Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the alchemist

i just finished reading "the alchemist" by paulo coehlo. i had heard of it before, but it really didnt interest me until i heard someone else talk about it and give a little more information that intrigued me. it seemed like the book was about personal revelation and we all know how i struggle with that.
i really dont know what to say about this book. its odd. at first i thought the author might be lds because he seemed to be talking about tithing at the beginning of the book and then he mentioned the urim and thummim. i am almost embarrassed to admit this, but until i read this book i had no idea that the urim and thummim had been used before joseph smith. seriously. i just thought it was something the Lord gave to him alone. i guess that shows you how well read in the Old Testament i am. i even mentioned it to a jewish friend and she knew exactly what i was talking about. shame is my middle name.
SPOILER ALERT! if you plan on reading this book and dont want the end revealed to you, read no further.
the ending kind of irritated me. this poor shepherd kid went through a lot to find his treasure only to be lead right back to where he started. then he had to dig for quite a while to get to his literal buried treasure. everything was so symbolic and vague, but at the end, he dug under a tree where he used to sleep with his sheep and found a chest with gold and jewels in it. nice.
so now i have to follow my freakin personal legend. like i need something else to do.


  1. Well, congratulations on reading the book, although I am not sure you got out of it what you were supposed to get out of it. Part of the point was that the real treasure the boy received was the journey. He gained self-worth, valuable world skills and met the woman of his dreams. He saw parts of the world he never would have dreamed to see. Merely giving him the treasure where he used to sleep with his sheep would have been worthless. It's like the people who win the lottery. They are ill prepared for the sudden changes in their life that come with that much wealth. They usually end up broke a few years later - their lives shattered. I have even heard some say that they wish they had never won the lottery. Such is the way with life. If everything came easy, well, then we wouldn't really appreciate it.

    But what I got out of the book the most was the idea that maybe we are all interconnected. And that maybe when my gut tells me that what I am doing is not the right path, I need to follow it. I am sorry the book didn't live up to your expectations.

  2. i think i got it, it just irritated me that he had to go all the way back. i get having to work and meet major obstacles,redirecting your path as needed to stay on course. i get it. i think. ;-)
    thanks for pointing out the interconnected idea-i think its a good one and i think you are right.