n a way, Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist, reminds me a lot of reading Richard Bach’s books back in the 80s. He was a pilot who discovered new age ways and wrote about it, coupling flying and out-of-body experiences.
The Alchemist is more a work of fiction (with thoughts and ideas you can bring to your normal life). It is the story of a Spanish shepherd in a time where there are guns yet no cars (so, maybe the late 1800s) who dreams of traveling to the pyramids, for there (his dreams tell him) is his undiscovered treasure. As the boy (as he is called) sells his flock and travels across to Tangiers, to find a way to get to these pyramids, wherever they might be. And, as true of innocent youth and money, they are soon parted. Forced to work in a crystal shop (and to improve it so his take increases) we start to learn the way of his world, of Personal Legends (your reason for being) as well as the hints and omens the world around you gives you. And so the boy journeys onward, finding his truth, his love, and coming ever closer to his reason for being.
As the book says on the back cover, “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation”, which is a nice idea.
Coelho is a Brazilian writer who has knocked out a number of books, and I figure a lot of them (like Bach’s) are works of personal growth in a visibly orderly universe. And I’ll give it this – the author writes well. Take it as a self-help book or a tale of adventure; either works. But it was fun, short and fast. I’m really thankful that Fernanda, my physical therapist, pointed this writer out to me. I’ll have to pick up some more of his titles soon.