People have been recommending this for years, so when it presented itself in a bag of unwanted books I was able to pick up for free, I jumped at the chance, especially as it looked thin enough to read surreptitiously at accountancy college.
Simply put, it’s the story of a shepherd boy following his destiny and finding “God” along the way. “God” in speech marks because for the majority of the book, he is communicating with omens, destiny, his heart and the wind – all of which lead him to God.
The prose is rather simply written – appropriate for the protagonist, but it makes skimming over the important parts too easy. None of the characters is developed very deeply, not even the protagonist or the Alchemist of the title, but that doesn’t detract from the text.
I’m not sure that all the hype is justified – but this is certainly an excellent read, both profound and enjoyable, and it deserves its status as a modern classic.
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