the alchemist

There is something so beautiful and poignant in the simple words Coelho uses and the extraordinary talent he has for turning cliches into powerful, life-affirming reminders. It definitely has some magical elements to it, but I think the most fascinating aspect is the line he draws between religion and spirituality: organized religion can fall flat, and he admits that, but spirituality is individual and even though it may be more difficult to maintain, it is more permanent, honest, and real. Santiago is a wonderful protagonist – he manages to ask the same questions that the reader tends to have, at all the right times, and he admits that he isn’t perfect but he still works hard to find out how to be better. This novel is just unlike any other, in so many different ways, and I can see why so many people have fallen in love with it in so many languages, because the story rings true for everyone.

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