I say: I’m going to make this short because it feels like I’ll be repeating what I wrote about Coelho when I reviewed Veronika Decides to Die, and I honestly cannot be arsed.
Paulo Coelho is just not for me.
I had doubts when I started reading The Alchemist, but I tried to keep an open mind about it.
I didn’t think about getting annoyed with the language or the story, but just to focus on letting everything run its course in its own time.
That lasted until page eight where this was written:
“The heat lasted until nightfall, and all that time he had to carry his jacket. But when he thought to complain about the burden of its weight, he remembered that, because he had the jacket, he had withstood the cold of the dawn.
We have to prepare for change, he thought, and he was grateful for the jacket’s weight and warmth.”
I told myself “don’t get annoyed, it’s just the one thing.” And I trudged on all the way to page thirteen and this:
“Another trick, the boy thought. But he decided to take a chance. A shepherd always takes his chances with wolves and with drought, and that’s what makes a shepherd’s life exciting.”
After that I just couldn’t read this with an open mind, and I will come right out and say that I hate this book. No, actually I don’t hate it – hate requires energy.
I nothing this book.
It’s stupid, contrived, insulting, and just plain awful. In a way it feels like Coelho was going out of his way to write a profound fable, but instead of just focusing on one main moral (or even a decent enough storyline), he just threw in everything he’d ever heard about anything.
It was a mess.
The only good thing about the story was what the boy found when he got to the pyramids. Was that a spoiler to say that he got there?
Needless to say, I will never read another Coelho book unless my life depends on it. And even then I’ll need a few hours to think about it.