The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

The book, 'The Alchemist' is a departure from typical leader biographies that explore and discuss their climbs to positions of leadership. The Alchemist follows a fictional story of a young Shepherd as he embarks on a journey to find treasure in a land far away. On this journey he encounters challenges, love, and other characters, including the titular Alchemist. Coelho's writing is simple and elegant, transporting reader into the mystical narrative he presents. The Boy, the Alchemist, and other characters, impart on us as readers, timeless wisdom about passion and resilience. I enjoyed reading this book very much, and even had an audio version that I could listen to when I was on the road. It is an amazing read.

Karigo Said Msuya

Rating: 5 Recommend



The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is the physical manifestation of the term “Quantity over quality”. A slim book filled with immense power, the novel entraps the reader in a series of life changing lessons and messages interwoven throughout the story. The Alchemist follows the curious character of Santiago, a shepherd from Spain as he journeys his way to Egypt to discover his Personal Legend and retrieve a prophesized treasure. On his way Santiago acquaints himself with a number of lovable characters who each individually teach him an important lesson centered around the topic of dreams; where do they go once abandoned? Do they ever really disappear? or is “dream” even  the appropriate term for these desires we have in our lifetime? The idea of Santiago growing and learning with the reader is what makes his character and the novel so endearing. I began clueless about concepts such as “personal legend” and only vague about “the power of attraction”, but so did Santiago. Through the duration of the novel we were able to both grow and become enchanted by the wise words of the Alchemist, feeling each plot twist and each accomplishment as one. Santiago began his story similar to any one of us, confused about the world around us but endlessly curious about the magic it possess. The message that transcended the most to me out of the countless ones mentioned in the book is about the universe conspiring itself in order to let us achieve the things we truly desire in life. The quote stated that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” In order for the future readers of this book to experience the feelings you encounter from reading it and interpreting the messages for themselves, I will refrain from disclosing any more words from the novel. The story above all else is about listening to your heart, observing the hints and omens the world presents you with, and the importance of never forgetting to follow your dreams. Three statements that everyone, young or old, must head to in their life.

Mirengeri Diallo

Rating: 4.5 Interesting/Recommend



This is a book that I shall read over and over again because it has taught me too many lessons to absorb in the first read. It is a story of a humble shepherd who transforms in every spiritual way possible. The “Law of Attraction” is applicable in the spiritual realm as well – the universe conspires to make your deepest desires plausible. The lesson of hard work and innovation is portrayed in Santiago’s job as a crystal merchant. He works tirelessly to earn money for the treasure he yearns to obtain. In times of strife he looks within himself and manages to perform what was thought to be impossible. On his journey he finds the love of his life, Fatima, who shares a message not only to Santiago but to all the readers: no relationship should get in the way of what you work towards and those who love you can learn to wait and support even when the situation doesn’t please them. The protagonist’s ability to pick up so many lessons and almost instantly apply them is a trait that I can’t wait to perfect. The ending creates a beautifully painful conclusion to an outstanding book. The journey was for the growth and the treasure he was searching for lay right where he began. This is a story that shall remain in my heart for years to come. For those who have not read this book and want life’s prescious lessons taught through fantastic literature, please buy up a copy.

Amy Migunda

Rating: 5 Recommend



Merely reading this book once is not enough. In between the rich, sandy dunes of the Sahara Dessert and the grassy, green fields of Spain lies a story determined to awaken your inner child like nature. It is an idealist outlook on the world encapsulated in awe and belief. As the reader we follow a young shepherd boy named Santiago in his pursuit to find treasure and fulfil his destiny. Against a backdrop rife with tribal wars, theft and hardship we witness the implicit mastery of Coelho, weaving seeds of wisdom and life lessons in each stage of Santiago’s journey. With each encounter Santiago experiences, we are gifted with little nuggets of advice either rooted in spiritual beliefs such as the pantheistic view of God’s existence in everything or the simple lesson that you can learn from any experience; it is easy for one to draw some form of inspiration. The dichotomy presented between contentment and ambition is a significant theme Coelho toys with in order to tip even the most apprehensive reader over into either unimaginable clarity or the realization of a concealed abyss.  Yes, the book is that powerful. However, what strikes me the most is that it is not just a story which morphs failures into triumphs and allows you to question your purpose in life, but Coelho’s undisputed command of language which paints vivid strokes of a “universe conspiring to help” in achieving one’s dreams. The deceptively simplistic nature of Coelho’s writing evident in Santiago’s narrative delineates a concurrent theme of collectivism and similarities superseding the cultural differences between a people. Perhaps, Santiago’s name is only mentioned once, as if it is Coelho’s attempt to dehumanize the main character to emphasise the universality of the values people share. Nevertheless, this could be my interpretation of Santiago’s dehumanization this time and could completely change after the next reading. Ultimately, I highly recommend the Alchemist because honestly, with just reading it once I feel like I have just analysed a one of multiple interpretations not even reaching the cusp of the many life lessons and philosophical views it has to offer.

Nicole Jean-Louis

Rating: 5 Recommend