Monday, August 18, 2014
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was recommended to me by a family member.
Unfortunately this was one of those recommendations that made me question if the family member had even met me. The only reason I would have recommended this to me is that there's a pull quote on that back that says "As memorable and meaningful as Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince"--what a crock of bull.
Sure, The Alchemist had quite a few so-called "deep and meaningful" lines if you're new to the repackaged dogma scene. If this is the first time you've ever come across the concept of following your heart or "your Personal Legend" as Coelho deems it, than this book might come across as ground-breaking.
But to me, it was common sense pared down to a simplistic level. Of course, I believe you should follow your heart. And I know it isn't always easy. But frankly, I don't need a tidy little book to tell me that God has a path for me, and if I follow my heart, I'm on it.
I was irritated that it was compared to The Little Prince because that book meant so much more to me. I did read it in high school, so that could be part of it. Or it could be that it was the first book I read in French by myself, or it could be that it's just so much better than The Alchemist. I could be irritated by The Alchemist because the family member that suggested it hasn't always been 100% supportive of my life choices, and it felt like passive agressive preaching while I was reading it. There's a lot of factors that go into the reading of a book. But none of the factors worked in my favor for this read.