Post event update:
Well, this book definitely seemed to receive a reception a bit like Marmite; people either loved it or hated it. The two camps fell into “I just want my personal development books to tell it to me straight” vs “I loved thinking about what all the metaphors meant and how they could be applied to life”. I personally thought it was a refreshing break from the more factual books we’d been reading, but that there were definitely a lot of hidden layers I missed!
The rest of this post may contain some spoilers. If you haven’t read the book yet and intend to do so, you may want to turn away now.
We loved how ‘the Boy’ went about his personal legend, seemingly being deterred off his path but learning so much in the process. For instance, working in the crystal shop helped him save up the money he needed and learn the language and culture – it may have seemed like he was way off track, but it was actually all good training.
It was interesting that most of the ‘wise people’ were older than the Boy, and that most of the understanding of ‘omens’ came from listening to his heart. I wonder whether we take enough time out of our lives to truly listen to our hearts?
There seemed to be a Biblical feeling about the book – an allegory like Pilgrims Progress, set in a desert….we wondered whether this had been intentional, or whether it was influenced by the author’s strong Catholic background.
We loved most of the often quoted parts of the book, but think the quotes do need to come with a bit of small print e.g.:
‘the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself’ (well, perhaps not, but by fearing it you do suffer at least twice)
‘the secret to life is to fall seven times and get up eight’ (yes, have resilience, but also don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again – Einstein said that’s the definition of madness!)
‘people are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of’ (within certain limits, like having some capability to build on, and the finances)
‘everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own’ (this can be interpreted two ways; people should mind their own business, or it’s a lot easier to give someone advice from an objective and unemotional viewpoint…as long as it is not unsolicited!)
The other part of the book we were also unsure we liked was the role of Fatima – waiting for the Boy to come back to her, and we wondered what had happened to the other girl he had been in love with.
However, overall, we thought ‘lovely story, with some deep messages’!
Share what you thought in the comments section below
Come and discuss this book on 26th September 7-9pm, Fountain Harvester, Milton Keynes
Click here to join. Event is free.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is one of the best-selling books in history, with over 65 million copies in 56 different languages. The story of Santiago, the shepherd boy on a journey to realize his “Personal Legend” has inspired people all over the world to live their dreams.
This book is a parable containing some powerful life lessons. Here is a summary of the life lessons from the author himself http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2015/12/15/10-powerful-life-lessons-from-the-alchemist/
Again, a very popular book, and I’m really looking forward to hearing your view on it. Did you love it or hate it? Has reading it motivated you to go after your ‘personal legend’? Is there anything you think he’s missed out? Come and discuss at the Harvester.