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“The Alchemist”, an allegorical novel, is first written in Portuguese and has since been translated into 67 languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author, Paulo Coelho. Set between 1926 and 1938, this book is first published in English by Harper Torch in 1993. The novel details the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy.
Paulo Coelho’s main theme in the story is prophecy, highly influenced by the dreams of a shepherd boy Santiago, who decides to travel to the pyramids of Egypt to find treasure.
The author tries to point out how the whole universe tries to conspire in helping a person achieve what he wants. It is impressive and readers can be highly entranced by it.
The story revolves around the main character, Santiago. Other important characters are Melchizedek, an old king and Fatimah, with whom Santiago falls in love with. They are highly convincing and sympathetic. The novel is a charming, brilliant, simple narrative one and is a wonderful tale, a metaphor of life, from people in places as diverse as South Africa, Finland and Turkey.
This can also be one reason why the novel is recognizable all over the world. One of the chief complaints lodged against the book is that the story is something like a retelling of "The Ruined Man who Became Rich Again through a Dream".
This story of adventure, is meant to entertain people mainly those who live in a world of dreams and prophecies. It is interesting for readers of all age groups, specially sensible youths.
The book has greatly impressed me, and has taught me many things regarding life and the achievements a person wants to make. Santiago’s encounter with certain people who teach him many good things with experience, is what makes the novel highly impressive.
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