Friday, 20 January 2012

The Alchemist

I have been meaning to read this book for awhile now, but only recently got around to it. It's not a very long read, but it's rich with language, symbolism and enough metaphors to make your literature profs foam at the mouth. The story follows a young shepard Santiago who has a dream about going to Egypt. He basically decides to follow the signs that are telling him to go there and comes across a number of different figures. The story is at best confusing, but it doesn't really matter. The language is fluid and almost magical in and of itself. The author takes you on a lyrical journey that harkens back to a different time. In this age of consumption for the masses, it's difficult to find such a beautifully written novel. It's not that long, so one does not get bored, but it does require more than one read to fully understand the story. It's basically a coming of age and focuses on following one's dreams no matter the cost. It's a bit optimistic considering our time and the setting is almost other-wordly. It's hard to picture a Shepard boy who willingly visits a fortune teller and then decides to put everything at risk based on a dream. I do like that Santiago always yearned for travel and the dreams serve more as a catalyst rather than the reason for his journey.

It's definitely a book I would recommend.