Why Is The Alchemist Book by Paulo Coelho So Famous?

Written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho in 1988 – The Alchemist is one of the best-selling books in history.

It is an international bestseller and has been translated to more than 70 languages.


The Alchemist book is an international bestseller and has been translated to more than 70 languages.

The book is relatively short having around 167 pages only.

The theme is about finding one’s destiny or purpose in life.

About The Alchemist Book

Known for his fictional and fantastical storytelling, the novel that is an allegory narrates the the tale of Santiago, a lowly shepherd boy tending to his flock in the hills of Andalusia in Spain and his journey to the pyramids of Egypt after dreaming daily about finding treasure there.

The young boy desired more out of life rather than merely tending sheep all day long. Although he enjoyed watching over his flock and herding them, he believed that there was so much more he could be doing to achieve success in his life.

The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

He understood that he had more purpose in life and there are treasures that are his to be discovered.

It begins with Santiago having recurrent dreams which he is unable to interpret.

Following a meeting with a gypsy, he seems to have an idea as to the interpretation of his dream.

Along the way, he meets many different characters such as a king, a ‘woman of the desert’, a shopkeeper and an alchemist, all of whom are placed in his life to teach him valuable lessons.

Simultaneously, the book follows their life journey as they are in search of their own destiny.

Santiago decides to embark on this journey of self-discovery, in the hope of reaching his destiny.

He travels from his home in Spain, into the markets of Tangiers and embarks on the long trek through the great desert of Egypt.

He encounters some encouragements and discouragements along the way, learns a new language, gets entangled in some very sticky situations, makes some friends and meets some thieves.

He loses everything during the course of this journey but nevertheless manages to recover all he has lost and gains much more, by simply shifting his attitude and being resilient.

The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

Key Takeaways From The Alchemist Book

  1. The book appeals to every age group because we all have dreams and some times we just want someone to tell us that they may come true.
  2. The message from the Alchemist that says “And, when you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” holds so true in this story as well as in the story of our lives, what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.
  3. It must be understood that failure is a stepping-stone to success and is a part of the process in the journey of self-discovery towards achieving one’s dream. Ultimately, failure is not an option, the key to becoming the best version of yourself lies in your hands.

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Overall, The Alchemist teaches us not to run away from our destiny in to go forward, investing in the present, celebrating life for what it is while continuously believing in the beauty of one’s destiny and dreams.
A highly recommended book for all the young and even old, who aspire for high aims and continued to chase their dreams. 

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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