alchemist book review

Book Review: The Alchemist, By Paulo Coelho

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Wait. A travel blogger that does book reviews!? Sacre bleu!?

Well, there’s good reason for book reviews on the old Nomad Experiment; they’re typically about travel! And travel and personal exploration is at the core of The Alchemist.

I was recently given this book as a gift from a very important friend whom had a vested interest in getting me to figure my sh!t out. The back story is that I’ve always been longing for something, and travel was at the root of it. I always felt that until I was able to scratch the itch that I would always be searching.

Enter “The Alchemist”, a beautifully simple tale about a boy searching for something.

First of all, if you’re all about beautiful print, and the feeling of a book in your hands, make sure you get the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Alchemist.
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As a print designer, I was super pumped every time I picked it up just because of the beautiful cover illustration, embossings, foil stamps, and the fantastic deckled edges on the pages. Even if you don’t know what any of this nonsense jargon means, trust me, it adds to the romance of the experience.

Now, on to the read. First and foremost, I have a terrible time keeping attention when I read (shiny stuff syndrome), but this book was different. The story in The Alchemist is so simple. It’s not convoluted with too many characters or side plots or fluff. There are really only about 4-5 characters in the entire story, and it’s perfectly appropriate.

The boy struggles with all of the things that life attempts to throw at him, including love, fear and danger, all while trying to figure out what it is that he’s actually searching for.

“Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe… And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Since the story is so brief and simple, it’s hard to tell you much more without giving away the beauty of it. But let’s just say that the simplicity of the messages and the simplicity of the characters, combined with so many beautiful ways that the words and prose are written, make for wonderful moments of clarity for anyone “searching for something” in their world.

Especially if that something has to do with travel. 

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“The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom. There was nothing to hold him back except himself.”

At the time of this writing, this book has over 9,000 reviews and over 4.5 stars, which is a testament to the read. Here’s where to get the print 25th Anniversary Edition on Amazon or for your Kindle.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!




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