I just finished reading The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho. It wasn’t bad. Most notably, two cute girls stopped and commented about what a good book it was, which alone may be a reason to read it. A surly pizza guy over at Hogan’s Hero’s (best named sandwich shop ever) also struck up a conversation about it, but I think that was more because he wanted to tell me he had just read his first book a month ago (The Diary of Anne Frank).
The Alchemist is a young man’s spiritual journey. A shepherd goes on a quest to find treasure and learns valuable life lessons along the way. The book reads easy, is short, and is fairly quick to read in a few hours, or a day if you don’t have the chance to read it all at once. It’s a little heavy handed with it’s lessons, but it’s of that genre, and I suppose that’s just a given. It reminds me of one of the books my highschool art teacher would have handed out as if he were giving away secrets. It’s certainly a “feel good” book, advising following your dreams and not being distracted by naysayers.
It’s not the greatest book that I’ve read, but it’s not bad. It’s a little oversimplified, but it does actually have a decent moral – fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles to happiness, and considering how many people work jobs they hate, maybe it’s a decent message. It’s a good bedtime story if you’re looking something to read to a kid.