Tag: The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

March 6th, 2011 — 2:15am

Buy now on Amazon: The Alchemist

AlchemistI don’t quite get it. This 1993 book has sold 65 million copies, it has been best seller in 74 countries, originally in Portuguese , translated into many languages apparently not French or Spanish but to me it is just a simple fable. This may be a very early social media phenomenon as the author spreads his books on file sharing networks, which facilitates the sales of them. Could it be because it is relatively brief, people take a chance on the book and many people buy it because it is a short popular book. Also perhaps it is popular in the Arab world ( where there are multimillions of people in many countries ) because the underlying theme includes a return to Mecca which is embedded in their religion. Maybe it is a popular gift in this world of readers.

For me I like books with characters I can relate to or at least fantasize about . I don’t mind a plot that says if you work hard and keep trying, you will succeed but I like the story that is interesting and not be so naïve, bland and repetitive even if it is short.

I am not against dreams being important in a story( after all I am a psychiatrist ) but I like interpersonal relationships or personalities that I can understand using some theory or life experience that has some meaning.

I am not against reading fairy tales to kids but for my own reading, I want a story that could reflect life, or interesting characters even if I have to struggle to understand them or develop emotions positive or negative about them, none of which I found in this story.

But what do I know this book has  been one of the best selling books in history.

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