Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
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*****The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

translated by Alan R. Clarke

Reviewed July 7, 2004.
HarperSanFrancisco, 1998.  First published in Brazil in 1988.  176 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F COE).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #2, Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Alchemist is a luminescent fable about a shepherd boy following his own Personal Legend.

First, he gave up seminary because he wanted to travel and became a shepherd.  Then he has a recurrent dream about going to the Egyptian pyramids and finding treasure.

He meets people who encourage him to follow his dream.  He learns that he has discovered his Personal Legend.  Now it is up to him to decide whether to realize his Personal Legend.

The boy sets out.  He has many setbacks, but continues to follow his dream.  The ending gives a beautiful completion to his cycle of adventure.

This is a lovely, simple story, told poetically.  I read it at exactly the right time.  I’ve always dreamed of being a writer, and hitting forty is a time when I’m tempted to decide that I might as well give up.  Instead, this book encouraged me to keep trying, to keep traveling and following my dream.  Better to seek your Personal Legend and fail than to give up without even trying.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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