stars.

Coelho uses the story of The Alchemist to teach the reader some valuable life lessons.  ***snore***  In the words of Homer Simpson, “If there’s one thing I don’t like being taught, it’s a lesson!”  Most of us don’t want things force-fed to us and this book crossed that line too many times.  (The ending, ugh.)

There are some wonderful books that are entertaining but also teach valuable lessons so I’ve decided to give you my top 5:

5 – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  Lesson learned: don’t necessarily trust what people tell you especially if they have ulterior motives.  You can be used without your consent or knowledge.

4 – Wicked by Gregory Maguire.  Lesson learned: Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.  Elpheba was different – green skin, abrasive personality.  Different isn’t the same as evil.

3 – It by Stephen King.  Lesson learned: Don’t go near drainage ditches.  Seriously, don’t!

2 – The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  Lessons learned: A quest can quickly become an obsession for which you risk giving up friends, family and yourself.  Also, even though you may see an obstacle in your path, don’t worry about it until you get there – deal with it when the time is right.  “Because it’s trouble,” Roland said, “and it’s in our road.  We’ll get there in time.  No need to live in trouble until trouble comes.”

1 – Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.  Lessons learned: thousands.  But, first and foremost, family is what you make of it.  Harry lost his parents as an infant and his remaining biological family was horrible to him.  His friendship with Ron and Hermione turned into a familial relationship and   Ron’s family became Harry’s adopted family (then in-law.)  Hagrid, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Dobby, Hedwig…I could go on.  All of these people were family.  Not by blood but by choice.


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