The Alchemist celebrated its 25th anniversary last year so I am definitely late to the party in only just having picked up a copy to read. The fable of Santiago's quest, retold from a tale in One Thousand And One Nights, has become a contemporary classic and is now available translated into at least eighty languages. It's easy to see why! This uplifting tale is recounted in deftly composed prose and, for me, reading it felt like stepping back in time to eras of oral community storytelling. The Alchemist layers deep philosophical thinking over a simple narrative with which I think we could all identify so the reader has the choice of how they wish to encounter the work. Yesterday I read The Alchemist as a straightforward mystical adventure story. Today I am thinking over its themes and how its calming spirituality might fit my life.
Published April 4, 2010 by HarperCollins.