Friday, November 26, 2004

Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist"

I bought this book when I was in Bangalore as my friend Partiban suggested me to read this. More than enough people are claiming that this book was really inspiring. So I wanted to see what this publishing phenomenon was all about. I bought the book and I could be over with it very soon. It is an allegory. At least that's what I believe it is. It is a story about a young boy finding his destiny. By telling his story, the author seems to suggest that each person in this earth has a destiny that he has to pursue. I really don't know about this destiny thing. So I cannot honorably counter-claim it. The one thing about this book which turns me off is the fact that the author has employed so many symbolism and mystism to convey whatever he wanted to say. I don't see any justification for this. This was even more evident to me as I have just finished the book "The monk who sold his Ferrari". Why should inspiration be only for the discerning?
The people the boy meets are full of meaning. It occasionally gets psychic. Like suggesting we listen to omens. Talk to wind. Commandeer Clouds. Stuff like that. The author does this occasionally. I fear he does this to overwhelm the readers that he is on a higher thinking plane. People claim that they get inspired by this book. I am afraid I cannot say so. It was certainly good to go through. Except for its mystical parts, it was extremly readable. At least going by the font size. But when it comes to inspiration, I don't know.
If some enlighened person really finds it inspiring, please let me know how.


Sai Arunachalam said...

I am afraid I have a similar feeling about this book, but I haven't skid past the 34th page of the book, in the past 35 days. Hopefully I touch it again in the next 36 days... :) Keep writing mon ami!

Rams said...

I agree with you and you know this (being your house mate :))The book is definitely NOT one of "life-changing","nation-transforming" kinda stuff the book's back-cover claims it to be.It was a good read though. But in my opinion, the book did not live up to the hype that my other "awe-inspired" friends had given.

Fathima said...
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Fathima said...

I am not used to philosophical books much though I read psychological ones at times. Initially, I was reluctant to read "The Alchemist".
But once started, I nearly travelled with Santiago(the boy in the book), and started to realize how many dreams that I have had before and how many I have discarded without giving a second thought about it. Lost are lost. Now I am seeing the inner meaning of each and every small thought and dream, and why it occurs to me at a particular point of time.
I feel each about-to-happen incident is told to every human before it happens and itz only that he/she is not able to realize it.
May b I am a bit superstitious, which is why the book appealed to me.

Kris said...

I wonder how a book like this can be pushed aside as uninspirational and uninteresting.

Every message and every anectode in the book has deep meanings to it. It is a book which explains the importance of listing to ones heart and living ones dreams.

The book could be understood and relished well if you could relate to nature and be aware of thoughts that come by.

Infact I believe there are two individuals in every one – one trying to be what the world wants us to be and the other that each of us are destined to be or want to be may the second one is the purpose why we are in this world.

And this books tells exactly that, to discover the second part of each of us which would give more happiness and success than the one that we are, just because the world believes so.

Mentions like if you wish to achieve something the the whole univese conspires to help you achieve, would be realised if you reflec through instances in your life and look beyond the regular permutation and combinations and analyse see how it happened. Some of the discoveries, inventions and things considered impossible by measure of potential, are achieved not be logically drafting a project plan but by dreams and instintcs.

I would request you to re read this book with a different mind set to get the pleasure of it.