The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho MAG

January 8, 2011
By jkandrews BRONZE, Bangor, Maine
jkandrews BRONZE, Bangor, Maine
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"It's just a book. No harm ever came from reading a book."


Boring. Dry. Infinitely long. Sadly, no, I am not describing the great natural wonder that is the Sahara desert. I am describing Paulo Coelho's lackluster novel, The Alchemist.

After a promising beginning, the book is full of contradictions and confusing references, leaving much to be desired. There are so many symbolic representations of alchemy that they become suffocating and one cannot go more than four or five pages without stumbling over one of Coelho's headache-inducing interpretations. The worst is when you reach the climax – or rather don't reach it, because it doesn't exist.

The book is as three-dimensional as a sheet of cardboard and about as entertaining to read. All of this takes what could have been an exciting adventure story about a hidden treasure and ruins it by making the reader think too hard rather than enjoy the book. Instead of stars this book rates a black hole, into which fiction-lovers can hope The Alchemist gets sucked.


The author's comments:
I had to read The Alchemist for English class and I didn't really enjoy it (in case you can't tell from the review). Of course, this is all just my opinion and in no way do I discourage you from reading this book. Perhaps you might like it more than I did.

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This article has 7 comments.


daveyinaz said...
on Jan. 4 2012 at 2:20 pm
Just because something was published doesn't necessarily mean it's worth a grain of salt.

on Nov. 17 2011 at 5:08 pm
jkandrews BRONZE, Bangor, Maine
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"It's just a book. No harm ever came from reading a book."

All I have to say on the matter is that it WAS published in the print version of Teen Ink, so somebody somewhere must have agreed with my review enough to print it.  I respect you opinion and I accept your apology. -jkandrews

on Oct. 25 2011 at 5:09 pm
Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
40 articles 2 photos 1634 comments

Favorite Quote:
"il piu nell' uno," (according to Emerson, an Italian expression for beauty)

"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality" ~Emily Dickinson

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain"
~Kahlil Gibran

Again, forgive me for my impassioned response to your innocently delivered review. But The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die profoundly changed my life, so I felt entitled to give something back.

on Oct. 25 2011 at 5:08 pm
Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
40 articles 2 photos 1634 comments

Favorite Quote:
"il piu nell' uno," (according to Emerson, an Italian expression for beauty)

"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality" ~Emily Dickinson

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain"
~Kahlil Gibran

I have never disagreed more with a book review, or found a criticism so utterly unfair! Why would you ever condemn a book for "making you think?" Adventure stories, while entertaining, will often lead you absolutely nowhere. Coelho takes his audience (if they're willing) on a spiritual and emotional journey beyond the confines of their previous mindset and into a realm of new ideas and a different level of existence. I'm afraid you're only condemning the novel because you're reading it on a one-dimensional level, which will never allow growth. It doesn't matter if you don't like the book, but don't blame Paul Coelho for your own shortcomings.

on Oct. 25 2011 at 4:56 pm
Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
40 articles 2 photos 1634 comments

Favorite Quote:
"il piu nell' uno," (according to Emerson, an Italian expression for beauty)

"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality" ~Emily Dickinson

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain"
~Kahlil Gibran

Forgive me, but I read this review in the Teen Ink magazine and endeavored to defend the brilliant Paul Coelho and one of his most stunning literary works.

Hideing BRONZE said...
on Aug. 18 2011 at 12:15 am
Hideing BRONZE, Okc, Oklahoma
3 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We need to stop acting like our own dreams are the only thing that matters"
-ed-fullmetal alchemist

I know i thought it was going to be good because everyone said so but nope it sucked

on Mar. 3 2011 at 4:57 pm
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 404 comments
It's supposed to be one of those spiritual-inspirational-...artistic...thingies. (Which is probably why you read it in English class). You're supposed to like it without actually understanding or being entertained by it. Books like that irritate the heck out of me- The Alchemist, Jonathan Livingston Seagull... Ugh.


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